Obama: I was 'encouraged' by my 'excellent' discussion with Trump in the White House

President-elect Trump meets with President Obama

Donald Trump and President Barack Obama exchanged pleasantries at the White House on Thursday as the two leaders began a transition to the Trump administration following a vitriolic presidential campaign.

After the 90-minute meeting, Obama said he and the president-elect shared a wide-ranging conversation that included discussion of foreign and domestic policy. He said he felt "encouraged" by the "excellent" discussion.

"I have been very encouraged by the — I think — interest in President-elect Trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces," Obama said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said later that the meeting was valuable although many differences remained.

Noting that the meeting lasted longer than scheduled, Trump said the conversation touched on several situations, including some difficulties.

"I have great respect," Trump said of Obama. "I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. He explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets, and some of the really great things that have been achieved."

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to update him on transition planning in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington,DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

On Wednesday, Obama recognized Trump's electoral victory, and promised he'd work toward a smooth transition of power.

"It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences," Obama said at the time. "We are now all rooting for his success."

The two men had never met before Thursday.

Trump later met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, after which the president-elect said he would work rapidly on issues including healthcare, taxes and immigration.