WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump revealed Wednesday that he consults with President Barack Obama on some of his potential appointments — and values the president’s views.
“I have asked him what he would think of this one and that one,” Trump told NBC’s Matt Lauer on “The Today Show.”
“I take his recommendations very seriously,” Trump added. “And there are some people that I will be appointing and, in one case, have appointed where he thought very highly of that person.”
The President-elect also said he has talked to Obama about his perspective on the greatest challenges facing America.
“I’ve asked him what he thinks are the biggest problems, greatest assets,” Trump said during the interview with Lauer, which was focused on Trump being named Time’s “Person of the Year.” “We have very good dialogue.”
During the final days of the campaign, the back-and-forth attacks and jabs between Trump and Obama were among the harshest seen between a sitting president and the nominee of his rival party.
But the billionaire businessman, who visited the White House and met with Obama after the election, said Wednesday that he actually “really likes” the President.
“I must tell you, you know, I never met him before this. I never spoke to him before this. I really — I do like him,” Trump said. “I love getting his ideas. And I may differ in many cases. I differ very greatly.”
The White House has said previously that the two also have spoken several times by phone since the election.
Trump spent years challenging Obama’s birthplace and whether he was eligible to serve as President and also vowed during the campaign to “repeal and replace” the President’s signature accomplishment, Obamacare.
While Trump has been regularly filling high-profile positions in his upcoming Cabinet, the pick for Secretary of State has attracted the most attention in part because Trump is considering nominating Mitt Romney, one of his harshest critics during the campaign.
“I’ve spoken to him a lot,” Trump said of Romney. “We’ve come a long way together. We had some tremendous difficulty together and now I think we’ve come a long way.”
Trump, who said he may announce his Secretary of State nominee next week, dismissed speculation that he is just stringing Romney along to embarrass the former 2012 Republican presidential candidate.
“No, it’s not about revenge. It’s about what’s good for the country. I’m able to put this stuff behind us,” Trump said. “I hit him very hard also, which is very nice that the press doesn’t cover that. I’m very happy about that actually.”