When Donald met Barack: The most awkward photos

There is little love lost between the two

Charlotte England
Friday 11 November 2016 10:33 GMT
(Associated Press)

Tradition dictates the President and President-elect of the United States must meet in the White House to discuss the transition of power.

In the past, Mr Trump has falsely claimed Mr Obama was born outside of the US, so does not qualify to be president, and Mr Obama has said Mr Trump is unsuitable to lead the country.

Despite having been openly hostile towards one another in the past, Barack Obama and Donald Trump spoke for 90 minutes in private in the Oval Office.

President-elect Trump says he looks forward to working with Obama at White House meeting

They emerged speaking — albeit probably through gritted teeth — about unity and peaceful transition. Mr Trump even said Mr Obama was "a very good man".

They did not mention whether they had discussed Obamacare, which Mr Trump has promised to repeal.

Nor did they mention whether or not Mr Obama had recanted on saying Mr Trump was “uniquely unqualified” for office and should not be trusted with nuclear codes.

Or if Mr Trump had apologised for spending much of the last decade seeking to undermine the legitamacy of Mr Obama with the so-called "birther movement", in which he tried to claim the president was born in Kenya, rather than the Hawaii, and was therefore not legally eligible to be Head of State.

During a brief photo opportunity afterwards, Mr Obama told his successor: “I want to emphasise to you, Mr President-elect, that we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds."

A grinning Mr Trump responded by patting Mr Obama on the back as they got up to leave, and boasting to reporters about how long he had just spent in the Oval Office. The president jokingly advised him not to take any questions.

But although the two men claimed to have found common ground, the cameras told another story, with photographs from the meeting showing both the president and president-elect looking deeply uncomfortable in the presence of the other.

1. Forced to shake Mr Trump's small hand, Mr Obama instinctively avoided turning towards the Republican.

(Associated Press (Associated Press)

2. Eventually, he did swivel round, looking a bit sick — did Mr Trump happen to blink, or avert his gaze to avoid making eye contact?

(Associated Press)

3. As he spoke to journalists, Mr Obama appeared to stare forlornly into the middle distance. Meanwhile, Mr Trump pouted angrily beside him.

(Associated Press) (AP)

4. At one point, both men glanced to the side, as if appealing silently to other people in the room for help.

5. Mr Obama seemed to run out of energy, trailing off, as Mr Trump continued to pout and glare at the cameras.

(Associated Press (Associated Press)

6. At one point Mr Obama looked like he was simply going to stand up and walk away, while Mr Trump looked like he was considering an escape into sleep.

(Associated Press (Associated Press)

7. Mr Trump looked deeply uncomfortable throughout the photo session, while Mr Obama bravely feigned smiles which petered out before reaching his eyes.

Donald Trump and Barack Obama after their first meeting (Associated Press)

8. When Mr Trump did force a smile, the result was extremely unsettling.

(Associated Press)

9. So unsettling, in fact, that it appeared to make Mr Obama feel a bit sick.

(Associated Press (Associated Press)

So, it went pretty well then...

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