- Obama in January 2017 said a two-term Trump presidency would be “a problem,” according to Bloomberg.
- The then-president made the statement to a group of reporters in a talk uncovered by a FOIA request.
- In 2016, Obama backed Hillary Clinton, who was defeated by Trump in the presidential election.
President Barack Obama, in the final days of his administration, privately told a group of reporters that the country could “bail fast enough to be okay” after a one-term Donald Trump presidency, but said two terms “would be a problem,” according to a Bloomberg report.
The off-the-record conversation that was held on January 17, 2017 — just three days before Trump would assume the presidency — came to light after the Justice Department released a set of documents connected to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, per Bloomberg.
During his talk with the journalists, Obama — who stumped hard for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to win the White House in 2016 — expressed concerns about eight years of Trump being in the White House.
Trump’s 2016 campaign was centered on unraveling key elements of Obama’s White House tenure, including the Affordable Care Act, myriad environmental regulations, and the administration’s climate policies.
“I think that four years is okay. Take on some water, but we can kind of bail fast enough to be okay,” Obama said at the time.
He continued: “Eight years would be a problem. I would be concerned about a sustained period in which some of these norms have broken down and started to corrode.”
After losing to now-President Joe Biden in 2020, Trump barnstormed across the country, holding “Save America” rallies that continue to attract many staunch supporters. He has openly flirted with a 2024 presidential bid, and according to current polling, would command a majority or near-majority of the vote in a GOP primary.
However, Trump now faces significant legal issues, including a sweeping civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Tish James against the former president, the Trump Organization, and three of his children — as well as a criminal inquiry in Fulton County, Georgia regarding his attempts to influence the 2020 presidential election results.
The House panel probing the January 6, 2021, riot at the United States Capitol is still examining Trump’s role on that day, and while the committee cannot bring criminal charges against the former president, they can recommend a criminal referral to the Department of Justice.