President-elect Donald Trump is meeting President Barack Obama today following his shock election victory. A transition meeting between incoming and outgoing presidents is commonplace but with the two men so far apart on policy issues, there is speculation about what they will discuss.
Newly elected presidents always meet with their predecessors to discuss essential issues but rarely have two presidents been such different people with totally different ideas. While it’s likely the meeting will be civil, Donald Trump has questioned the accuracy of his security briefings during the campaign and it remains to be seen if he will accept information Obama gives him.
Trump and Obama will make statements following their meeting but there is unlikely to be much information on their discussion. With Trump taking over in January, a number of key issues will land on his desk. Trump has strongly criticized Obama for his approach to ISIS. The threat of terrorism will definitely feature in any discussion.
Trump has also said he would bring back water boarding and ‘much worse’ methods of torture, while he also said he would target suspected terrorists’ families and even hinted at using nuclear weapons. He also criticized American commitments to NATO and said he would seek better relations with Russia, a country Obama has imposed sanctions on and one that seriously worries America’s allies.
President Obama may feel it is his duty to advise Trump on national security issues, but Trump has pledged to reverse almost every one of Obama’s positions on foreign policy. Trump has attacked the Iran nuclear deal -a centerpiece of Obama’s diplomatic agenda.
Trump and Obama agree on nothing in terms of domestic or foreign policy and Trump has shown an unwillingness to take direction or advise, claiming he knows more than the generals and even questioning the intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian hacking. Today’s meeting is unlikely to be comfortable for either men.