Watch CBS News

Obama jokes that Navy SEALs could remove Trump from the White House

Barack Obama: The 2020 60 Minutes interview
Barack Obama: The 2020 60 Minutes interview 27:02

Former President Barack Obama on Thursday took a light-hearted jab at President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel asked Mr. Obama what might happen if an unnamed person -- presumably Mr. Trump -- were trying to hide in the White House.

"You know the White House well. You lived there for eight years. Are there places someone could hide? Like, if, say, they were going to be removed?" Kimmel asked the former president on his show Thursday. "There's little cubby holes or anything we should know about?"

"Well, I think we can always send the Navy SEALs in there to dig him out," Mr. Obama replied, laughing. 

Mr. Trump has refused to concede the election, even as state recounts have confirmed the outcome. He has continued to spread baseless claims of voter fraud and filed lawsuits in several battleground states. 

The Trump campaign has so far lost most of its lawsuits. 

Biden says Trump's refusal to concede is "incredibly damaging" and "totally irresponsible" 06:48

While there is no precedent for forcibly removing a president on Inauguration Day, Mr. Biden has said that he "is absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch."

In addition to refusing to concede, Trump's administration has also denied Biden's team access to crucial transition materials. Multiple sources told CBS News on Thursday that there is "marginal" backchannel communication between the transition team and Trump administration officials. 

Mr. Obama told Kimmel, "I wish the transition was going better, because we lose time during these crises."   

The former president compared the coronavirus crisis to the financial crisis he experienced as he entered his first term in 2009.

"When I came in, we were in the middle of a big crisis: the financial crisis," Mr. Obama said. "George W. Bush — he and I had obviously big policy differences — but he's a good man. He is a patriot. And he ordered everybody on his team to work seamlessly with us on the transition."

He added that Bush "could not have been more gracious, could not have been more helpful. And that actually helped us be able to get a head start on trying to stem what could have been a great depression instead of a great recession."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.