4 Times Trump Criticized Obama For Things He Also Ended Up Doing As President
When Donald Trump talks about former President Barack Obama, it's rarely in a positive way. It started with Trump's repeated claims that Obama was not actually born in America (he was) and branched out to include jabs at how much he played golf or how much money he spent on trips. Here are just some of the times Trump criticized Obama for things he also ended up doing once he became president.
To say that Obama and Trump had an adversarial relationship wouldn't be entirely accurate, as it would imply a relationship between the former and current president existed at all. Unlike with Trump, Obama and his wife, Michelle, frequently attended events with his predecessor, President George W. Bush. (The friendship between Michelle and Bush is well chronicled.) In fact, all former presidents came together in October 2017 for a hurricane relief concert in Texas. Though Trump had taken office, he wasn't present at the event.
And in January 2018 — days before the first anniversary of Trump's inauguration — CNN reported that Trump and Obama hadn't spoken in a year. Before that, Obama had left the traditional letter to the incoming president in the Oval Office, and Trump tried to thank him for it, but as the television network reported, the two men were never directly able to communicate.
Let's Start With Golfing
If they have one thing in common, it's that both Obama and Trump enjoy golfing. And they each golfed during their presidency. Obama's golfing was a frequent favorite tweeting topic for Trump: SB Nation found that Trump tweeted disapprovingly of Obama golfing at least 27 times while Obama was in office.
Despite the frequent tweets, fact-checkers at Politifact found that Trump actually golfed more than Obama. In May 2018, Politifact reported that Trump had 56 "confirmed golf outings" in comparison to Obama's 37 during their first respective years as president.
The website Trump Golf Count has found Trump has made at least 149 "daytime visits to golf clubs since inauguration" while chronicling evidence of the president playing golf during at least 68 visits. The website tracks just about everything having to do with Trump and golfing. Are you curious about what day he plays golf on the most? It's Sunday, which only edged out Saturday. (Obama's preferred day was Saturday.)
Trump tweeted multiple times about Obama and his vacations, usually to Hawaii and Massachusetts. The right-leaning watchdog group Judicial Watch found that Obama's eight years of travel cost $105,662,975.27. In contrast, Judicial Watch found that in his first year in office, Trump's travel cost came in at $13,533,937.28. CNN reported it's likely that Trump is on pace to eclipse Obama's travel spending, but we'll have to wait until the end of four (or eight) years to know for sure.
A Lack Of Transparency
Trump criticized Obama in June 2012 for his lack of transparency, going so far as to call Obama "the least transparent President--ever." In addition to not pardoning Edward Snowden, Obama's administration also prosecuted numerous whistleblowers.
Trump actually went on to engage in similar behavior. For example, he supported the prosecution and jailing of whistleblower Reality Winner, the NSA contractor who leaked a report on Russian interference in the presidential election.
Then, in April 2017, the Trump administration said it would no longer release logs of who visits the White House complex, according to Time. In February, Politico reported that the administration settled a lawsuit about the decision, agreeing to release visitor logs from certain offices of the complex, such as Office of Management and Budget.
Use Of Executive Orders
Luckily, the National Archives tracks things like how many executive orders a president signed, so it's easy to compare the two presidents. In his first year in office (2009), Obama signed 39 executive orders. In his first year in office (2017), Trump signed 55 executive orders.
In 2010, Obama signed 35 executive orders, compared to Trump's 32 thus far in 2018, his second year in office. But there's still about three weeks to catch up.
Despite Trump's longtime dislike of Obama (remember the birther years?), he has done many of the things he criticized his predecessor for — and there's still time for Trump to do even more of the things he disliked Obama. Well, except for golfing. He's got that one covered.