President Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, were not the best of buds during the 2016 campaign. But the two buried the hatchet before Trump took office — and Obama even offered some helpful advice to the incoming commander in chief.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Trump revealed that Obama told him what he thought was the most pressing problem facing the United States.
“I think North Korea’s been very tough because you know we were very close. When I took that over — President Obama right in those two chairs, we sat and talked and he said that’s by far the biggest problem that this country has,” Trump told Fox host Chris Wallace as he pointed to some Oval Office chairs. “And I think we had a real decision as to which way to go on North Korea and certainly at least so far, I’m very happy with the way we went.”
But Trump also took aim at Obama, who has been an outspoken critic of the president. Trump said during the midterm elections, the candidates he backed won as the candidates Obama backed lost.
“I won against President Obama and Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama in a great state called Georgia for the governor,” Trump said, referring to the people who descended on the state to back Democrat Stacey Abrams. “And it was all stacked against Brian [Kemp], and I was the one that went for Brian, and Brian won.”
“Look at Florida,” Trump said. “I went down to Florida. [GOP Senate candidate] Rick Scott won, and he won by a lot. I don’t know what happened to all those votes that disappeared at the very end. And if I didn’t put a spotlight on that election before it got down to the 12,500 votes, he would have lost that election, OK? In my opinion he would have lost. They would have taken that election away from him. Rick Scott won Florida.”
Trump also commented on other topics, including the fate of Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen, who is reportedly on her way out of the administration.
“Well, I like her a lot. I respect her a lot,” Trump said. “She’s very smart. I want her to get much tougher and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough. … I like her very much, I respect her very much, I’d like her to be much tougher on the border — much tougher, period.”
On whether White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will stay on, Trump said: “There are certain things I love what he does, and there are certain things that I don’t like that he does — that aren’t his strength. It’s not that he doesn’t do — you know he works so hard. He’s doing an excellent job in many ways. There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault, it’s not his strength. … But John, at some point, is going to want to move on. John will move on,” Trump said.