Barack Obama Tried to Warn Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on How to Handle Donald Trump

Reince Priebus (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Reince Priebus (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Barack Obama knew about being an exceptional president. He also knew what type of asshole was succeeding him, so he tried to give then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus Repeat a heads-up on what his job would require.


You have to tell Donald Trump things that will “piss him off,” Obama reportedly told Priebus, according to writer Chris Whipple’s forthcoming book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, which was adapted in Vanity Fair.

Priebus revealed that the former president sat him down and told him that Trump didn’t need a yes man.

“Every one of these guys at different times told me something that pissed me off,” Obama told Priebus, nodding to his former chiefs, according to an excerpt from the book, Newsweek reports.

“They weren’t always right; sometimes I was. But they were right to do that because they knew they had to tell me what I needed to hear rather than what I wanted to hear,” he added.

Then, to Priebus, Obama said: “That’s the most important function of a chief of staff. Presidents need that. And I hope you will do that for President Trump.”

The book notes that others attending the meeting didn’t think that Priebus fully grasped the advice coming from the former president or the role that he’d play after Trump’s inauguration.


Newsweek reports that a Republican at the meeting said: “I caught the eye of several of the others and we exchanged worried expressions. He [Priebus] seemed much too relaxed about being able to navigate a difficult job. I think he struck a lot of us as clueless,” the excerpt continued, noting another person at the meeting added: “He was approaching the job like it was some combination of personal aide and cruise director.”

This might explain why Priebus only remained in the job from January 2017 until July 2017.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



This why we need professionals. I have never understood why the public’s constant rewarding of people that bad mouth government service and politics. Think about it every election is someone interviewing for the job. Has any company in history hired someone that came in and called the company in which they are applying a “shit hole” and god everybody is this place is stupid. No matter how true that statement is.

I know no one like politicians as well as lawyers but consider this: If your ass is getting sued or charged with a crime you will beg, borrow and steal every penny you can to get the best lawyer you can.

So approach people running for political office the same way. I may not like politics or politicians but until the machines take over politicians will be running things so vote for smartest, most experienced person in the race because we see going the amateur root is biting us in the ass.