Obama: Give Trump a chance

President Obama admits he has concerns about Trump presidency, but says his successor appears sincere about being everyone's president.

Ben Ariel ,

Obama and Trump, last week
Obama and Trump, last week
Reuters

President Barack Obama admitted on Monday that he has concerns about the presidency of Donald Trump, but also urged Americans to give the President-elect a chance.

Speaking to reporters in his first press conference since the elections, Obama said he was certain after meeting Trump last week that his successor "sincere" about being president for all Americans. At the same time he also called on the President-elect to reach out to people who felt anxious after the explosive rhetoric of the campaign, including women and minorities.

"I don't think he is ideological, he is pragmatic in that way and that can serve him well as long as he has got good people around him and he has a good sense of direction," Obama said at the news conference.

He added that he told Trump during their meeting at the White House last week that "gestures matters" when preparing his new administration and stressed the importance of reaching out to groups that opposed him during the tumultuous election.

"It's really important to try to send some signals of unity and try to reach out to minority groups, or women or others that were concerned about the tenure of the campaign," said Obama.

"I think he is coming to this office with fewer set hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with. Do I have concerns? Absolutely, of course I've got concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues," he admitted.

Obama refused to comment on Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon as his senior White House policy adviser.

The appointment has come under fire due to Bannon’s alleged controversial and anti-Semitic statements, as well as his presidency of the Breitbart news website, which espoused anti-Semitic and nationalist views.

Obama said it would not be appropriate for him to weigh in on all of Trump's appointments because it would be incompatible to his desire to provide a smooth transition of power to his successor.

"I think it is important for us to let him make his decisions. The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see," he told reporters.

"This office has a way of waking you up. Those aspects of his positions or his predispositions that don't match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick because reality has a way of asserting itself," added Obama.



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