Mon | Aug 21, 2017

'Excellent' first meeting for Obama, Trump

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 11:00 AM
President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington yesterday.

WASHINGTON (AP):

In a cordial beginning to their transfer of power, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met at the White House yesterday.

Obama called the 90-minute meeting "excellent", and his successor said he looked forward to receiving the outgoing president's "counsel".

At the close of the Oval Office sit-down, Obama said to Trump, "We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, the country succeeds."

The two men, who have been harshly critical of each other for years, were meeting for the first time, Trump said. The Republican called Obama a "very good man" and said he looked forward "to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel".

Obama blasted Trump throughout the campaign as unfit to serve as a commander in chief. Trump spent years challenging the legitimacy of Obama's presidency, falsely suggesting that Obama may have been born outside of the United States.

But that at least publicly, the two men appeared to put aside their animosity. As the meeting concluded and journalists scrambled out of the Oval Office, Obama smiled at his successor and explained the unfolding scene.

If Trump makes good on his campaign promises, he'll wipe away much of what Obama has done during his eight years in office. The Republican president-elect, who will govern with Congress fully under GOP control, has vowed to repeal Obama's signature health care law and dismantle the landmark nuclear accord with Iran.

First Lady Michelle Obama also met privately in the White House residence with Trump's wife, Melania, while Vice President Joe Biden prepared to see Vice President-elect Mike Pence later yesterday.