Trump’s ‘Unexpected’ Victory Shook Obama, New Book Reveals - Full Gist News

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Trump’s ‘Unexpected’ Victory Shook Obama, New Book Reveals




Former US president Barack Obama was shaken by his successor Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 election, according to accounts in a new memoir by one of his aides.

The New York Times on Thursday said the new book by Obama’s long-time national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes is set to be published next week by Random House.

Featured in the book is an account of the events before the first black American president handed over power to Trump – who he described as a cartoon.

“Maybe we pushed too far. Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe,” the NYT quotes Obama over his reaction to Hillary Clinton’s loss at the vote.

Trump’s ‘Unexpected’ Victory Shook Obama, New Book Reveals

He is reported to have told his aides: “Maybe this [Trump] is what people want. I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon.”

The New York Times further posits that the former US president, known for his easy attitude, was of the view that the Democratic Party could have been wrong in their estimation of Trump’s clout in the US vote.

Rhodes’ memoir titled ‘The World as It Is‘ offers a peek into Obama’s tightly sealed inner circle from the point of view of those who worked him in the eight-year presidency.

Obama, in the book, says he sometimes wonders whether he sought election as president 10 or 20 years too early.

NYT, quoting the book, further says that Obama, in the weeks after Trump’s election, went through multiple emotional stages, “at times he flashed anger”.

“Obama and his team were confident that Hillary Clinton would win and, like much of the country, were shocked when she did not,” NYT quotes the book.

It says Obama couldn’t shake the feeling that he should have seen the loss coming and is quoted as saying: “Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used.”

To Trump’s team, the former US First Lady “was part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to bring change.”

Rhodes further writes that the US president was shaken “more than the decision by voters to replace him with a candidate who had questioned his very birth”.

“His book offers a new window, if only slightly cracked open, into the 44th president’s handling of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election to help Trump get elected and the aftermath,” NYT said.

The book further draws out the fears Obama had over what Trump would do with the international treaties and agreements his administration secured during his term in office.

Rhodes paints a picture of how German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Obama that she felt more obliged to run for another term because of Trump’s election “to defend the liberal international order.”

Obamas take on claims of Russian meddling in the US election is also featured vividly in the memoir where he says: “I talk about it every time I’m asked…What else are we going to do? We’ve warned folks.”

Rhodes book also reveals that neither he nor Obama knew at that time that there was an FBI investigation into contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

“This is despite Trump’s recent unsubstantiated claims that the departing president placed a ‘spy’ or multiple spies in his campaign,” NYT states.

“Rhodes writes he did not learn about the FBI investigation until after leaving office and then from the news media.”

The book also states why Obama did not impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the meddling before the election.

“Because he believed it might prompt Moscow into hacking into Election Day vote tabulations.”

Obama imposed sanctions on Russia but Rhode’s book steers clear of the thought that the measures targeted President Vladimir Putin as well.



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