So long smooth transition? Trump slams Obama for inflammatory statements, roadblocks
Trump tweeted Wednesday that he is “doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory... statements and roadblocks” made by Obama. “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!”
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 seemingly backtracked his attacks about the transition later on Wednesday, the Huffington Post's Christina Wilkie reported.
Trump just now: "I think [the transition's going] very, very smoothly. Very good. You don't think so?" 6h after he said the opposite VVVV https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/814110460761018368— (@christinawilkie) Dec 28 2016
The dig at Obama came after the outgoing president made a comment Monday that he would have won a third term in the White House if it had been possible.
“If I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Obama told former adviser David Axelrod during an interview for “The Axe Files” podcast. “I know that in conversations that I've had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.”
It’s not the first time this week Trump has taken a swing at Obama on Twitter over the remarks.
President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! - jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost.The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2016
Trump has also repeatedly criticized Obama over the current administration’s decision not to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements in the West Bank; the US abstained during the vote, allowing it to pass. Trump continued those criticisms on Wednesday morning ahead of a speech by Secretary of State John Kerry about the decision.
We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
The transition between administrations started out smoothly enough, with Trump and Obama praising each other’s efforts during their first meeting, when a planned 15-minute meet-and-greet turned into a 90-minute affair two days after the election.
Obama called the meeting an “excellent conversation” and added that he was “very encouraged” by Trump’s willingness to work with the outgoing administration. Trump described the first meeting he ever had with Obama as an “honor,” adding that he would continue to seek Obama’s counsel after he leaves office. The two have spoken by phone several times since the November face-to-face.
While the White House declined to comment on the increasing back-and-forth between Trump and Obama week, according to the Washington Post, transition spokesman Sean Spicer did address the seeming spat between the two administrations during a conference call with reporters.
Spicer originally declined to elaborate on Trump’s tweets, saying they “speak for themselves,” but he later said that Obama and his administration have been "very generous with their time” during the transition process and helpful with “mechanical” issues.
Trump has long been criticized for being quick to bypass traditional media to unleash a torrent of tweets after real and perceived slights. On Wednesday morning, even before the president-elect’s tweet about Obama, CNN anchor Don Lemon suggested that news outlets refrain from covering Trump’s Twitter tantrums, thereby forcing the president-elect to turn to the mainstream media to communicate.
Some Obama supporters suggest that Obama could ‒ and should ‒ ratchet up the sparring by “going nuclear” against Trump and the Republican Party, which refused to work with the president during his two terms in office. One way to do that would be through a proposal that is gaining steam in op-eds and on social media: using recess appointments on January 3 to fill the 103 current openings in the federal judiciary, including giving Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a seat on the High Court without a Senate confirmation hearing.
The move, known as going nuclear in political circles, would have to occur between the official adjournment ‒ sine die ‒ of the 114th Congress and the swearing-in of the 115th Congress. Such an action may be of questionable legality, according to proponent Ed Kilgore, but would not be unprecedented. President Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, made 193 appointments during the so-called “infinitesimal recess” of 1903 between the end of a special session of Congress and the beginning of the regular session. Likewise, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also a Republican, named a Supreme Court justice as a recess appointment.
There is no telling how Trump might react to such a drastic step from Obama when he has been so vocal about the outgoing president’s critiques of his popularity and plans for his upcoming time in the White House. Trump has promised to undo much of Obama’s policies over the next four (or eight) years. For his part, Obama has promised the incoming administration will provide continuity ‒ especially in foreign affairs ‒.despite Trump’s condemnation of the White House’s policies in Iran, Syria, Cuba and Israel.