President Barack Obama held his final news conference today closing off with hopeful words: “At my core, I think we’re going to be OK.”
His hope included saying that once Donald Trump takes offices that the complexities he faces might change his view on the many topics with which he expressed disagreement with the current administration during his campaign.
He praised a vigorous free press.
Obama opened the news conference rebuffing Trump by issuing a vocal defense of the White House press corps, insisting the reporters who covered his administration were an essential facet of a functioning democracy.
“We are accountable to the people who send us here. And you have done it,” Obama said. “You’re not supposed to be sycophants. You’re supposed to be skeptics.”
His remarks stood in direct contrast to the incoming president, who has lambasted news organizations reporting on his transition as reporting “fake news.” His choice to appear in the White House briefing room was also telling since Trump’s team has floated the possibility of scrapping that venue for larger space.
I particularly liked Obama’s comment that talk of voter fraud was “fake news.” The U.S., he said, is the only democracy that makes it harder and not easier to vote.
And what would a reality show be without plot twists. Donald Trump offers them daily, here in an interview in which he backs off an earlier promise of universal health care.