A former top aide to President Obama argued Friday that he remains the leader of the Democratic Party.
“I think Barack ObamaBarack ObamaEx-aide: Obama still the leader of the Democratic Party State Dept. official reassigned after conservative media criticism: report Trump, bring back the War Powers Act. US troops are not yours alone. MORE is probably still the leader of the Democratic Party,” Alyssa Mastromonaco, who served as Obama’s deputy chief of staff for operations, said during a CNN interview.
Mastromonaco was asked about other figures on the left, such as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersEx-aide: Obama still the leader of the Democratic Party Sanders endorses Ossoff, but won’t call him a progressive The Hill’s 12:30 Report MORE (I-Vt.), declining to call them the Democratic Party’s leader.
“Bernie … I think if you ask Bernie he would say no,” she said.
“He even said he wasn’t a Democrat the other day,” she said, pointing to the Independent Vermont senator’s comments this week.
She also mentioned Tom Perez, Obama’s former Labor secretary who now helms the Democratic National Committee.
“Tom Perez, I think, you know he is … I think Barack Obama is probably still the leader of the Democratic Party even though he is sort of on a hiatus right now,” she said.
The former Obama aide added that she thought Perez would play a role in helping resolve the “Democrats’ identity crisis.”
Obama has kept a relatively low profile since President Trump’s inauguration in January, though has spoken out on some issues, such as Trump’s travel ban in late January that tried to block travel to the U.S. for people from several Muslim-majority countries.
Obama will make the first public appearance of his post-presidency on Monday when he speaks at an event in his hometown of Chicago, his office announced Friday.