THE image of Barack Obama shaking the hand of Donald Trump inside the White House is a familiar one to anybody who followed the US election.
The body language tells an important story. Mr Obama averting eye contact. Mr Trump forcing a half-smile. It tells the casual viewer than neither party thinks terribly much of the other.
But perhaps that’s not entirely true. At least, that’s not the way President Trump sees it.
On Tuesday morning AEDT, Fox News broadcast the second part of a three-part interview between Bill O’Reilly and the President. In it, Mr Trump tackled the tension between himself and his predecessor head on.
“You know what was fascinating?” the host asked Mr Trump. “To watch you at the Inauguration with Barack Obama. You guys seemed to get along, alright. Would that be accurate?”
Mr Trump, who had previously slammed Mr Obama as the “worst” president in history, called it a “strange phenomenon”.
“We get along. I don’t know if he’ll admit this — he likes me. I can feel it. That’s what I do in life, I understand (things).”
Mr Trump admitted the two found it difficult to reach common ground during the lead-up to his election.
“He was vicious towards me and I was vicious towards him. Then we hopped in the car down Pennsylvania Avenue (towards Capitol Hill) and we don’t even talk about it. Politics is a strange thing. We talked about the future of our country.”
President Trump has vowed to undo much of Mr Obama’s legacy, including Obamacare — the former president’s much maligned national healthcare system.
In August, Mr Obama unleashed on then Republican candidate Mr Trump. He called him “unfit to serve” and “woefully unprepared”.
He criticised him for his comments about women and for accepting support from members of far-right white supremacist groups.
Mr Trump said once inside the car, after all the slanging, it was all smiles.
“He was smiling, I was smiling.”
O’Reilly asked the President if he felt uncomfortable “taking him apart while he was five feet away” during his Inauguration speech.
Mr Trump said simply: “I’m an honest person. The country has deep-seeded problems. When I finished my speech, I turned around and shook his hand. He seemed to be happy with the speech.”
The first part of the President’s appearance on The O’Reilly Factor covered topics including Russia, Mexico and that immigration ban.