Trump slams 'inflammatory' Obama

Trump slams 'inflammatory' Obama
In a declaration that is unprecedented in its personal condemnation of a soon-to-be predecessor, the 70-year-old tweeted: "Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks." "Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!"
PHOTO: AFP

US President-elect Donald Trump poured kerosene on a simmering dispute with Barack Obama Wednesday, accusing him of derailing a smooth transition with "inflammatory" statements and "roadblocks."

Ever since the November 8 election, Trump and Obama have tried to bury political differences in favour of a united public front that would smooth the transfer of power on January 20.

But the Republican president-in-waiting unceremoniously cast any cordiality aside in a morning twitter tirade from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

In a declaration that is unprecedented in its personal condemnation of a soon-to-be predecessor, the 70-year-old tweeted: "Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks." "Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!"

Tensions between Trump and the current White House have been growing for weeks as Obama has become more outspoken about a vitriol-filled election, which saw Democrat Hillary Clinton suffer a shock defeat.

Obama who is still the most popular politician in the country recently suggested that he may have won a third term were he not constitutionally barred.

Read also: Obama confident he could have beaten Trump to win White House again

That seems to have irked the notoriously thin-skinned president-elect.

At the same time, the pair have competed to take credit for solid economic indicators.

Donald Trump wins US presidency in stunning upset

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    Donald Trump has stunned America and the world, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States.

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    The Republican mogul defeated his Democratic rival, plunging global markets into turmoil and casting the long-standing global political order, which hinges on Washington's leadership, into doubt.

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    "Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division," Trump told a crowd of jubilant supporters in the early hours of Wednesday in New York.

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    "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans." During a bitter two-year campaign that tugged at America's democratic fabric, the bombastic tycoon pledged to deport illegal immigrants, ban Muslims from the country and tear up free trade deals.

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    His message appears to have been embraced by much of America's white majority, disgruntled by the breath and scope of social change and economic change in the last eight years under their first black president, Barack Obama.

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    Trump openly courted Russian leader Vladimir Putin, called US support for NATO allies in Europe into question and suggested that South Korea and Japan should develop their own nuclear weapons.

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    The businessman turned TV star turned-politico - who has never before held elected office - will become commander-in-chief of the world's sole true superpower on January 20.

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    The results prompted a global market sell-off, with stocks plunging across Asia and Europe and billions being wiped off the value of investments.

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    Although he has no government experience and in recent years has spent as much time running beauty pageants and starring in reality television as he had building his property empire, Trump at 70 will be the oldest man to ever become president.

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    Yet, during his improbable rise, Trump has constantly proved the pundits and received political wisdom wrong.

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    Opposed by the entire senior hierarchy of his own Republican Party, he trounced more than a dozen better-funded and more experienced rivals in the party primary.

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    During the race, he was forced to ride out allegations of sexual assault and was embarrassed but apparently not shamed to have been caught on tape boasting about groping women.

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    And, unique in modern US political history, he refused to release his tax returns.

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    But the biggest upset came on Tuesday, as he swept to victory through a series of hard-fought wins in battleground states from Florida to Ohio.

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    Clinton had been widely assumed to be on course to enter the history books as the first woman to become president in America's 240-year existence.

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    Americans have repudiated her call for unity amid the United States' wide cultural and racial diversity, opting instead for a leader who insisted the country is broken and that "I alone can fix it."

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    If early results hold out, Trump's party will have full control of Congress and he will be able to appoint a ninth Supreme Court justice to a vacant seat on the bench, deciding the balance of the body.

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    So great was the shock that Clinton did not come out to her supporters' poll-watching party to concede defeat, but instead called Trump and sent her campaign chairman to insist in vain the result was too close to call.

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    "I want every person in this hall to know, and I want every person across the country who supported Hillary to know that your voices and your enthusiasm mean so much to her and to him and to all of us. We are so proud of you. And we are so proud of her," chairman John Podesta told shell-shocked supporters.

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    "She's done an amazing job, and she is not done yet," he insisted.

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    Musician Lagy Gaga stages a protest against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on a sanitation truck outside Trump Tower in New York City after midnight on election day November 9, 2016.

