Watch: President Obama Ends Final Press Conference With Honest Advice for Journalists Covering Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18:  U.S. President Barack Obama holds the last news conference of his presidency in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. This was Obama's final question-and-answer session with reporters before New York real estate mogul and reality television personality Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Watch: President Obama Ends Final Press Conference With Honest Advice for Journalists Covering Donald Trump

He also spoke of Chelsea Manning's pardon and Russian controversies.

Published January 18, 2017

  1. On Wednesday afternoon, president obama addressed the white house press corps for the final time

    President Obama's final press conference tackled the importance of defending voting rights and a free press. Additionally, the president sent out a reassurance that "at my core, I think we're going to be OK."

  2. On Chelsea Manning

    The day before addressing the press, Obama was busy with a large amount of last-minute presidential maneuvers, including pardoning national security leaker Chelsea Manning. 

    Although she was sentenced to 35 years, the president felt that she had served enough time in comparison to other security leakers. 

    “Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” the president said. “So the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think it goes unpunished, I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea manning has served.”

    President Obama continued to explain that his pardon seemed like the most logical action to take. 

    “It has been my view that, given she went to trial, that due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers have received, and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it makes sense to commute — and not pardon — her sentence,” Obama said.

  3. On Ties with russia

    Although the incoming president has stressed a possibility of strengthening ties with Moscow, President Obama sent a warning to the new administration. 

    Obama said that a constructive U.S.-Russia relationship is "in America's interest and the world's interest."

    He also said the Russia's president has not been the warmest and most welcoming to the U.S.

    Putin's "adversarial spirit" had "made the relationship more difficult," Obama said.

  4. on the press corps dealing with Donald Trump

    "We are accountable to the people who send us here. And you have done it," Obama said to the press. "You're not supposed to be sycophants. You're supposed to be skeptics."

    In expressing a sentiment very different from Trump, who has gone off on tirades against the press, Obama encouraged them to hold the incoming president accountable for his actions. 

  5. People on Twitter seemed impressed by how 'chill' and 'no drama' Obama appeared
  6. You can watch the press conference in its entirety below

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


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