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Trump reportedly surprised by scope of presidential duties

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Nov. 10. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

As with any incoming president, Donald Trump is drinking from a proverbial fire hydrant as he's learning of all the duties that will accompany his role in the White House, but the billionaire businessman reportedly needs a little more help than most.

According to NBC News, during his meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, Trump asked how many White House staffers he could replace in January. When Obama told the president-elect he will have to replace nearly every position, Trump was surprised, the source told NBC.

The Wall Street Journal offered a similar account Sunday:

During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term.

Trump made history last week for — among other things — becoming the first president-elect to have never held a position in the government or the military. As a result, Obama plans to give the incoming commander in chief a little extra attention.

"After meeting with Mr. Trump ... Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance," the WSJ reported. "He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said."

The Trump campaign has, of course, declined to expound on the role Obama might play in the transition:

Jason Miller, communications director for the Trump transition, declined to comment on those characterizations of the White House visit. He said in a statement that, “The difference between President-elect Trump and a politician is that Trump puts a premium on making the right decision, not the politically expedient one. President-elect Trump’s excellent judgment and temperament has served him well in business and in life, and he’s not going to be swayed by a bunch of political insiders responsible for filling up the swamp in the first place.”

But regardless of the president's role, it is somewhat astounding, given Trump spearheaded the so-called birther movement, which alleged Obama was not a natural born U.S. citizen and, therefore, an illegitimate president. And during the campaign, Trump often referred to Obama was the "founder" of the Islamic State.

Late last week, Trump announced that Vice President-elect Mike Pence would take over as the leader of his transition team, which was previously headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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