Terming outgoing US President Barack Obama as “terrific” who has a “great sense of humour”, President-elect Donald Trump has said they did not talk about the bitterness of the recently-concluded election campaign during their meeting but discussed some tough subjects.
“I found him to be terrific. I found him to be very smart and very nice. Great sense of humour, as much as you can have a sense of humour talking about tough subjects, but we were talking about some pretty tough subjects. We were talking about some victories, also. Some things that he feels very good about,” Trump told CBS’s ’60 Minute’ programme.
Trump, 70, for the first time met Obama in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, a day after he won the general election. The meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes, but went on for 90 minutes.
“This was just going to be a quick little chat and it lasted close to an hour and a half. It could have gone on for four hours. I mean, it was in fact, it was almost hard breaking it up because we had so many things to say. He told me the good things and the bad things,” he said, adding that among the bad things is the situation in the Middle East.
“I wanted to get his full view. I got a good part of his view. And I like having that because I’m going to be inheriting that in a short period of time,” he said.
Obama, he said, did not ask him not to repeal his signature health care programme.
“He didn’t ask me. He told me the merits and the difficulties. And we understand that,” he said.
Trump called himself a sober person and said this is how he looked inside the Oval Office.
“I think I’m a sober person. I think the press tries to make you into something a little bit different. In my case, a little bit of a wild man. I’m not. I’m actually not. I’m a very sober person.
“But it was respect for the office. It was respect for the president. I never met him before, but we had a very good chemistry going. It might not be that I agree with him, but I really found the conversation unbelievably interesting,” Trump said when asked about his meeting with Obama.
The President-elect added that he never had an awkward moment during the meeting.
“We never discussed what was said about each other. I said terrible things about him. He said terrible things about me. We never ever discussed what we said about each other,” he said.
Trump said he does not believe that his victory is a repudiation of Obama’s presidency but of “what has been taking place over a longer period of time”.
“No, I think it’s a moment in time where politicians for a long period of time have let people down. They’ve let them down on the job front. They’ve even let them down in terms of the war front. We have been fighting this war for 15 years.
“We’ve spent USD 6 trillion in the Middle East. We could have rebuilt our country twice. You look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels and all of our airports are, like, obsolete,” Trump said in response to a question.