President-elect Donald Trump met with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House, initiating the process of a peaceful transfer of power.
The two famously antagonistic political leaders shared a conciliatory tone.
“We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed, the country succeeds,” Obama told Trump in the Oval Office, the two men surrounded by reporters, The Huffington Post reports.
After their meeting, Trump praised President Obama, calling him a fine man and stating that he would seek his counsel in the future, CNN reports.
“I have great respect, the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could’ve, as far as I’m concerned, it could’ve gone on for a lot longer,” Trump said, according to the BBC. “We discussed a lot of different situations — some wonderful and some difficulties.”
President Obama described his conversation with his future successor as excellent and pledged to facilitate a transition of power that would position Trump to be a successful commander-in-chief.
“I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with President-elect Trump,” Obama said. “It was wide-ranging… my number one priority in the coming months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president elect is successful.”
Melania Trump was given a tour of the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama while Vice President-elect Mike Pence had a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama and Trump’s meeting was surprisingly cordial given their history of animosity. Trump had spearheaded the birther movement — a conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the U.S. — for several years while the outgoing president deemed the business mogul unfit for the White House throughout the 2016 presidential race.
On Nov. 9, President Obama noted his history of disagreement with Trump but vowed to afford his successor the same courtesy and comprehensive transfer of power that President George W. Bush had given him in 2008.
The Obama administration is set to hold its first war-gaming exercise with the incoming Trump team, a drill to prepare them for crisis, The New York Times reports.
The Department of Homeland Security has also provided the Trump team with user-friendly tablets compiled with briefing materials. Trump will now receive the same national security briefings as President Obama.