President Obama Last Press Conference Video – WATCH
President Obama gave his last press conference on Wednesday, two days before the end of his presidency. Watch full video below.
As Gossip Cop reported, Obama gave his Farewell Address to the American public from Chicago last week. Now in the White House press room, he addressed the media for his final time in office. The President began by joking, “I was sorely tempted to wear a tan suit today for my last press conference, but Michelle tells me that’s not appropriate for January.”
Addressing the news of President H.W. Bush’s hospitalization, Obama noted he has been in touch with the family, and thanked the Bushes for their counsel over the last eight years. “We want to send our love and prayers to them,” he said. Obama then turned his attention to the press corps, stressing all the time they’ve spent together.
He made some quips at both their expenses, and acknowledged that while he may not have liked every story published, he understands that’s the job of the media. “You’re not supposed to be complimentary, but you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on people with power,” Obama said, adding, “Having you in this building has made this place work better.”
Obama went on to champion a free press, saying, “Our democracy needs you.” He even said he’s “looking forward to being an active consumer” of future pieces. The President then took questions from the assembled journalists, the first of which was on commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence.
Obama explained his belief that Manning’s sentence was “very disproportionate to what other leakers have received,” pointed out that she had served a “significant amount of time,” and stressed that she’s shown remorse. “I feel comfortable that justice has been served,” he stated.
The President next addressed U.S. relations with Russia, and the recent sanctions. “They have been unwilling to negotiate,” Obama said, expressing hope that “President Trump is able to restart those talks.” He was then asked about the boycotts of Trump’s upcoming inauguration.
Obama described his talks with Trump as “cordial” and “fairly lengthy,” and said it is “appropriate for him to go forward with his vision, his values.” But he said he would not comment on the boycotts. “All I know is I’m going to be there, and so will Michelle,” he said.
Looking to the future, Obama said he wants to take some time to assess the last eight years, “do some writing,” and “be quiet a little bit.” His agenda also includes spending time with his children and the First Lady, with whom he will mark his 25th anniversary. But, he noted, he will still be a citizen.
That again led Obama to discuss democracy and the press, after which he took a question about the recent U.N. vote on Israel. The President again reiterated his desire for a two-state solution. Obama later celebrated the progress made with LGBT rights under his presidency, and even mentioned awarding Ellen DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“I don’t think it’s something that will be reversible,” Obama said of the progress, but noted, “There’s still going to be some battles that need to take place.” And, of whether he’s the first and last black president, he insisted, “I think we’re going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country. Because that’s America’s strength.”
Obama also referenced Michael Phelps and Simone Biles as evidence of the different shapes and sizes that can excel in this country. He urged society to treat everyone with “basic respect,” regardless of background. The last question when to Christi Parsons of the Los Angeles Times, who Obama noted has been covering him since his days in Illinois politics.
Parsons’ query was about how Obama and the First Lady are talking to their daughters about the meaning of the 2016 election and its outcome. “They were disappointed,” he admitted. But, the President said, “The only thing that’s the end of the world is the end of the world. So you get knocked down, you get back up, you brush yourself off and you get back to work.”
“In my core, I think we’re gonna be okay,” he added. Gossip Cop has full video below.