“He is very eager to do this,” said a former senior Obama official who remains in regular touch with his old boss. “I certainly expect President Obama to be very active.”

Though Obama has followed the tradition of past presidents in avoiding day-to-day criticism of his successor, those familiar with his thinking say he has been particularly roused in recent months by Trump’s performance handling COVID-19.

“The coronavirus disaster and the [federal] government’s inability to lead on it is searing in his brain … more than anything else Trump has done,” said a second insider. “Obama is generally heartbroken by the Donald Trump presidency.”