US President Barack Obama met his successor Donald Trump on Thursday in the Oval Office in Washington for 90 minutes. After the meeting, Obama said they had an “excellent conversation”. Trump on his part said it was “a great honour” to meet the president, whom he described as a “good man”.
Obama said he had been “encouraged” by Trump’s interest in working with him and his team. “I want to emphasise to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Obama told Trump.
Trump, who has repeatedly criticised Obama’s tenure and questioned his birthplace and legitimacy in the past, said he had great respect for the outgoing leader. “We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful, and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,” the president-elect said.
White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said “The meeting might have been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected.” White House sources told The New York Times that Obama and Trump discussed domestic and foreign policy issues, among other things.
Trump will be handed the President’s Daily Brief, a classified compilation of all threats facing the United States and other highly significant intelligence information on Friday. Obama’s team will hold two war-gaming exercises – one in December and one in January - to prepare Trump and his team for a potential national security crisis.
Trump was accompanied by his wife Melania, son-in-law Jared Kushner and other aides. Melania reportedly had tea with First Lady Michelle Obama, and the two women talked about raising children in the White House.
Trump later met Republican Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, with whom he had differences about his candidacy and campaign. After the meeting, Trump said, “We are going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We are going to lower taxes, as you know, we’re going to fix health care and make it more affordable and better.” Trump won the US presidential election November 9, defeating his Democrat contender Hillary Clinton.