"He knows absolutely nothing."
Those were the words then-President Barack Obama told a White House visitor after November 2016 meeting with Donald Trump in the Oval Office following Trump's surprise election victory, according to Politico.
Obama's assessment about the scope of Trump's knowledge of government affairs did not stop him from desiring a relationship with his successor, Kevin Lewis, Obama's first post-presidential press secretary, told Politico. In fact, Obama "held out hope" that he and Trump could develop a relationship similar to the one he grew with his predecessor, George W. Bush.
"He wanted to be a resource," Lewis said.
However, such a relationship never materialized. Indeed, Trump has only spoken to Obama one time since becoming president, according to Politico, calling Obama to thank him for a note he left Trump in the Oval Office.
Not only did Obama's post-presidency relational hopes not transpire, but neither did his retirement plans, according to Eric Holder, the attorney general for six of Obama's eight years in the White House.
Holder told Politico that Obama hoped to ride off into an apolitical sunset, plans that were usurped by Trump and Joe Biden's intention to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
"In a perfect world, he would have retreated to a greater degree from public life than he has, much in the same way that I think George W. Bush did in his post-presidency," Holder told Politico. "He would have liked to have been, though he's too young, an elder statesman."