Not liking the outcome of the 2016 election, President Obama has apparently made the decision to use his final days in office to do everything possible to "box in" and undermine President-elect Trump. The latest actions, of course, revolve around sanctions on several Russian entities and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats for "hacking" the election. Unfortunately, that move seemingly backfired this morning when Putin announced that he "will not sink to the level of [Obama's] 'kitchen' diplomacy"...apparently "when the Obama's go low, Putin goes high"...to paraphrase the First Lady (see "Putin Stunner: 'We Will Not Expel Anyone; We Refuse To Sink To Obama's Level'").
Meanwhile, the reckless parting moves against Russian aren't the only unilateral actions Obama has made in his waning days to undermine the incoming Trump administration. He also allowed the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlement activity, permanently banned oil and gas drilling large swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, closed off 1.6 million acres of Western land to development through the creation of new "national monument" and scrapped the last vestiges of a registration system used largely on Muslim immigrants.
We wonder how long America's liberal snowflakes would spend rioting if similarly aggressive, hostile actions were taken by an outgoing Republican President?
Clearly, the unilateral moves and shear contempt for the will of the American people being displayed by the current administration is not sitting well with President-elect Trump.
Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway appeared on several stations last night to note that even the New York Times, and other outlets typically sympathetic to the Obama administration, are saying this is nothing more than a petty attempt to "box in" the incoming administration.
"Even those who are sympathetic to Obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to "box in" President-elect Trump."
"That would be very unfortunate if politics were the motivating factor here. But we can't help but think that's often true."
"Even the New York Times characterized as such that this may be an attempt to box him in to see what he'll do as President. That's not the way that peaceful transitions of administrations work in our great democracy."
Per The Hill, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that Obama’s actions could hamper the new administration, even as he praised the president’s team for being “very helpful” with the logistical aspects of the transition. In other words, we would appreciate it if you didn't set fire to the world before leaving office but thanks for showing us where the coffee machine is.
“Both the regulatory stuff, the executive orders that are on the way out … that [is] something that I believe, you know, makes it a little bit tougher in terms of the transition on the policy side,” Spicer told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.
While Trump released a statement yesterday saying it was "time to move on" from the "Russian hacking" narrative and sent the following tweets regarding Obama's Israel snub...
We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
...as The Hill points out, Trump's hands will be tied from a practical perspective with regards to a number of Obama's recent actions.
It’s unclear how many of Obama’s late actions Trump will able to reverse upon taking office.
Should Trump seek to scrap the sanctions on Russia next year, it could trigger a fight with congressional Republicans, who mostly praised the retaliatory steps Thursday even as they lambasted the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
Senior administration officials argued that any effort to roll back the sanctions would be “inadvisable” because they apply to Russian intelligence agencies working against America’s national interest.
“Hypothetically, you could reverse those sanctions,” one official told reporters. “But it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.”
The U.N. vote on Israeli settlements is another late move by Obama that complicates Trump’s policy goals.
But even if Trump follows through on changing U.S. policy toward Israel, it’s unlikely he will be able to repeal the U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
To do so, he would need to convince nine members of the Security Council — and the four other members with veto power, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom — to back a measure scrapping the resolution.
The settlement resolution passed the council 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining.
We look forward to the outrage from the mainstream media on the weekend political talk shows condemning these hostile actions from Obama.