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At Final White House Press Conference, Obama Offers Both Reflections And Rebukes

President Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference Wednesday in the briefing room of the White House.

The following is an excerpt from Jessica Taylor | January 18, 2017 | npr.com |

President Obama's final press conference was one of both reflection and subtle rebuke toward incoming President-elect Donald Trump, defending voting rights and a free press, all while reassuring the American people that "at my core, I think we're going to be OK."

Obama did show some deference toward Trump — sidestepping a question about the more than five dozen Democrats in Congress who are boycotting the inauguration on Friday. "All I know is I'm going to be there, and so is Michelle," he said.

And striking an upbeat tone at the end, Obama maintained that despite being disappointed that Democrat Hillary Clinton hadn't won, there shouldn't be dread ahead.

"The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world," Obama said, quoting advice he had given his own daughters after the election.

"I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad," Obama said.

But he did have some advice for his successor, warning Trump not to become isolated in the Oval Office and to rely on his advisers.

"This is a job of such magnitude that you can't do it by yourself," the president said. "You are enormously reliant on a team."

And Obama said that while it was appropriate for the incoming Republican administration to make shifts in policy, he also warned that, "if you're going to make big shifts in policy, just make sure you've thought it through."

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