Former President Barack Obama attempted to flatter his way through his first meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump in November 2016, according to a new book by The Atlantic staff writer Edward Issac-Dovere.
Issac-Dovere reported in an excerpt from the new book “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump” that Obama tried “buttering up” Trump in order to convince him not to ruin certain crucial aspects of his legacy.
One of those was the Iran Nuclear Deal, which Trump pledged to pull the United States (US) out of during his 2016 campaign. In an attempt to cater to Trump’s ego, he also suggested renaming it the “Trump Anti-Nuclear Deal.”
“Obama thought the plan was working while they were sitting there,” Issac-Dovere writes. “When the Cuba reopening came up and Trump talked about the market opportunity for new hotels, Obama encouraged it. He’d laid it on thick about the Iran deal, walked him through provisions … Rebrand it the Trump Anti-Nuclear Deal, Obama suggested. Make a few patches to Obamacare and call it Trumpcare.”
However, Trump ended up pulling the US out of the deal anyway. Since Biden took office, Washington and Tehran have agreed on a path back to rejoining the deal, but that only involves a pair of working groups and remains far from where Obama left it upon leaving office.
“At one point, Trump inquired about how he planned to spend his time after leaving office,” Issac-Dovere wrote. “Perhaps they’d see each other more? Trump told him he was welcome at Mar-a-Lago at any time.”
The relationship between these two men immediately went south when Trump took office, and there is certainly no love lost between them now.