Donald Trump has retaliated after former first lady Michelle Obama said he was the “wrong president” for the US.
In a series of posts on Twitter, he wrote: “Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama.”
The president said Mrs Obama’s endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was “very late” and “unenthusiastic”, describing him as “merely an afterthought”.
He claimed he had built the “greatest economy in history” before shutting it down to “save millions of lives” during the coronavirus pandemic.
But Mr Trump’s critics say the administration “inherited” the economy from Mr Obama, and also point to the US having the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world.
Speaking on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention, Mrs Obama pleaded with the country to vote Mr Trump out of office over his handling of the pandemic.
“If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can, and they will if we don’t make a change in this election,” she said.
“If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
She also accused Mr Trump of being in “over his head” after having “more than enough time to prove he can do the job”.
But the US president hit out at the Obama administration’s handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
“Looking back into history, the response by the ObamaBiden team to the H1N1 Swine Flu was considered a weak and pathetic one,” he said.
“The big difference is that they got a free pass from the Corrupt Fake News Media!”
:: Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker
In comparison, the CDC tallied 12,469 swine flu deaths, while the current US death toll from COVID-19 is more than 170,000.
Mrs Obama was the headline speaker on the first night of the party’s virtual conference, which also featured Mr Biden and several former Democratic presidential candidates.