Trump was also irritated by Obama's comments at Pearl Harbor on Tuesday afternoon in which he said, "even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different." These felt to Trump like direct criticism of the president-elect, according to two people close to Trump.Obama administration aides deny that the president was talking about Trump. And the White House is pointedly not responding to Trump's tweets.
Yesterday morning, Donald Trump announced that he's not pleased with the state of the transition process, blaming President Obama for causing turbulence. By last night, the president-elect had walked that back, but with three weeks remaining until Inauguration Day, it's clear Trump isn't altogether pleased with his soon-to-be predecessor.Part of this is the result of executive actions Obama's taken to protect elements of his policy legacy; part of this is the fact that the president believes he could defeat Trump in a hypothetical presidential election; and part of it is the president-elect's needlessly thin skin. Politico published this amazing tidbit:
Let's not brush past this too quickly. Speaking at Pearl Harbor, at the site of an attack that helped launch the United States into World War II, the American president denounced hatred, primal tribalism, and the demonization of diversity. There wasn't so much as a hint that Obama, standing alongside the Japanese prime minister, was referring to his successor.But Trump, remarkably, heard the president's rhetoric and effectively came to a striking conclusion: "Maybe he's talking about me!"It reminds me of the incident in early 2009 when the Department of Homeland Security released reports about ideological extremists, alerting law enforcement officials to potentially violent groups and organizations. Republicans and conservative activists were apoplectic -- even though the report was commissioned by the Bush administration -- because much of the right feared that concerns about violent radicals might apply to them directly.Nearly eight years later, Trump saw himself in Obama's rhetoric about divisive and dangerous hatred. I'm not sure what that says about the president-elect, but it's probably not good.