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Obama Revelations: President-Elect Trump Is Committed To NATO

November 15
6:00 AM 2016

During his first news conference since voters sharply rejected his candidate and his party at the polls last week, President Obama reassures people at home and abroad that Donald Trump was committed to governing in a more pragmatic fashion than his harsh campaign style would suggest.

"He's going to be the next president and regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office," said Obama, who met with Trump for the first time last week. "This office has a way of waking you up."

Obama faced reporters crammed into the James S. Brady Briefing Room on Monday before leaving Washington for a week-long foreign trip to Greece, Germany and Peru, where he will meet with more than a dozen foreign leaders with their own set of worries about where the United States is headed under its next president.

At moments the president offered advice to his successor that sometimes sounded like a warning. He urged Trump to respect "those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy," such as "civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis." For months Obama had accused candidate Trump of breaching those norms during a bitter and contentious campaign.

After last week's shocking election results, Obama struck a more sanguine note. "I think he's sincere in wanting to be a successful president and moving this country forward," Obama said. "I don't think any president ever comes in saying to himself, 'I want to figure out how to make people angry or alienate half the country.' "

The president sought to reassure U.S. allies, noting that in his conversation with Trump last week, the New York businessman "expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships," including the one with NATO. As he visits with world leaders, Obama vowed to let them know "that there is no weakening of resolve" when it comes to America meeting its commitments and defending its allies.

Throughout the hour-long news conference, Obama sought to calm and reassure a jittery and divided country, choosing his words carefully and emphasizing unity over division.

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