President Obama and President-Elect Donald Trump made a brief joint appearance at the White House Thursday and pledged a smooth transition of power.
Obama even shared a joke with Trump about the press after the president announced they would not be taking questions.
“My No. 1 priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful.”
“Here’s a good rule: Don’t answer questions” when journalists shout them out, Obama said.
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Trump responded, “It’s always the last one.”
It was a remarkable spectacle, considering Obama only a week ago was racing from one swing state to another trying to convince voters that Trump was unqualified, unprepared — indeed, even “inhuman.”
Both men were gracious. Obama said they discussed foreign policy, organizational issues, and other matters.
“My No. 1 priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” Obama said. “And I have been very encouraged by, I think, the interest in President-Elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces, and I believe that it is important for all of us — regardless of political party and regardless of political preference — to come together.”
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Obama added: “Most of all, I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-Elect, that we now are gonna want to do everything we can to help you succeed. Because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”
Trump also struck a respectful tone.
“This was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes,” he said. “We were just going to get to know each other. We had never met each other. I have great respect. The meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half and it could have, as far as I’m concerned, gone a lot longer.”
Trump said they discussed many issues, “some wonderful and some difficulties.” The men’s wives also met.
“It was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future,” Trump said.
The president-elect will meet later Thursday with House Speaker Paul Ryan.