After years of vocally opposing each other, President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama struck a cordial tone during their first meeting together, initiating a peaceful transition of power.
On Nov. 10, Obama met with Trump in the Oval Office of the White House. The two spoke for over 90 minutes and then offered conciliatory language to each before the press, CNN reports.
Obama said that the top priority of his remaining time in office would be “to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful.”
Addressing Trump directly, Obama added: “If you succeed, the country succeeds.”
Trump praised his predecessor, signaling that he will seek his counsel in the future and calling him a "very good man."
“Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times,” Trump said.
The magnanimous meeting was a dramatic reversal from just days earlier, when both Trump and Obama had described each other with strong vitriol.
On Nov. 7, Obama described Trump as dangerous for global stability, deeming his temperament to be erratic. He referenced campaign reports that Trump’s aides had barred him from making spontaneous Twitter messages.
“If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes,” Obama said.
Obama has also said that Trump is unqualified for the presidency, calling the business mogul disqualified from holding power based on his comments about kissing and groping women without consent and lack of executive experience, according to Politico.
Obama said that Trump “appears to only care about himself … doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t know basic facts that you’d need to know.”
After Trump’s shocking upset victory on Election Day, Obama has now dramatically shifted his stance, pledging to fully accommodate the man who had questioned his legitimacy as president and even a citizen.
In 2011, Trump became a vocal proponent of the birther movement, the conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the United States.
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate,” Trump told Fox News. “He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim.”
Obama produced his long-form birth certificate in April 2011, but Trump’s accusations that the president might not be legitimate persisted on social media until 2015. Trump officially acknowledged Obama’s legitimacy in September.
Now the two political enemies have appeared to put aside their differences to help ensure a smooth transition of power. Obama acknowledged this on Nov. 9 when he officially congratulated Trump on his victory.
“Now, it is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” Obama said, according to The Washington Post. “But remember, eight years ago President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences.”
Obama added that former President George W. Bush had afforded him a highly gracious transition to power, concluding: “I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the president-elect.”