In a cordial beginning the transfer of power, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met at the White House Thursday. Obama called the 90-minute meeting “excellent,” and his successor said he looked forward to receiving the outgoing president’s “counsel.”
Afterward, Obama said to Trump, “We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed the country succeeds.”
The two men, who have been harshly critical of each other for years, were meeting for the first time, Trump said. The Republican said he looked forward “to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.”
Trump traveled to Washington from New York on his private jet, breaking with protocol by not bringing journalists in his motorcade or on his plane to document his historic visit to the White House. Trump was harshly critical of the media during his campaign and for a time banned news organizations whose coverage he disliked from his events.
Also on Trump’s schedule were meetings with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to discuss the GOP legislative agenda. Ryan, who holds the most powerful post in Congress, was a sometime critic of Trump, was slow to endorse him and did not campaign with the nominee. Pence intended to join both meetings.
It’s unclear whether Trump will embrace many of the traditions of the presidency. He’ll enter the White House owning his own private jet as well as a hotel just blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue.