President Barack Obama is preparing for his final foreign trip in office, but before taking off for six days in Greece, Germany, and Peru the President held his first news conference since last week's election. Monday's conference marked the first time Obama took questions from the press since Donald Trump's victory.
During his time overseas Obama will have the unenviable task of convincing the rest of the world that real estate mogul and former reality TV star Donald Trump is ready to lead the nation. This is something that some have suggested the president may not believe himself.
Before taking questions from the press Obama began by bringing up three topics he wanted to address. He reiterated that his team is ready to insure a smooth transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. The speech was aired on BloombergTV.
"I remember what it was like when I came in eight years ago. It is a big challenge," Obama said. "This office is bigger than any one person and that is why ensuring a smooth transition is so important."
Although the promise of a smooth transition is not something that is explicitly required by the Constitution, Obama sees it as "one of those norms" that is key to a functioning democracy.
"Similar to norms of civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason, facts and analysis. It's part of what makes this country work," the president said.
Obama also noted that his team should be proud that when the keys are handed over to Trump and his team the car will be in "pretty good shape." Obama mentioned the 73 consecutive months of jobs growth, rising incomes, declines in poverty and that the uninsured rate is at its lowest level on record.
"My goal is on January 21, America is in the strongest position possible and hopefully there is an opportunity for the next president to build on that," Obama continued.
While traveling this week President Obama plans to reinforce to the rest of the world that America supports the economic approaches taken to support growth and global security on a number of issues.
The first question from came from a Wall Street Journal reporter and had to do with what Obama will say to world leaders regarding their misgivings about Donald Trump and the future of America's foreign policy.
"In my conversation with the President-Elect, he expressed great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships," Obama responded. "One of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Trans-Atlantic Alliance. I think that's one of the most important functions I can serve at this stage during this trip, is to let them know that there is no weakening of resolve when it comes to America's commitment to maintaining a strong and robust NATO relationship."
Additionally, prior to President Obama's press conference Donald Trump's transition team issued a readout of the President-Elect's conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During the call "President-Elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia."