Donald Trump talks “regularly” with President Barack Obama and “very much enjoys” their conversations, a top Trump aide said Sunday.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said Trump’s consulted the president on his Cuba policy and the two spoke this weekend.
“He’s even been talking to President Obama. You know, beyond the sit-down they had 30 hours or so after President-elect Trump won the election, they’ve been talking regularly on any number of issues. They talked just yesterday,” she said.
The latest conversation went on about 40-45 minutes, she said, though she wouldn’t offer details on what was discussed. But the two “get along nicely,” Conway added, despite their differences.
A Trump transition team official later told NBC News that the president-elect and his predecessor have spoken several times since they met in the Oval Office two weeks ago.
“I can tell you from President-elect Trump’s side that he very much enjoys speaking with President Obama, talking about the serious issues that face this country and the world,” Conway said. “They get along nicely. They disagree on many things. That’s not going to change.”
In response, the White House would only refer to previous comments made by press secretary Josh Earnest noting that the Trump and Obama have talked since the first Oval Office meeting — and a desire to keep those conversations private.
It’s one of many shifts in tone and sentiment from Trump following his election victory just weeks ago. Conway also suggested Trump was disinclined to pursue an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use, despite the fact that “lock her up” was a rallying cry for his supporters on the campaign trail.
“He said he wouldn’t rule it out,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referencing Trump’s recent sit-down with the New York Times, but “he said it’s not his focus right now.”
During her interview on CNN, Conway also wouldn’t rebut reporting from the Washington Post, confirmed by sources to NBC News, that Trump has received only two intelligence briefings since the election and turned down others. Asked outright if he’d turned briefings down, Conway replied: “I can’t discuss that publicly.”
“What I can tell you is that he is the most engaged individual I’ve ever met, and brilliant to boot, and he is certainly availing himself of the information that is provided to him from a number of sources, including those intelligence briefings,” she added.
Conway insisted Trump is receiving “a steady stream of information” to prepare him to become commander-in-chief, including dozens of meetings he’s held with elected officials and business leaders over the past few weeks as he’s been interviewing candidates for his cabinet.
One particular cabinet slot has taken center stage as a handful of contenders have waged a behind-the-scenes battle for the position.
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, among others, are all reportedly under consideration for secretary of state, but Romney in particular has faced public opposition from Conway and other Trump loyalists who believe his fierce criticism of the president-elect during the campaign disqualifies him.
Conway has made no secret of her concerns with Romney, tweeting out veiled critiques and going even further in television interviews. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Conway insisted that “I’m not campaigning against anyone. I’m just a concerned citizen.”
But she then went on to warn that Romney’s consideration for the position has some feeling “betrayed,” noting the former Massachusetts governor still hasn’t publicly said who he voted for, and aggressively criticized Trump during the presidential campaign.
“People feel betrayed to think that Governor Romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, now our president-elect, would be given the most significant cabinet post of all, Secretary of State,” she said, adding she’s simply reflecting what she’s hearing from the “grassroots.”
In another appearance, however, on CNN’s “State of the Union” Conway did acknowledge that it wasn’t “wrong to say” that she has personal concerns with Romney.
Conway continued: “I’m all for party unity, but i’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position.”
Romney infamously called Trump a “phony, a fraud” and unfit for the presidency during the GOP primary. But the two met last week and Romney has emerged as a leading contender for the secretary of state position.