President Obama issued a farewell warning to President-elect Donald Trump, during his final news conference of his presidency, saying he would jump off the political sidelines if Trump goes against certain progressive “core values.”
The outgoing President Obama said if there was “systemic discrimination,” efforts to “silence dissent” or to “roll back voting rights,” he would be “speaking out.”
Speaking of illegal aliens, specifically children brought into the United States illegally, Obama said “I would put in that category efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids and send them somewhere else, when they love this country.”
During Obamas Presidency, he issued executive actions to protect the illegal alien children from deportation, but now they may loose their partisan sanctuary status. “The notion that we would just arbitrarily, or because of politics, punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out.”
Obama also took a jab at President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming staff for having floated the idea of moving the daily briefing and reporters’ work spaces, in addition to changing up other White House press traditions, telling reporters “having you in this building has made this workplace better.” The president said he has enjoyed working with reporters even though he hasn’t enjoyed every story they’ve written. “But that’s the point of this relationship,” he said, adding that having them in the building “keeps us honest” and “makes us work harder.”
President Obama also said he has emphasized to President-elect Trump the importance of surrounding himself with a strong team of advisers.
“This is a job of such magnitude that you can’t do it by yourself,” Obama 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 executing on significant responsibilities. And so how you put a team together to make sure that they are getting you the best information and they are teeing up the options is probably the most useful constructive advice I’ve been able to give him.”
While he has offered his advice and counsel, Obama said it’s fitting that Trump will pursue a different agenda from his own.
“It is appropriate for him to go forward with his vision and his values, and I don’t expect that there’s going to be, you know, enormous overlap,” Obama said. “It may be that on certain issues, once he comes into office and he looks at the complexities of how to, in fact, provide health care for everybody, something he says he wants to do, or wants to make sure that he is encouraging job creation and wage growth in this country, that may lead him to some of the same conclusions that I arrived at once I got here. But I don’t think we’ll know until he has an actual chance to get sworn in and sit behind that desk.”
Obama finished up by saying, “At my core I think we’re going to be OK, We just have to fight for it, work for it, and not take it for granted.”