- Barack Obama joked that Navy SEALs could remove President Donald Trump from the White House if he refuses to leave after Inauguration Day.
- He made the quip while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show Thursday night.
- Trump has refused to concede the election and has launched baseless challenges to the result, with aides saying he expects to stay in office for another term.
- Obama also said he wishes Trump would work with President-elect Joe Biden during the transition period.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former President Barack Obama joked that President Donald Trump could be removed from the White House by Navy SEALs if he refuses to leave after Inauguration Day.
Obama appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday, where Kimmel riffed about what might happen if an unnamed person — clearly Trump — were trying not to be found.
“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? Are there little cubby holes or anything that you know about?”
Obama laughed along and said: “Well, I think we can always send the Navy SEALs in to dig him out.”
You can watch the moment here, at 10:54 into the video:
The moment was a response to Trump’s ongoing refusal to concede the election after losing to President-elect Joe Biden.
He has instead spread baseless claims of voter fraud and launched legal challenges in battleground states. The Trump campaign has already lost most of these lawsuits.
Trump is due to remain as president until Inauguration Day on January 20. He continues to argue that he won the election, and has not publicly discussed how far he might go to stay in the White House.
A president has has never had to be removed from the White House before, and there is no set procedure for doing so.
Government experts and former officials previously told Insider that doing so could fall to the Secret Service if Trump refused to leave.
A representative for Biden also previously referenced removing Trump from the White House.
The representative said that the US government is “perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House” in response to early suggestions that Trump would not succeed.
Biden has also been denied access to transition materials, including funding and access to intelligence briefings to government agencies.
Speaking on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Obama said: “I wish the transition was going better.”
“We lose time during these crises.”
Biden has warned that more people could die of COVID-19 if Trump does not start the transition process.
Obama continued: “When I came in, we were in the middle of a big crisis: the financial crisis.”
“George W. Bush — he and I had obviously big policy differences — but he’s a good man. He’s a patriot. And he ordered everybody on his team to work seamlessly with us on the transition.”
He said 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.”