"I'm going to be a little more subdued in my discussions of the Republican nominee in this context than I might be on the campaign trail," President Obama said Tuesday, during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, when the topic of Donald Trump came up. But the president did not hesitate to denounce the Republican nominee's increasingly loud complaints about what he views as an election that's "rigged" against him. “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. It happens to be based on no facts," the president told reporters. "It doesn't really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you'd want out of a president. You start whining before the game's even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else? Then you don't have what it takes to be in this job."
Earlier in the press conference, when a reporter asked how Trump's seemingly cozy relationship with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could affect America's interests in the world, Obama said, "Mr. Trump’s continued flattery of Mr. Putin and the degree to with he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr. Putin is unprecedented in American politics." Obama went on to question "how it is that some of the same leaders in the Republican Party who were constantly haranging us for even talking to the Russians and who consistently took the most hawkish approaches to Russia, including Mr. Trump's selection for vice president, now reconcile their endorsement of Mr. Trump with their previous views."
In an attempt to tie Republicans on down-ballot races to their party's presidential nominee, the president added, “Mr. Trump rarely surprises me these days. I’m much more surprised by the fact that you have Republican officials who historically have been adamantly anti-Russian and, in fact, have attacked me for even engaging them diplomatically, now supporting and in some cases echoing his positions. It's quite a reversal."