Skip to content

For Obama, One Trump Term Wasn’t a Big Worry but ‘Eight Years Would Be a Problem’

  • Transcript of private discussion with reporters released
  • Outgoing president said he didn’t expect Trump to start a war
Barack Obama
Barack ObamaPhotographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Barack Obama told reporters in his last days as president that he wasn’t worried about a single Donald Trump term, but was concerned about a “sustained period” of political norms being undermined if he served two terms, according to newly released documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

Obama met with reporters three days before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 17, 2017, for an off-the-record conversation. A White House transcript of the meeting -- which was never reported under the ground rules agreed upon by the journalists -- was included in a cache of documents released by the Justice Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.