Barack Obama has been fairly quiet about the comings and goings of his successor.
The former president’s relative silence is not unusual, and past presidents tend not to publicly critique decisions from the White House after they have left office.
Which is why it was so significant that Obama commented on Donald Trump’s infamous ‘Muslim ban'.
Trump had only been president 11 days when Obama released a statement.
With regards to comparisons to the President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.
OBAMA stmt: “The President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of… https://t.co/gEi4p5Hfms
New information about the way Barack Obama reacted to Donald Trump’s win came to light via former senior writer Pat Cunnane.
Cunnane's job was to write "statements and jokes [in the president's voice]" and plan what he would say during televised appearances on shows - in a new article for The New Yorker, he outlines the tumultuous events of election night, 8 November 2016.
Enjoying a traditional election night dinner of “chicken fingers and waffle fries”, the president and his team bundled together in Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s office to watch the election results unfold.
Writing in The New Yorker, Cunnane describes an atmosphere that turned from easy joviality to growing helplessness as the Republican won an ever increasing number of states.
Cunnane had been so sure of Hillary Clinton’s success, for two years he referred to her as the “President-in-Waiting”.
It wasn’t until Trump was reeling in the swing states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio – that grim reality descended upon the White House.
Hoping for reassurances, I found only disbelief and grim predictions. I tried to imagine what the President might say if the night wore on like this, but I couldn’t hear his voice.
The morning after the results were called, Obama’s team reassembled in Earnest's office as chief speech writer Cody Keenan penned a post-election speech.
There were many tears but Cunnane was quick to point out Obama’s seemingly endless optimism.
The President reminded us that most of the folks in the room were young and that this was just our “first rodeo”; that we had known only winning, but hope is called for most in our losses. Then he said that he didn’t want to do the televised speech in the Cabinet Room.
He looked to the windows; the rain had stopped. “Look, it’s sunny out,” he said, and suggested that he give the speech in the Rose Garden.