Former US President Barack Obama. Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: Former president Barack Obama warned Monday against leaders feeding a “climate of fear” through their rhetoric as the United States mourned 31 people killed in two weekend mass shootings.

“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments,” Obama said in a rare statement.

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He did not specifically name President Donald Trump, who has been accused in the wake of the massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio of fanning the flames of intolerance through his anti-immigrant rhetoric.

But Obama singled out leaders who “demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people.”