US President Barack Obama vows not to remain silent if the country’s future president, Donald Trump, decides to violate certain “values or ideals.”
Concluding his final foreign trip as the US president at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru, the lame duck commander-in-chief made the comments on Sunday as President-elect Trump was preparing to take over the White House
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle or go to core questions about our values and ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it comes,” he told reporters.
Obama, who has previously called for a smooth transition of power in Washington, further extolled former President George W. Bush, saying he “could not have been more gracious to me when I came in.”
In the run up to the 2016 presidential vote on November 8, the GOP nominee vowed to fight some of what the president considers his legacy, including a nuclear deal with Iran, Paris climate change agreement, and the ObamaCare.
“My intention is to, certainly for the next two months, just finish my job,” Obama said. “And then after that, to take Michelle on vacation, get some rest, spend time with my girls, and do some writing, do some thinking.”
The president also commented on inaction by the Republican-controlled Congress to give his Supreme Court nominee, Merick Garland, a fair hearing, noting that the Democratic lawmakers should not tread that path under President Trump.
“That’s not why the American people send us to Washington, to play those games,” Obama said. “You give them a hearing.”
“The main advice that I give to the incoming president is the United States really is an indispensable nation in our world order,” Obama said, adding that the United States is the one that has managed to uphold “international norms and rules. That’s what’s made the modern world.”
“Take an example like Europe before that order was imposed. We had two world wars in a span of 30 years. In the second one, 60 million people were killed. Not half a million, not a million but 60 million. Entire continents in rubble,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to handle every problem, but the American president and the United States of America, if we’re not on the side of what’s right, if we’re not making the argument and fighting for it even if sometimes we’re not able to deliver it 100 percent everywhere, then it collapses.”
Trump’s victory has caused panic in certain countries as he questioned, criticized, and vowed to repeal some of the country’s oldest alliances.
Obama sought to reassure Japan, a country Trump believes should defend itself, by speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“The President reaffirmed the enduring US commitment to Japan, our treaty ally, and expressed his gratitude for their years of successful cooperation that further strengthened the US-Japan alliance,” a White House official said.