After having repeatedly praised President Obama’s efforts to ensure a smooth transition, President-elect Donald Trump reversed course on Wednesday, accusing the current occupant of the Oval Office of putting “roadblocks” in his way.
“Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!” the Republican president-elect wrote.
The White House declined to comment on Trump's tweet and others that followed.
Trump’s assessment comes amid days of verbal sparring between the outgoing and incoming president. During a ceremony Tuesday marking the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, Obama cautioned against “the urge to turn inward” and stressed a need to “resist the urge to demonize those who are different” — remarks some thought were aimed partly at Trump.
Trump also made it clear Wednesday that he is perturbed by a number of steps the Obama administration is taking in its final weeks related to Israel, including a speech that was planned Wednesday by Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Middle East policy.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” Trump wrote in another series of tweets. “They used to have a good friend in the U.S., but … not anymore.”
Trump said the “beginning of the end” was the “horrible” Iran nuclear deal reached last year that was supported by a coalition of world powers but vigorously opposed by Israel.
Trump was also highly critical this week of the Obama administration’s refusal to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to his inauguration date.
During a conference call with reporters later Wednesday morning, transition spokesman Sean Spicer at first declined to elaborate on Trump's tweets, saying they “speak for themselves.” He later said that Obama and his administration officials have been generous with their time during the transition process and helpful with “mechanical” issues.
On Wednesday afternoon, during a brief appearance before reporters at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump was asked about whether he thinks the transition is going smoothly.
“Oh, I think very, very smoothly,” he replied. “Very good. You don't think so?”
Trump also sounded more conciliatory later in the afternoon, when he told reporters that Obama had called him earlier in the day.
“He called me, we had a very nice conversation,” Trump said, without offering much elaboration.
Trump’s view of his Democratic predecessor soured earlier this week when Obama said on a podcast hosted by his former adviser, David Axelrod, that he thought he could have prevailed in an election over Trump.
Those comments prompted two tweets in as many days from Trump contesting Obama’s assessment. On Tuesday, Trump chided Obama for the failure of his campaign efforts on behalf of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to bear fruit.
“President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states and lost,” Trump said in a tweet. “The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Juliet Eilperin contributed to this report.