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 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.”
“See, 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’ve 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!”