Then-President Barack Obama called GOP nominee Donald Trump a “fascist’ during a phone conversation with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), during the 2016 presidential election, according to a video clip featuring Kaine in an upcoming documentary about Hillary Clinton.
As reported by NBC News, Kaine — who was Clinton’s 2016 vice presidential running mate — recounted the phone call during an exchange with Clinton that was caught on camera in 2016.
Anne Holten, Kaine’s wife, was also present.
“President Obama called me last night and said: ‘Tim, remember, this is no time to be a purist. You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House,'” Kaine says before adding with a laugh that Obama “knows me and he knows that I could tend to err.”
In the clip, Clinton is seen nodding and saying, “I echo that sentiment.”
She then put her hands to her chest and says, “But that’s really — the weight of our responsibility is so huge.”
The clip appears in an episode of “Hillary,” a four-part documentary series that will be available on Hulu on March 6. The docuseries, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday at a screening Clinton was scheduled to attend, chronicles her early life, rise to national prominence and political career.
The news network was provided access to the series last week.
Nanette Burstein, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who directed “Hillary,” confirmed in an email that the clip of Kaine was recorded by a camera team that had been hired by the Clinton campaign.
It’s not clear when or where Kaine and Clinton made the comments.
For the most part, Obama has refrained from attacking President Trump in public. But if true, the characterization of the president by Obama would be the sharpest criticism of him yet, though several Democratic lawmakers and liberal pundits have called Trump a “fascist.”
Obama has criticized some of Trump’s policy decisions, such as leaving the Paris climate accords and saying that leaders should avoid social media.