Obama Urges Americans to Give Trump a Chance

He also said that the president-elect intends to honor the US commitment to NATO.


In his first news conference since Donald Trump’s election victory last week, President Barack Obama expressed hope that the new president-elect would “send some signals of unity” to groups around the country, especially minorities and women who remain fearful after Trump’s extreme campaign promises. Such anxieties were heightened on Sunday, after Trump announced that Stephen Bannon, who has propagated white nationalist sentiment as head of Breitbart News, would become his chief strategist and senior counsel.

“It would not be appropriate for me to comment on every appointment that the president-elect starts making,” Obama said on Monday when asked about Bannon’s appointment. “The people have spoken.”

Although he was given a number of opportunities to criticize Trump, Obama avoided any negative remarks and repeated his commitment to ensuring a smooth transition of power. “Do I have concerns?” he said. “Absolutely.” But he added that he believed the former reality television star and real estate mogul would be “pragmatic” moving forward.

“Campaigning is different from governing,” Obama said. “I think he recognizes that. I think he’s sincere in wanting to be a successful president.”

On the eve of his final trip abroad as president, Obama also called on Democrats to reflect on the party’s loss and prepare to be better organized for future elections.

“I believe we have better ideas, but good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them,” Obama said. “Given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere, we have to work at a grassroots level.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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