Barack Obama has sparked outrage from the progressive wing of his own party after criticising Black Lives Matter's "defund the police" slogan.
The former president made the comments in a recent interview where he warned Democrats risked losing voters by using "snappy" slogans like "defund the police".
"You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama said in the interview.
"The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?"
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Progressive Democrats, including a group known as "The Squad", immediately hit back at Obama in a series of responses on social media.
"Defund the police" became a popular rallying cry amid the widespread protests that gripped the US in the months after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis became ground zero for the "defund the police" movement, with its council voting in June to defund and dismantle the police department and create a new "Community Safety and Violence Prevention department".
While the proposal has been effectively shelved until next year, the city is grappling with a disturbing increase in violent crime – including a 537 per cent increase in car-jackings compared with last November.
Other senior Democrats have made similar comments to Obama, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who said in an interview with CBS News last month that "defund the police" was "killing our party, and we've got to stop it".
He warned it may have cost them some candidates including South Carolina Congressman Joe Cunningham, who lost to Republican Nancy Mace. Clyburn said he had discussed the issue with late civil rights icon John Lewis, the Georgia Congressman who died in September.
"We sat together on the House floor and talked about how that slogan… could undermine the BLM movement, just as 'burn, baby, burn' destroyed our movement back in the '60s," he said.