Barack Obama is still terrified of turning over the nuclear codes to President-Elect Donald Trump.
He’s mentioned it a few times before, but apparently, it’s so unnerving to him, he just doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, Politico is reporting.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about Trump’s “tweeting” about North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons capacity.
Earnest noted that Obama had repeatedly raised his concerns about Trump’s capacity for nuclear security during the 2016 campaign. When pressed about whether Obama has confidence in Trump’s abilities now, Earnest instead spoke of the confidence the outgoing president has in the career, non-political members of the intelligence community, military and State Department who are “ultimately responsible for implementing policies.”
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If you read the next line, notice that Earnest puts his faith in the people who are working with Trump, not Trump himself:
“The president has confidence that those patriots, those American men and women, will continue to do their important work with enormous skill and expertise and patriotism to protect the country,” Earnest said.
But he didn’t mention Trump at all. He just spoke about the “rank and file” bureaucrats in Washington who Americans will be “relying on” and “counting on” in the years ahead.
Two days before the election, Obama joked that Trump couldn’t be trusted with the nuclear codes.
“Apparently, [Trump’s] campaign has taken away his Twitter. In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self-control, they said, “We’re just gonna take away your twitter,” Obama said in a Rally in Florida on the Sunday before the election. “Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes. If somebody starts tweeting at three in the morning because SNL made fun of you, then you can’t handle the nuclear codes.”
Well, Trump will have the nuclear codes. And it still makes Obama nervous.
Earnest has asked if there’s been any change over the last two months what Earnest characterized as Obama’s “rather profound concerns” about Trump, given what he’s heard in private discussions with the president-elect that have included covering the North Korean situation, he said no.
“My assessment would be that his opinions have not changed, but the time and place for presenting those opinions has come and gone, and we’re focused on a transition,” Earnest said.