The Big Question Donald Trump Allegedly Asked Barack Obama

The passing of the presidential baton is always quite the to-do. As one world leader exits the White House and welcomes another, the exchanges are largely civil. Wisdom is exchanged and questions are asked. Ideally, for the sake of the nation, political party differences are set aside and the transfer is a positive experience. On his way into office, Donald Trump asked Barack Obama a big question and a new book shares the topic of conversation with the public. 

The book, "Peril" by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, covers the circumstances surrounding the 2020 election; including the political pressures of the pandemic, the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, and President Joe Biden's inauguration, per Fox News. The coverage of Biden's rise to presidency sheds light on Trump's own move into the White House in 2017 and his experiences on that day. As Trump and Obama traveled from the White House to the Capitol, the two had a chat that has been immortalized in the book. According to its authors, Trump asked the POTUS what he believed his biggest mistake as president had been. 

After Trump allegedly asked his burning question, Obama reportedly paused before saying "I can't think of anything." Trump went on to change the subject and asked a lighter question, "Is this the car you use all the time?"

Donald Trump's relationship with Barack Obama

While most presidents remain on good terms across party lines — think George W. Bush and the Obamas' adorable friendship — Donald Trump approached the relationships a bit differently. Rather than reaching out for help during the pandemic as many presidents have done during times of turmoil, Trump opted to criticize those who came before him. Trump didn't reach out to either Barack Obama or Bill Clinton following his inauguration, per Vanity Fair

"I didn't like the job that he and Biden did," Trump said at a Fox News Town Hall in March (via Vanity Fair). "I didn't like the position they put us in." In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Trump tweeted a series of attacks on Obama and Joe Biden's course of action during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu crisis calling their response a "full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now." 

When viewed alongside other presidential responses to crises, such as John F. Kennedy's correspondence with his three living predecessors during the Cuban Missile Crisis and talks with Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower during the Bay of Pigs disaster, Trump's willing isolation is an enigma (via NPR). Trump may have looked to Obama for advice at his inauguration, but he certainly did not continue to do so. Only time will tell if Trump's decision not to lean on his own predecessors will turn out to be his "biggest mistake."