Former Chief White House Ethics Lawyer Compares Trump To Obama: 'It All Seems Like Ancient History Now, But It's Been Less Than Three Years'

A former chief White House ethics lawyer has praised Barack Obama in a tweet that directed thinly veiled criticism at President Donald Trump.

Richard W. Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2007, made the comments while quote-tweeting Obama's post celebrating his anniversary with former first lady Michelle Obama.

'Like the Beatles said: It's getting better all the time. Thanks, babe, for 27 amazing years!' Obama wrote on Twitter alongside an image of he and his wife watching a sunset together.

Quote-retweeting the image on Monday, Painter added remarks comparing Obama to Trump.

"A president who stays married for a quarter century and doesn't carry on with porn stars," Painter wrote, referencing claims by former adult film actress Stormy Daniels that she had sex with Trump before he became president.

Painter also referenced Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, adding: "A president chosen by Americans, not by the Russians."

U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian actors interfered in the 2016 presidential election campaign in an attempt to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. Moscow has repeatedly denied any interference.

Painter fondly remembered Obama's time as president, concluding: "A president who respects the Constitution. It all seems like ancient history now, but it's been less than three years."

Painter, now a law professor at the University of Minnesota and a vocal critic of Trump, has repeatedly called for the president to be impeached.

Last week, he said Trump is building an "international coalition against the Russia investigation" and is "very dangerous for U.S. national security." Painter was referencing a CNN report that said Trump sought to use U.S. allies to discredit the Russia investigation.

Trump raised the matter during phone conversations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the summer, CNN reported, citing people familiar with the calls.

In response to the report, Painter said: "Trump is building an international coalition against the Russia investigation. This is very dangerous for U.S. national security. He needs to be impeached. NOW."

In another tweet, Painter called for Trump to be removed from office through provisions in the 25th Amendment.

"He's losing it. Amendment 25," he wrote, alongside an article detailing how the president had been raging against his political rivals and the press last week.

Newsweek has contacted Painter for further comment.

Painter's comments came as a new whistleblower stepped forward, possibly handing fresh information to House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry of Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

The inquiry was triggered after a first national security whistleblower raised concerns about a July phone call the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump pressed for an investigation of Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his family.

Now, a second whistleblower has come forward with firsthand knowledge of the events, possibly corroborating the original whistleblower's complaint.

Lawyer Mark Zaid, who represents both whistleblowers, told The Associated Press that the new whistleblower works in the intelligence field and has spoken to the intelligence community's internal watchdog.

trump obama
Former President Barack Obama (centre) kisses the Michelle Obama's as they walk with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (left) after inauguration ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. A former chief White House ethics lawyer has compared Obama to Trump. Getty
Former Chief White House Ethics Lawyer Compares Trump To Obama: 'It All Seems Like Ancient History Now, But It's Been Less Than Three Years' | U.S.
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