In his final press conference as president, Barack Obama reiterated to the press that he has spoken extensively with President-elect Trump, and that he felt it would be appropriate for the soon-to-be president to go forward with the vision he wants.
“My working assumption is that, having won an election opposed to a number of my initiatives and certain aspects of my vision for where the country needs to go, it is appropriate for him to go forward with his vision and his values,” Obama said.
While Obama didn’t expect any kind of “enormous overlap” between their two visions, he did say that Trump might come to some of the same conclusions that he himself came to once his successor takes office, using job creation and healthcare as an example. Trump and his advisors have spoken recently about a goal to make sure that health care is available for everyone.
Obama also said in the press conference that he has spoken with Trump since their first meeting together in November. While he didn’t go into details, Obama said these talks were always “cordial” and “substantive,” and that he’s always offered his best advice. Trump himself said that he looked forward to receiving Obama’s counsel when they meet after the election.
Obama was asked about a number of different topics during the final press conference of his presidency, ranging from Russia, to the recently commuted Chelsea Manning, to voter fraud (which he referred to as “fake news”). He also was asked if he had any advice for the incoming president, to which Obama responded by saying that the job isn’t something that one person can do alone.
“This is a job of such magnitude that you can’t do it by yourself,” he said. “You are enormously reliant on a team. Your Cabinet, your senior White House staff, all the way to, fairly, junior folks in their 20s and 30s but who are executing on significant responsibilities.”
Obama began the press conference by joking that he was very tempted to wear a tan suit for it, a reference to the time when Twitter had a field day commenting about Obama’s tan suit while he was speaking about the topic of ISIS in Ukraine. He ended the conference by waving and wishing the gathered press corps “good luck.”
You can see some of the comments that Obama said below:
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