President Barack Obama consoled White House staff distraught about President-elect Donald Trump’s victory by telling them that his election “is not the apocalypse,” according to a profile of the president by the New Yorker.
In an interview with David Remnick regarding the election, Obama said, “I don’t believe in apocalyptic — until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world.”
Remnick asked Obama about the “optimism” he has displayed following Trump’s election.
“I genuinely do not assume the worst,” he said, “because I’ve seen the best so often. So it is a mistake that I think people have sometimes made to think that I’m just constantly biting my tongue and there’s this sort of roiling anger underneath the calm Hawaiian exterior. I’m not that good of an actor.”
Obama said that the president-elect “has shown himself to be able to make a connection with his supporters that gives him much more flexibility than the normal candidate to take a variety of approaches.”
“They seem to trust him, separate and apart from any particular thing that he says or does. And, as a consequence, I think we have to wait and see how, in the face of the realities of governance, he reacts to it,” he said.
The president also promised Remnick more details about his first meeting with Trump “at some point over a beer — off the record.”