Chicago: Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, issued a cautious statement about President Donald Trump's travel ban and the protests against it.
Before leaving the White House, Obama repeatedly emphasized how important the role of citizen is in American democracy. Now, he says he is inspired that so many citizens have heeded his call by protesting drastic measures that Trump took that are being criticized as antithetical to common American values.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesperson for Obama, released a statement on behalf of the former president praising the protesters for exercising their constitutional right of assembly and rejecting the notion that his antiterrorism vetting policies resemble Trump's.
It is Obama's first public statement since leaving office Jan. 20:
"President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.
Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.
With regard to comparisons to President Obama's foreign policy decisions, as we've heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion."
It may be recalled that during his final press conference, Obama said he would speak out in the Trump era if he felt "our core values are at stake."