After promising to help President-elect Trump with “the big challenge” of transition, President Obama is presiding over a rocky, acrimonious transfer of power, prompting Trump to complain on Twitter that he is “putting up roadblocks.”
Standing in the Rose Garden with Vice President Biden at his side, Obama told reporters the day after the election that “the presidency and the vice presidency is bigger than any of us.” He added, “We are all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”
The president conceded that “the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” but also recalled that the same was true about him and then-President George W. Bush in 2008. Obama then said that the previous administration had graciously made that transition a smooth one.
“So I have instructed my team to set the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure this is a successful transition for the president-elect,” the president said.
Again, at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on November 14, Obama spoke to reporters about his plan to help Trump with the “big challenge” of transition.
As always with Obama, pay attention to what he does, not what he says. Because as Instapundit long ago discovered, every Obama promise comes with an expiration date. And as the Obama era winds to a close, the expiration dates are getting shorter and shorter.
Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest accused Trump “for four consecutive days of encouraging Russia’s suspected meddling in the election and ignoring the ramifications.”
“Earnest seems to want to delegitimize the election,” said Republican strategist John Feehery. “It’s very dangerous and seemingly counter to the wishes of the president.”
Former Obama adviser David Axelrod went further, saying it was “highly unlikely” that the White House press secretary would take a week’s worth of verbal shots at Mr. Trump without the president’s approval.
Then First Lady Michelle Obama (who was proud of the country for the very first time when her husband won the Democrat nomination) said of Trump’s victory, “We’re feeling what not having hope feels like.”
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Friday, Mrs. Obama said of her husband’s departure that Americans “will come to appreciate having a grown-up in the White House.”
“What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?” she said. “What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?”
Her comments prompted conservative Los Angeles radio host Larry Elder to respond on Twitter, “Imagine the outcry had [first lady] Laura Bush said, as Michelle Obama did, about the new president, ‘Now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.’”
Trump complained about “inflammatory statements and roadblocks” Wednesday morning on Twitter.
Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
Trump’s tweet comes after Obama boasted that he could have won the election against Trump if he had been allowed to seek a third term.
Also, in various last-minute actions, Obama has been seeking to find ways to create a legacy Trump cannot dismantle, as in his recent ruling that put offshore lands out of reach of developers.
Further, Trump has taken the Obama administration to task for its role in the U.N. Security Council vote last week condemning Israel.
According to Trump surrogate Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), the Obama White House’s lack of cooperation is not limited to making “inflammatory statements” about the incoming president. During an appearance on Fox Business this morning, Collins said he’s been hearing troublesome reports from Trump’s “landing team” in D.C. suggesting that Obama’s team is doing more to trip up the president-elect.
“They’re doing everything they can to make this a bumpy road,” the congressman said without elaborating.
He argued that Obama let his true feelings be known when he boasted that he would have beaten Trump if he could have run for a third term.
“He can’t get over the fact that this was a repudiation of his policies,” Collins said. “His legacy is going to be nothing more than 20 trillion in debt and ISIS being a threat to the world. So you can see the anger. He’s trying to control it, but he can’t control it.”
On Wednesday, however, Trump spokesman and soon to be White House press secretary Sean Spicer seemed to throw cold water on his boss’s accusation.
Spicer said Obama and his aides have been “very generous with their time” for the “mechanisms” of the presidential transition.