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Trump accuses Obama of ‘inflammatory’ roadblocks

Vivian Salama
Associated Press

Palm Beach, Fla. — President-elect Donald Trump accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of throwing up “inflammatory” roadblocks during the transition of power and his administration of treating Israel with “total disdain,” further straining the veneer of civility between the incoming and outgoing leaders.

Although Trump didn’t detail his complaints in his morning broadsides on Twitter, the president-elect has made it clear that it didn’t sit well with him when Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he’d been running. Trump’s largely respectful tone about Obama since the election evaporated in his latest tweets.

“Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks,” Trump tweeted. “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!”

Later, however, journalists at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida asked him about the tweet and how he thought the transition was going.

He said: “I think very, very smoothly. It’s very good. You don’t think so?”

Trump’s also told reporters he had spoken by phone with Obama and said the two “had a very nice conversation.”

As president-elect, Trump has taken an unusually activist role with a series of interventions into business decisions, federal contracting and foreign policy despite Obama’s insistence that only one person can govern the U.S. at a time. The Republican has promised that his administration will be friendlier to Israel, a theme he emphasized on Twitter Wednesday.

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” he said in a two-part tweet. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but … not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”

Trump also touted plans by a Japanese mogul to bring 8,000 jobs to the United States.

Tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create 50,000 jobs after meeting with the president-elect in December. Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan’s largest technology outfits. He owns the U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, which Trump said Wednesday would be moving 5,000 jobs “back” to the United States. Son also controls OneWest, which Trump said would hire 3,000 workers.

It was unclear whether the jobs were part of Son’s earlier commitment. Trump attributed the addition of 8,000 jobs to “what’s happening and the spirit and the hope.”

Trump and his team have until now been largely complimentary of the way Obama and his people have handled the transition. The president-elect’s complaints about the treatment of Israel came a few hours before John Kerry made his final speech about Mideast peace as secretary of state — remarks that some Israeli officials panned. The administration’s decision not to veto the U.N. resolution aggravated an already strained U.S.-Israel relationship.

Trump’s newly appointed press secretary, Sean Spicer, played down tensions between Trump and Obama.

“As the inauguration gets closer, both the current president and the team have been very generous with their time as far as the actual transition, the actual mechanics of the transition have gone and I expect them to continue to speak fairly regularly,” Spicer said during the daily transition briefing, though he could not say how often the two have spoken.

Still, he said, Trump intends “to bring change to this country starting on Day One.”

A dispute erupted Monday between Obama and Trump, spurred by Obama’s hypothetical musings that had he run again, he would have been victorious. Obama suggested he still holds enough sway over the coalition of voters who elected him twice to get them to vote for him once again.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in very important swing states, and lost. The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Obama swept most key swing states in his two bids for the White House, but Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, fell short.

Also Wednesday, Trump said he plans to write his inaugural address himself and is drawing inspiration from Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, according to a person who has spoken with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the South Florida club where he is spending the holidays.

Trump has said that Reagan had “incredible style.”