Obama Suggests Meeting With Trump Wasn’t All It Was Cracked Up To Be

American President Barack Obama and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the red carpet in front of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on November 18, 2016 . (Photo by Simone Kuhlmey / Pacific Press) *** Pleas... American President Barack Obama and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the red carpet in front of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on November 18, 2016 . (Photo by Simone Kuhlmey / Pacific Press) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field *** MORE LESS
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President Barack Obama acknowledged in a New Yorker profile published online Thursday that his first meeting with Donald Trump may not have actually lived up to its sunny official description.

“I think I can’t characterize it without…” Obama began before stopping. “At some point over a beer—off the record.”

It was a noticeably different tone than the one employed by the White House after the meeting: That it was “a little less awkward” than the media might have imagined, in the words of Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

For much of the wide-ranging profile, which draws from several interviews, Obama discussed the slanted media and political environment which led to last week’s victory of President-elect Trump. He highlighted the effect of fake and distorted news sites that profited handsomely from Trump’s candidacy, and to which the President-elect may owe part of his success.

“An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll,” Obama said. “And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.”

He contrasted Trump’s success in such a hyper partisan media environment with his own, just eight years ago.

“In southern Illinois, in those counties I won, I was at V.F.W.s and fish fries hearing people’s stories and talking to folks, so that they knew me. They weren’t getting me through Fox or Rush Limbaugh or Breitbart or RedState,” he said. “I’ve said it before, but if I watched Fox I wouldn’t vote for me!”

But Obama characterized Trump as symptomatic of a more fundamental weakness in the Republican Party, saying “we’ve seen this coming.”

“Donald Trump beating fifteen people said less about his skills and more about the lack of skills of the people he beat,” Obama said, noting that even mainstream Republicans like former House Speaker John Boehner failed to push back against “these currents.”

“Donald Trump is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party for the past ten, fifteen, twenty years,” he continued, noting that Trump was “able to distill the anger and resentment and the sense of aggrievement.”

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Notable Replies

  1. I am sure that it got real awkward after Obama refused to sign the NDA that Trump asked him to sign :slight_smile:

  2. Oh, something was cracked, all right.

  3. It must be deeply tragic for the Obamas to see everything they worked for for 8 years gleefully trashed by a know-nothing narcissist and a nihilist Republican party that talks about “smaller government” until they control it.

  4. Well, that should be good for about a half dozen spittle flecked Trump tweets.

  5. These guys make Obama look so damn smart.

    I can’t wait until he has that beer and unloads.

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