Though the new president-elect dismissed Barack Obama on the campaign trail as “the worst president in the history of the United States,” Donald Trump will reportedly now take guidance from the current president.
Trump appears to have underestimated the sheer amount of work it’ll take to translate his fiery campaign rhetoric into action—and especially to “drain the swamp” in Washington, as he promised to do.
On his visit to the White House last week, Trump was surprised when Obama walked him through the considerable amount of work required to run the country, the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) citing people familiar with the meeting. The Journal also reported that some of Trump’s aides were unaware that Trump had to replace the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing at the end of Obama’s term. Jason Miller, communications director for the Trump transition, declined to comment on the Journal’s characterizations of the meeting between the current and soon-to-be president.
“It’s enormous,” Trump, apparently somewhat humbled by the experience, told 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl. “I’ve done a lot of big things. I’ve never done anything like this.” He added, “It is — it is so big, it is so—it’s so enormous, it’s so amazing…I realized that this is a whole different life for me now.”
After running through the duties of the president, Obama has decided to spend more time guiding Trump than his predecessors have with previous president elects, the Journal reported. To ensure a smooth transition of power, Obama will be briefing Trump on intelligence capabilities and secret operations.
Trump appears reluctant to move away from his penthouse apartment in his beloved Trump Tower, according to The New York Times(paywall). Trump had reportedly spoken to his advisers about how many nights a week he will have to spend in the White House, emphasizing his need to spend as much time as possible at his home in New York. Throughout his campaign, Trump was determined to fly home after every rally so he could sleep in his own bed.
And it’s not just his own bed that Trump is keen to hold onto; the president-elect had also enquired about continuing to hold rallies, which became a staple of his campaign. In the lead up to the election, Hilary Clinton had headlined 17 public events in competitive states in September, while Trump did 35. Trump apparently enjoyed the “instant gratification” he got from his adoring, cheering fans.