Trump slams Obama for 'inflammatory' statements

President-elect Donald Trump criticized President Obama early Wednesday for making "inflammatory" statements during the transition period.

"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Obama said Monday on a CNN podcast that if he had been able to run for reelection again this year, he would have won.

Trump has responded on Twitter numerous times in recent days, writing one that there's "NO WAY" Obama would have beaten him and later adding that the president "campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost."

Trump and Obama maintained an open line of communication after the election, and the two spoke "a handful" of times in November, the White House said at the time.

Trump said earlier this month that he has consulted with Obama on some of his Cabinet nominations.

Trump assures Israel, blasts Obama over 'roadblocks'

President-elect Donald Trump blasted President Obama on Wednesday over his administration’s treatment of Israel, accusing him of making “inflammatory” statements and putting up “roadblocks” that are hampering the transition.

The incoming president took to Twitter to assure Israel that his administration will bring a new approach, in advance of a speech on the Middle East peace process by Secretary of State John Kerry. The already-turbulent relationship between the Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu governments has lurched into its rockiest stretch yet in the final days of the Obama administration, after the U.S. abstained on an anti-settlement resolution before the U.N. Security Council, allowing it to pass.

Trump tweeted: “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”

And in a swipe at the outgoing president after a period of relative peace between the two, he wrote, “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!”

The Israeli government has turned to President-elect Trump’s team for support in recent days, openly saying they look forward to working with the next president amid fraying ties with the outgoing administration.

Netanyahu has described the U.S. abstention that allowed the U.N. resolution to pass as an “ambush,” and his government has gone on to accuse the U.S. of playing a hand in orchestrating the vote.

In the hours before Kerry’s speech, the Netanyahu government took another shot at the U.S., with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan calling Kerry’s speech a “pathetic step.”

He told Israel Army Radio that “Kerry's intention is to chain President-elect Trump."

The White House has pushed back on claims that the Obama administration helped craft and push the resolution – and on Wednesday morning, denied another report in Egyptian media claiming Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice discussed the U.N. resolution with a top Palestinian official nearly two weeks before Friday’s Security Council vote.

Ned Price, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, called the reports a “fabrication” and said the “meeting never occurred.”

The State Department’s own website reflects that Kerry was scheduled for a meeting with the Palestinian official at the State Department on Dec. 12, around the time of the reported discussions. The official website, however, offers no details on what was discussed.

Trump considering privatizing some veterans care, but no formal plan yet

© Provided by The Hill. Trump: Obama ‘lost’ Clinton key swing states
After bashing President Obama over Israel and transition issues — but then saying they had a nice phone conversation — Donald Trump and aides on Wednesday floated the idea of creating a new "public-private" system for veterans health care.

Amid a series of job interviews, Trump met with a group of health care professionals in a discussion that included talk of a system that would allow veterans to use the traditional VA system or opt for private medical facilities.

"Definitely an option on the table to have a system where potentially vets can choose either/or, or all private," said one senior transition official, speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing has been formalized.

Trump has not yet named his choice to head the VA, an agency that has been rocked by scandal since it was revealed in 2014 that veterans were dying while waiting for long-delayed medical appointments. The VA secretary was replaced and the agency has made a major emphasis on improving care, but USA TODAY earlier this month published documents showing that effort is achieving mixed results.

The group that met with Trump Wednesday included Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, rumored to be under consideration to be Trump's pick for VA secretary. The official said it is possible the group could become a standing advisory committee on veterans health care, though that also has not been decided.

Trumpo The new VA concept emerged hours after the president-elect criticized Obama over Israel and transition issues, but said later that he had a "nice" and "general" conversation with his predecessor, though he did not provide details.

"He phoned me — we had a very nice conversation," Trump told reporters after also announcing that two companies, Sprint and OneWeb, have pledged to create a total of 8,000 new domestic jobs.

The jobs are returning into the United States, "which is a nice change," said Trump, who during the presidential campaign claimed the U.S. was losing jobs because of bad trade deals with other countries. Neither Trump nor the companies provided any detail about the jobs.

Trump began his day by Twitter-trolling Obama over Israel, the United Nations, and the transition in general.

"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks," Trump tweeted. "Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!"

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