Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have expressed concern about the current political climate in the United States, in comments seen as a covert reprimand of Donald Trump’s leadership.
Obama urged Americans to reject the policy of “division” and “fear”, while Bush criticized “harassment and prejudice” in public life.
They spoke separately. Not mentioned President Trump by name. Mr Trump, who has been criticized for his two predecessors, has yet to comment.
Former presidents have traditionally been running away from publicly commenting on their successors, and Obama said he would leave office and he would continue that kindness during Mr. Trump, as George W. Bush joined him.
He broke the silence after issuing statements about Mr Trump’s efforts to destroy Obama, as well as his controversial “Muslim ban” and the decision to abandon a climate change deal in Paris.
Obama said that Americans should “send a message to the world that we reject the policy of division, we reject the policy of fear,” declaring it at a democratic campaign event in Newark, New Jersey.
He added: “What we can not have is the same old policy of division that we have seen so many times before it dates back to centuries.
“Some of the politics we see now, we thought we would put it in bed, it’s people who are looking for 50 years ago. It’s the 21st century and not the 19th century.
He referred to similar topics at another event later in Richmond, Virginia, saying: “We have people who deliberately try to angry people, demonize people who have different ideas, to raise the ground, because it provides a short-term tactical advantage “.
Speaking just hours earlier in New York, Bush said: “Biography seems to be encouraged. Our policy is more susceptible to conspiracy theories and complete fabrication.
“There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy has gone by, especially among young people.”
The Americans, he said, “have seen our discourse degraded by ordinary cruelty”.
“Sometimes it may seem like the forces that draw us are stronger than the forces that do not bind together.
“We saw the nationalism bent over in the nature, forgot the dynamics that immigration has always brought to America.”
So far, the two former presidents largely avoided publicly commenting on Mr. Trump’s policies.
Before the election last year, Mr. Trump was very critical of Obama and Bush, describing each of them at the same time as “perhaps the worst president in history” of the United States.
Since his inauguration in January, Mr Trump’s fighting style and direct public comments on a number of key issues have provoked controversy among Democrats and Republicans.
He regularly blames the media, which he says do not focus on his achievements. And instead choose to concentrate on what he describes as “false news”.
Analysis by Gary O’Donoghue in Richmond, Virginia
President Barack Obama still knows how to draw a crowd – and waited hours around the bloc to see him speak.
If they were hoping for attacks on Donald Trump, they were to be disappointed.
However, the criticism when they came were barely concealed-by talking about the extinction and sowing of divisions.
The speech followed a much more advanced attack on the current political situation by former Republican President George W. Bush.
He spoke of intolerance and lies that jeopardized American democracy – while celebrating immigration and debating a more open trade policy.
These attacks, of course, are not coordinated. But they do not show how commonly they are concerned about the incumbent president.