March 8, 2017
In a report demonstrating the collapse in diplomatic relations between the current and previous president, the WSJ wrote overnight that rapport between Barack Obama and Donald Trump has “unraveled” with Trump “convinced that Mr. Obama is undermining his nascent administration” while Obama is “furious” over Trump tweets accusing him of illegal wiretapping. The WSJ notes that after shaking hands on Jan. 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, the two presidents haven’t spoken since, “although Trump tried to call Obama to thank him for the traditional letter that one president leaves for his successor in the Oval Office.” The reason: Obama was traveling at the time and the two never connected.
As an amusing aside, the WSJ adds that the rift is distancing Mr. Trump from a former two-term president “who had offered to give private advice and counsel as the onetime businessman settles into his first job in public office.” Of course, if Trump is correct and Obama did in fact order a wiretap of the Trump Tower, Obama was actively seeking to impair the Trump campaign and chances for presidency, so that statement may seem a little suspect in retrospect.
Accuracy of the report notwithstanding, it is obvious that the bad blood between the two people has grown to unprecedented levels: Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the open friction has upended tradition, an “almost unwritten rule that you treat your predecessor with a degree of grace and decorum.”
“There are these kinds of things that have happened in the past, but nothing to the degree where a sitting president would charge his predecessor with a felony,” Mr. Brinkley said. “It creates a feeling of instability in the United States.”
Whether real or imagine, Trump and other White House officials believe that Obama loyalists sprinkled throughout the federal bureaucracy…