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Trump shatters peace with Obama with tweet on 'roadblocks'
[WASHINGTON] Donald Trump accused President Barack Obama of hobbling the transition to the Republican's administration with unspecified "inflammatory" statements and "roadblocks", as tensions between the two men spilled into the open less than a month before Inauguration Day.
"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks," the president-elect tweeted on Wednesday.
"Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!"
Mr Trump's Twitter eruption was the culmination of a growing set of grievances topped by Mr Obama's decision last week to have the US abstain from a vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.
The move allowed the measure to pass, infuriating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Trump has promised to be friendlier to the US ally, a theme he emphasized on Twitter Wednesday.
"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect," Trump tweeted.
"The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (UN!) Stay strong, Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"
His tweets came hours before Mr Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, planned to describe in a speech his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr Netanyahu has said the UN resolution reduced the prospects for an agreement, while Mr Trump announced earlier this month he would nominate his friend and bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman - an ardent supporter of Israeli settlements - as his ambassador to the country.
Other recent moves by Mr Obama are also emerging as challenges to the incoming administration. Last week, he announced that more than 100 million acres of the US Arctic and undersea canyons in the Atlantic Ocean would be protected from new offshore oil and gas drilling.
He has encouraged Americans to enroll in Obamacare before the Jan 31 deadline for 2017 sign-ups despite Mr Trump's vow to repeal the law, and the Environmental Protection Agency is moving rapidly to finalise mileage requirements for automakers months earlier than expected.
Mr Obama has also needled Mr Trump in recent public statements. In an interview published by CNN on Monday, the president said that he would have beaten Trump had he run for a third term.
In a speech in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, on Tuesday commemorating the 1941 Japanese surprise attack that ushered the US into World War II, Mr Obama cautioned against "tribalism" and "the urge to demonise those who are different", without mentioning the president-elect.
During the past 24 hours, Mr Trump has been busy on Twitter, a medium that has become his favourite channel to communicate with the America public.
He tweeted on Tuesday about his election win, after Mr Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the memorial to the USS Arizona, a battleship sunk at Pearl Harbour, and just before their speeches.
"President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost," Mr Trump wrote.
"The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
Later, he appeared to try to create his own version of the "Thanks, Obama" meme that the president's supporters and opponents have used in commentary on his record.
"The US Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!" Mr Trump tweeted.
Years of insults between the two men predated Mr Trump's run for the White House. Yet the real estate developer met with Mr Obama shortly after the election and praised his character while promising to retain some initiatives, including parts of Mr Obama's signature health-care law.
Both men have said they've spoken by phone more than once after that meeting. But their relations, at least in public, appear to have broken down.
In response to Mr Obama's claim that he would have won a race between the two, Mr Trump tweeted on Monday: "I say NO WAY! - jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc."