The Cable

What Might Happen When Obama Meets Trump at the White House

Like an awkward run-in with your ex, but this time with global consequences.


President Barack Obama is meeting President-elect Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday. It’s sure to be a jovial, friendly, and laid-back get together between old friends, perhaps seasoned with Trump steaks, taco bowls, and Cuban cigars (at least on this one issue, they agree) over an early lunch. Sadly, President Obama didn’t invite Foreign Policy to sit in on this meeting. But here’s a few things that could come up:

Trump will get right down to business by ranking U.S. ambassadors by hotness. Good news for Bruce Oreck.

Trump will pitch an Obama-like beer summit, only this time with Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which he may think will be easier now that the proposed Muslim ban has been removed from Trump’s website.

Trump will propose tossing around the nuclear football. No, Obama will say.

Trump will ask Obama where he’s hiding the Iran deal is so he can go tear it up. Trump did call one of Obama’s hallmarks the “worst deal ever negotiated,” after all.

Obama will teach Trump how to pronounce “China.” They should probably do this.

Trump will scout out bearskin rugs in the White House — for a “Slovenian friend.”

Trump will talk up plans for his new golf course in Jerusalem, which he has promised to recognize as Israel’s capital. Trump loves golf and doing business on the course, so why not tackle the two-state solution on the back nine? It’s all about negotiation, and Trump did say to American Jewish business leaders, “I’m a negotiator like you folks, we are negotiators.”

Trump will invite Ireland’s prime minister to come drink at the White House on Saint Patrick’s Day. Oh wait – that already happened. The Taoiseach made sure to ask Trump “specifically” about St. Patrick’s Day (which he has, in years past, spent with Obama) and the President-elect assured him that “he is looking forward to continuing that tradition over many years.” Another beer summit.

Trump will release his tax returns. Wait, who are we kidding — that will never happen.

Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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