President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama sitting in the Oval Office.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Former President Barack Obama released a statement Monday expressing his feelings of solidarity with those who have been protesting President Trump’s executive order which bans travelers and refugees from entering the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Issued under the name of Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, it was the first time the former president has weighed in on his successor’s presidency. The statement was careful not to mention Trump by name or directly criticize the executive order that was signed Friday.

President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.

Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith.

Obama kept quiet with his criticisms of the president-elect during his transition, and pledged to give Trump space after he assumed control in the Oval Office. But it’s a controversy the former president has experience with, somewhat.

In the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, some Republicans called for Obama to restrict Syrian access to the United States to Christians only. At the time, President Obama called such policies “shameful.”

“That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump’s executive order when asked about Obama’s statement in support of the protestors.

“It is a shame that people were inconvenienced obviously,” he said. “But at the end of the day we are talking about a couple of hours.”