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    A street performer dressed as the Statue of Liberty hold photos of U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the financial Central district in Hong Kong, China November 9, 2016, after Trump won the presidency.

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    A "Naked Cowboy" performer supporting Donald Trump walks through Times Square in New York, November 9, 2016.

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    People react as they watch news on a screen to follow the results of the final day of the US presidential election at an event organised by the American consulate in Shanghai on November 9, 2016.

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    Protesters against president-elect Donald Trump march peacefully through Oakland, California.

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    A separate group earlier in the night set fire to garbage bins and smashed multiple windows.

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    Police officers chase a group of about 50 protesters.

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    University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California.

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    An invitee places a cookie depicting U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on a table at the US presidential election results watch party at the residence of US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, in Tokyo.

After months of talking down the world's largest economy, Trump has tried to take credit for a number of economic developments that are roughly on trend.

"The US Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald" he tweeted late Tuesday, referring to himself in the third person.

While the White House has seethed behind the scenes, there has been little public response to Trump's forays into US foreign and domestic policy before he takes office in less than a month.

But tensions reached something of a breaking point after the United States tacitly backed condemnation of Israeli settlement activity at the United Nations.

With Washington withholding its veto, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory.

Trump followed up Wednesday's early tweet with another two taking aim at Obama's policy toward Israel.

"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US, but....." he wrote.

"Not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (UN)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"

Obama and Trump meet in the White House

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    Barack Obama and Donald Trump on Thursday put past animosity aside during a 90-minute White House meeting designed to quell fears about the health of the world's pre-eminent democracy.

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    White House staffers stand on the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as they await the arrival of US President-elect Donald Trump for a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, DC, November 10, 2016.

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    "Mr President, it was a great honour being with you," Trump said, calling Obama a "very good man." .

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    As protests against the Republican property mogul's shock election rumbled across US cities and world capitals contended with a suddenly uncertain world order, Obama and Trump vowed to carry out a smooth transition of power.

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    After a nasty campaign that culminated in the election of a 70-year-old billionaire who has never held public office and who gained power on a far-right platform, the message was: this is business as usual in a democracy.

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    "It is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face," Obama said.

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    Trump appeared more subdued than usual, and was unusually cautious and deferential in his remarks.

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    The outgoing Democratic president and his successor huddled one-on-one in the Oval Office, for what Obama characterized as an "excellent conversation" and then put on a remarkably civil joint public appearance.

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    After all, Trump championed the so-called "birther movement" challenging that Obama was actually born in the United States - a suggestion laden with deep racial overtones - only dropping the position recently.

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    "Here's a good rule. Don't answer questions when they just start yelling," Obama told Trump.

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    Trump - who previously called Obama the "most ignorant president in our history" - said he looked forward to receiving the president's counsel. Obama - who previously said Trump was a whiner and "uniquely unqualified" to be commander-in-chief - vowed his support.

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    The two men ended the improbable and historic White House encounter with a handshake and refused to take questions, appearing to find common cause in their opinion of the press.

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    He (Obama) told Trump that his administration would "do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed, then the country succeeds."

Throughout the long election campaign, Obama made no secret of his disdain for Trump, describing him as ill-informed and unfit for office.

But since a landmark meeting in the Oval Office a few days after the election, Obama has tried flattery in a bid to bind Trump to the norms of office.

He has praised Trump on a historic victory and made plain that millions of Republican voters would also be hurt if Trump overturns his landmark health care law.

Obama has repeatedly vowed to make the transition as smooth as possible.

At lower levels, the transition has spluttered along after a slow start that saw many key departments wait for substantive meetings with Trump staff.

That is said to have improved in recent weeks, as "landing teams" have begun to work with government agencies and briefing materials have been handed out.

The real estate mogul-turned-commander-in-chief is gradually putting together a team that is made up of Republican establishment figures, billionaires, generals and far-right activists.

At Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday, he met potential secretaries of agriculture and veterans affairs and discussed measures to repeal Obamacare with notable doctors.

Asked if the process was going smoothly, Trump appeared to shift focus from his previous comments, stating: "Oh, I think very, very smoothly. Very good. You don't think so?"

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