Before the election, foreign policy circles were buzzing with talk that President Barack Obama could take a last stab at peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But now that Trump is on the verge of power, the President-elect aides say Obama shouldn’t even think about taking such steps. Obama’s response was perfect.
President Barack Obama kicked off a news conference Monday by making it clear that “Donald Trump isn’t the president yet”, telling the press ahead of a foreign trip “there is one president at a time.”
“This office is bigger than any one person, and that’s why ensuring a smooth transition is so important. It’s not something that the Constitution explicitly requires, but it is one of those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy, similar to norms of civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis. It’s part of what makes this country work, and as long as I’m president we are going to uphold those norms and cherish and uphold those ideals.”
Obama hailed his team’s transition efforts and suggested his staff is ready to kick it into high gear.
“As I discussed with the president-elect on Thursday, my team stands ready to accelerate in the next steps that are required to ensure a smooth transition, and we are gonna be staying in touch as we travel,” Obama said in his opening remarks before taking questions in the White House Briefing Room before departing for a foreign trip to Greece, Germany and Peru.
The president said his team should be “very proud” that because of the groundwork it’s laid, when he hands over the keys, “the car’s in pretty good shape.” He ticked through his administration’s successes, including job growth, rising incomes and historic uninsured rates, among others and said he has told his team to finish strong.