US President Barack Obama says Donald Trump’s attack on the electoral system is “unprecedented” for a Presidential candidate – and he’s told him to “stop whining” and develop some policy instead.
Obama told a White House press conference he had never seen any Presidential candidate trying to discredit the election process before votes had even taken place.
“It happens to be based on no facts,” he said.
Speaking at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, he said no serious person could suggest US elections could be manipulated because of their decentralised nature.
“I have never seen in my lifetime, or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It’s unprecedented.
“I’d invite Mr Trump to stop whining, and go try to make his case to get votes.”
He went on talk about Donald Trump’s embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he is troubled that other Republicans are supporting the Republican presidential candidate’s positions on Russia.
“Mr Trump’s continued flattery of Mr Putin and the way he appears and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr Putin is unprecedented in American politics,” Obama said.
Saying “Mr Trump rarely surprises me these days”, Obama said he was much more concerned to see support for the candidate’s stance on Putin and Russia from Republican officials who historically had been anti-Russia.
Historically, Republican politicians have often taken or appeared to take a harder line on Russia’s predecessor, the Soviet Union, the United States’ Cold War foe.
Russia has been internationally condemned for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Obama also talked about the US-backed Iraqi army push to re–take Mosul from Islamic State militants.