US President Barack Obama came away with “renewed confidence” from his 90-minute meeting with his successor Donald Trump, the White House has said, adding that the emphasis of the discussions was on ensuring smooth transition to the next administration.
“I think that President Obama came away from the meeting with renewed confidence in the commitment of the President-elect to engage in an effective, smooth transition,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
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“The President was pleased to hear a similar commitment expressed by the president-elect,” he said.
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In the 90-minute meeting, Obama briefed Trump on domestic and foreign policy issues, besides his upcoming foreign trips to Greece, Germany and the APEC Summit in Peru.
“The President described to the president-elect some of the issues that he expects to come up with some of our allies and partners and other world leaders that he’ll meet with on the trip,” Earnest said.
A large portion of the meeting was spent in discussions on properly staffing up and organising White House operations, he said.
“The president-elect indicated a lot of interest and understanding the strategy of staffing and organizing the White House, and obviously that’s something that President Obama has thought about extensively during his eight years in office,” he said.
Earnest said the two leaders during the meeting sought to lay the foundation for an effective transition from the Obama presidency to the Trump presidency.
“This administration, at the direction of President Obama, has been preparing for this moment and this meeting for the better part of a year. This obviously was an important early step, having the president sit down with the president-elect to discuss that transition,” he said.
The heated rhetoric witnessed between Obama and Trump during the presidential campaign did not spill over into the meeting, the spokesman said.
“They did not recreate some sort of presidential debate in the Oval Office today. They were focused on doing the work of the American people, fulfilling their institutional responsibilities, and on President Obama’s part, that means laying the groundwork so that the incoming president-elect can hit the ground running.
“Based on the kind of agreement that was evident about the priority that they both place on a smooth transition, it sounds like the meeting might’ve been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected,” he said.