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World
19 Jan 2017

Barack Obama gives final press conference as president

Highlights of Obama's last press conference as president

Barack Obama covered a range of issues during his last press conference as president.

He spoke of his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, Russia, race relations in America, the role of the media and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

He also defended his decision to commute whistleblower Chelsea Manning's prison sentence.

After eight years as US president, Obama remained hopeful as ever about the future.

In context

Highlights of Obama's last press conference as president

Obama's approval ratings crosses 60% as term ends

President Obama's approval rating stands at 63% as his presidency comes to an end, a new CNN/ORC poll has found. 65% respondents view his presidency as a success and a majority of Americans said they will miss him once he's gone.

19 Jan 2017

Barack Obama gives final press conference as president

Barack Obama covered a range of issues during his last press conference as president.

He spoke of his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, Russia, race relations in America, the role of the media and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

He also defended his decision to commute whistleblower Chelsea Manning's prison sentence.

After eight years as US president, Obama remained hopeful as ever about the future.

Obama hails media's role, veil attack on Trump

On media

Obama hails media's role, veil attack on Trump

Obama said he enjoyed working with the press even though he didn't necessarily enjoy every story they filed.

"You're not supposed to be fans, you're supposed to be skeptics, … ask me tough questions," he acknowledged.

He said the media's eye has kept his administration vigilant, informed, honest and made him work harder.

His statement comes amid Trump's acrimonious relationship with the media.

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Obama remains hopeful as ever

"I think there's evil in the world, but I think at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time."

On Manning

Obama defends reducing whistleblower Chelsea Manning's prison sentence

Obama said Manning "served a tough prison sentence."

He said Manning "took responsibility for her crime" during trial and "the sentence that she received was very disproportional" compared to other whistleblowers.

He said it made sense for him to "commute" Manning and not "pardon" her.

"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and a message has been sent," he said.

Obama calls Russia a "bully"

On Russia

Obama calls Russia a "bully"

Obama said it's in America's interest to have a constructive relationship with Russia.

He said sanctions on Russia was "because the independence and sovereignty of a country, Ukraine, had been encroached upon by force, by Russia."

America should stand up against big countries who "invade and bully" smaller ones.

He accused President Vladimir Putin of being "unwilling to negotiate" on reducing nuclear weapon stockpiles.

On America's diversity

Obama feels he won't be America's last African-American president

Obama felt proud of the gains made by the LGBTQ community during his administration.

"I think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country," he said.

"We're gonna have a woman president, a Latino president, a Jewish president, a Hindu president." he added

On Israel-Palestine

Opportunity for Israel-Palestine two-state solution is waning

"I continue to be worried about Israeli-Palestinian issue because the status quo is unsustainable, bad for both countries, the region and national security," Obama said.

He defended his administration's decision to abstain from a UN Security Council resolution vote demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

He said this is a "wake up call" that the opportunity for a two-state solution may be passing.

On Race, Justice

Obama: Racism "no longer black and white issue"

Obama said it's important for America to ensure its criminal justice system is fair, just and "not politicized."

He expressed confidence that racial issues have been improving. He believes the next generation of Americans are more inclusive and tolerant.

He said racism is "no longer a black and white issue alone" as America is now home to Hispanics and Asians also.

Obama ends speech by praising daughters

On daughters

Obama ends speech by praising daughters

Obama praised his his daughters Sasha and Malia for being hopeful, patriotic and committed to improving the world.

He said they paid attention to their mother Michelle's speech last year on gender and race equality which influenced them.

He said they were disappointed by the recent presidential election.

"I think neither of them intend to pursue a future of politics," he said.

Obama on America's future

"At my core, I think we're going to be OK," Obama said. "I believe in this country. I believe in the American people."

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