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President Obama assured by Trump's commitment: White House

November 11, 2016 10:52 IST

United States President Barack Obama came away with "renewed confidence" from his 90-minute meeting with his successor Donald Trump, the White House has said, adding that the emphasis of the discussions was on ensuring smooth transition to the next administration.

"I think that President Obama came away from the meeting with renewed confidence in the commitment of the President-elect to engage in an effective, smooth transition," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

"The president was pleased to hear a similar commitment expressed by the president-elect," he said.

In the 90-minute meeting, Obama briefed Trump on domestic and foreign policy issues, besides his upcoming foreign trips to Greece, Germany and the APEC Summit in Peru.

"The president described to the president-elect some of the issues that he expects to come up with some of our allies and partners and other world leaders that he'll meet with on the trip," Earnest said.

A large portion of the meeting was spent in discussions on properly staffing up and organising White House operations, he said.

"The president-elect indicated a lot of interest and understanding the strategy of staffing and organizing the White House, and obviously that's something that President Obama has thought about extensively during his eight years in office," he said.

Earnest said the two leaders during the meeting sought to lay the foundation for an effective transition from the Obama presidency to the Trump presidency.

"This administration, at the direction of President Obama, has been preparing for this moment and this meeting for the better part of a year. This obviously was an important early step, having the president sit down with the president-elect to discuss that transition," he said.

The heated rhetoric witnessed between Obama and Trump during the presidential campaign did not spill over into the meeting, the spokesman said.

"They did not recreate some sort of presidential debate in the Oval Office today. They were focused on doing the work of the American people, fulfilling their institutional responsibilities, and on President Obama's part, that means laying the groundwork so that the incoming president-elect can hit the ground running.

"Based on the kind of agreement that was evident about the priority that they both place on a smooth transition, it sounds like the meeting might've been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected," he said.

Obama had campaigned vigorously across the country, making a forceful case in favour of Hillary Clinton.

"He did that right up to the night before Election Day. But on Election Day, the ballots were counted, and the American people decided. The president was never in a position to choose a successor. The American people chose his successor," Earnest said.

Obama vowed to work with whomever the American people chose, he added.

The spokesman said the Obama's expectation is that the incoming president will set his own priorities and pursue them accordingly.

"Our goal is to provide them the kind of advice that would give the president elect and his team the opportunity to succeed in uniting and leading the country. That's what he has indicated that he has made his priority, and we certainly are prepared to do everything we can over the next 71 days to support him in that effort," he said.

IMAGE: US President Barack Obama meets President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, US, November 10, 2016. PHOTGRAPH: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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