President Barack Obama was irked and exasperated in response to his successor’s uncorroborated wiretapping accusation, sources near to the former president tell CNN, however these sources say Obama’s response stopped short of outright fury.
Obama and his aides reacted with mistrust when they learned of President Donald Trump’s Saturday morning tweets laying out the charges. Later in the day, an Obama spokesman said “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
The sources gave CNN with slightly different insight into Obama’s demeanor than other people who told The Wall Street Journal that Obama was “livid.”
Obama’s loyal army of supporters have been much more dynamic in voicing their dissatisfaction with Trump. On social media and television, former aides have been aggressively pushing back on Trump in the first weeks of his presidency.
Presidents Trump and Obama have not talked since Inauguration Day, when Obama invited Trump for coffee in the White House and accompanied him to the US Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.
The two men had created what Trump termed a “warm” relationship in the run-up to Trump’s inauguration, fostered by an in-person meeting in the Oval Office and several phone discussions.
Yet, individuals near both men recognize that the bitterness of the presidential campaign, paired with Trump’s longstanding antagonism toward Obama regarding his birth certificate, would make a close relationship improbable.
On the end of the week that Trump levied his explosive charges, Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, were spotted at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on a private tour of artist Theaster Gates’ new exhibition. The President was all smiles when he departed the museum, dressed casually and carrying a bag from the gallery’s gift shop.
Asked Monday whether Trump’s claims would harm the relationship between the 44th and 45th presidents, White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplayed any tensions.
“I think that they’ll be just fine,” Spicer said.