Nate Jackson / November 11, 2016

Mr. Trump Goes to Washington

He met with Obama, Ryan and McConnell to kick off the transition.

Donald Trump met with Barack Obama for the very first time Thursday, as he began his transition to the White House. Needless to say, it made for some awkward handshakes. Trump, who’s called Obama the “worst president in the history of the United States” and won in large part as a repudiation of Obama’s policies, said Thursday he has “great respect” for Obama. “I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,” he said. And Obama, who repeatedly declared Trump a KKK-backed racist and “unfit” for office and whose press secretary confirmed after the meeting that Obama’s opinion hasn’t changed, said he’s “very encouraged” and gave a call for everyone, “regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together.” That coming together did not include the traditional photo-op with the outgoing and incoming first couples. Trump has his work cut out for him undoing Obama’s policies, and the lame duck knows it.

That work will begin by teaming up with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom Trump also met with Thursday. “I think we’re going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people,” Trump said, while sitting with Ryan. “We can’t get started fast enough.” Among those things, Trump said, “We’re going to lower taxes, as you know. Health care — we’re going to make it affordable.” And Ryan even borrowed Trump’s slogan, saying, “We are now talking about how we are going to hit the ground running to get this country turned around and make America great again.” McConnell added, “We will work hand-in-hand on a positive agenda to tackle this country’s biggest challenges.” For our part, we hope the coming together Obama spoke of is actually on the GOP side. If they present a united front, they’ll accomplish a lot.

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