Trump lashes out at Obama over ‘inflammatory’ statements

President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at President Obama on Wednesday, tweeting that he is doing his “best to disregard the many inflammatory” statements and “roadblocks” coming from his soon-to-be predecessor.

“Thought it was going to be a smooth transition,” Trump tweeted, tacking on “NOT!”

But on a daily conference call with reporters, Trump’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, said Obama’s team has been “very helpful and generous.” Spicer also said Obama and Trump “continue to talk” and will remain in contact through the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump didn’t directly say which Obama comments he found especially inflammatory, but he took exception to the current administration’s approach to Israel.

Additionally, in an Obama speech during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic visit to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday, the president appeared to criticize Trump for stirring up xenophobia during the divisive U.S. presidential election.

“It is here that we remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward,” Obama said. “We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”

And in an interview that aired earlier this week, Obama told David Axelrod, his former chief adviser, that he would have defeated Trump if he had been able to run for a third term.

Obama argued that the Hillary Clinton campaign became complacent, given her lead in the national polls, and failed to articulate how his administration’s policies have actually helped the white working class. Obama also criticized the media for holding Clinton to an unfair “double standard.”

“I think the issue was less that Democrats have somehow abandoned the white working class. I think that’s nonsense,” Obama said. “Look, the Affordable Care Act benefits a huge number of Trump voters. There are a lot of folks in places like West Virginia or Kentucky who didn’t vote for Hillary, didn’t vote for me, but are being helped by this. … The problem is, is that we’re not there on the ground communicating not only the dry policy aspects of this, but that we care about these communities, that we’re bleeding for these communities.”

“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could have mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” the president said.

Trump fired back on Twitter.

“President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me,” Trump tweeted Monday. “He should say that but I say NO WAY! — jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.”

“President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost. The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump continued his flurry of tweets on Wednesday by criticizing the Obama administration for its refusal to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that called Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a violation of international law.

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” the president-elect tweeted. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S. … but 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!”

Following his stunning victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election, Trump met with Obama at the White House, where the sitting president said he would work with the president-elect to ensure a smooth transition.

“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 after their Nov. 10 meeting. “I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed — because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”

Trump — who once called Obama “the worst president in history” and led the so-called birther movement, which questionedthe legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate — said he has “great respect” for Obama and would lean on him during the transition.

“I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,” Trump said.

During his campaign-like rallies following the election, Trump went out of his way to praise Obama. At a Dec. 9 rally, his fans even booed the president-elect for offering kind words about the president.

“No, no, no, he’s really doing great,” Trump told supporters. “He’s been so nice.”

Trump and Obama address reporters at the White House on Nov. 10. (AP)
Donald Trump and President Obama address reporters at the White House on Nov. 10. (Photo: AP)

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump was asked by reporters huddled outside his Mar-a-Lago estate if he felt the transition was still going “smoothly.”

“Oh, I think very, very smoothly,” Trump replied. “Very good. You don’t think so?”

Later Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he spoke to President Obama earlier in the day.

“He called me,” Trump said. “We had a very nice conversation.”

The president-elect added: “We had a general conversation. Very, very nice.”