Trump appeared to reverse himself later Wednesday when, responding to a reporter’s question in Florida, he said the transition was going “very, very smoothly.” The President-elect also said he spoke with Obama Wednesday in what he termed a “nice conversation,” and later in the day, he said he was getting along well with Obama, “aside from a few statements.”
Trump’s morning tirade comes after Obama said in an interview published this week that he could have beaten Trump in the 2016 election if he were eligible to run a third time.
“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Obama told his former senior adviser David Axelrod in an interview for the “The Axe Files” podcast, produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
Trump disputed Obama’s claim that he could have won, citing voters’ displeasure with the Affordable Care Act, terrorism and the economy.
“President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.,” Trump tweeted Monday.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Trump said it will never be known who would win in a hypothetical matchup between him and Obama.
“We’re never going to be going against each other in that way,” he said.
For the most part, Trump and Obama have steered away of directly criticizing one another since the election. The two met in the White House two days after Trump was elected and have talked by phone several times since then.
Wednesday’s call “focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, adding that the two men have “committed to staying in touch over the next several weeks.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.