WATCH: President Obama’s Complete Last Year-End Press Conference
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WATCH: President Obama’s Complete Last Year-End Press Conference

President Barack Obama held his final year-end press conference as Commander in Chief on December 16. It was scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. ET, but started a bit later. You can watch the entire press conference, which lasted for an hour and a half, above. It was the longest press conference of his presidency and comes just before he heads to Hawaii to vacation with his family.

Obama, who has seen his approval ratings go up since becoming a lame duck president, was asked repeatedly about Russia’s alleged involvement in influencing the 2016 presidential election. The president already ordered the intelligence community to make a full assessment of Russia’s hacking.

On December 9, The Washington Post reported that a secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia was motivated to see Donald Trump become the next President. A senior U.S. official briefed on the intelligence presentation made to Senators told the Post that this is the “consensus view” in the CIA.

The Washington Post reported just before Obama’s press conference began that the FBI also agrees with the CIA’s assessment that the Russians wanted Trump to win. A source told NPR that there was “no gulf” between what the FBI and CIA concluded about Russia’s motive in the hacks.

President Obama today, President Obama complete press conference, Obama pres conference

President Obama during his final press conference. (Getty)

During the press conference, Obama said that it was clear that Russia was behind the hacks of the Democratic National Convention and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email accounts.

“What we’ve simply said is the facts which are that based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the [Democratic National Committee]. And that as a consequence it’s important for us to review all elements of that and make sure we are preventing that kind of interference through cyber attacks in the future,” Obama told the press.

Obama said that Russia can only make an impact on the U.S. “if we lose track of who we are,” adding, “Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s OK to intimidate the press or lock up dissidents or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like.”

On December 15, NBC News reported that U.S. intelligence officials have a “high level of confidence” in their belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in Russia’s interference in the election. An official told NBC News that Putin has a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton and that morphed into an attempt to show corruption in U.S. politics and to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore.”

Hours before the press conference, Obama vowed in an interview with NPR that the U.S. needs to take action and will.

“There are still a whole range of assessments taking place among the agencies,” Obama told NPR without endorsing the CIA assessment the Post reported on. “And so when I receive a final report, you know, we’ll be able to, I think, give us a comprehensive and best guess as to those motivations. But that does not in any way, I think, detract from the basic point that everyone during the election perceived accurately — that in fact what the Russian hack had done was create more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign.”

Obama also told NPR, “There’s no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time were Hillary’s emails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC.”

Obama hopes to have the assessment of the cyberattacks during the election completed before Trump is inaugurated on January 20.


President Obama today, President Obama complete press conference, Obama pres conference

(Getty)

At the start of the press conference, Obama outlined what he felt were his achievements, announcing that 670,000 Americans signed up for health care on HealthCare.gov on December 15.

“Since I signed Obamacare into law, our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs, and the economy undoubtedly more durable than it was in the days when we relied on oil from unstable nations and banks took risky bets with your money,” Obama said. “Add it all up, and last year the poverty rate fell at the fastest rate in almost 50 years, while the median household income grew at the fastest rate on record. In fact, income gains were actually larger for households at the bottom and the middle than for those at the top.”

Obama also took Russia to task for not letting the United Nations take stronger actions in Syria. “Regretfully, but unsurprisingly, Russia has repeatedly blocked the Security Council from taking action on these issues, so we’re gonna keep pressing the Security Council to help improve the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who are in such desperate need and ensure accountability, including continuing to monitor any potential use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the president said.

When it came to Donald Trump’s tweets, Obama put the blame on the Trump team being in the middle of a transition period.

“I think he hasn’t gotten his whole team together yet,” Obama explained. “He still has campaign spokespersons sort of filling in and appearing on cable shows. And there is just a whole different attitude and vibe when you’re not in power as when you are in power.”

26 Comments

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26 Comments

RAS2002

Once again he passes on an opportunity to unite us. He has had so much potential to do so but hasn’t. One can only conclude that he doesn’t really care about that. While true he could have been even more divisive, that isn’t saying much. He is still playing politics over the good of the nation. He is very ego driven.
And he has left quite a mess for Trump. Whether he could have done better we will never really know. But he could have worked with congress more.
Even with hindsight though on one can really say if any action in Syria would have worked out better. It’s just a mess and far from USA. We don’t really even have any military or naval bases there. Others definitely have a home field advantage.
Now Trump will have to work on this mess and we can only hope the new congress will finally get a lot more done even though both side may also not help Trump much.
We will see how things go and vote accordingly in 2018 if things aren’t getting done.
With 20 trillion in debt and 1-2% GDP we cannot afford more inaction.
We can only hope that Trump will get us moving forward again as our president.

Anonymous

The Muslim Brotherhood claims the destruction of America from within.
One can only imagine who’s the destructor is ?
Soon the divider of our nation will be out !
I said Bush jr. What’s the worst president we’ve ever had.
I was wrong !

Anonymous

little barackie, sooooo angry, soooo vindictive, sooooooo vile.
In the end, as usual, all of his failures are the fault of others, people that just don’t appreciate his brilliance, we are too stupid.

anonymous

Really? The illegal “aliens” that were able to vote? Start checking your facts and get a factual news source.

Are you freaking kidding? HE left a mess???? He cleaned up the messes. Now Trump is going to take us right back in; cutting taxes for the wealthy and increasing spending. After all Obama’s work he’s going to tear this country back down again. He did not divide us. He couldn’t have worked with congress more; congress obstructed him at every turn. Where the hell are you getting your news?

Anonymous

Yup liberal/progressive, your affirmative action incompetent white boy obams just could not handle the job, he wasn’t up to anything but race baiting and hanging out on college campuses with kids. But to be fair, that poor little barackie never has had an actual job in his life, so it was sooooo unfair for people to put him in an adult job where he had to be accountable and perform.
No wonder that kid hired only political cronies, crony lawyers, wall street cronies, and academic cronies.

We are all chicagoans now.

Anonymous

I thought Barack taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and was a community organizer . . . isn’t the latter what Jesus was too?

Anonymous

A guy that has serial bankruptcies–from running casinos no less–is the person who is going to get this country going again??? Wake up and smell the coffee. Not only is Trump incapable of doing that; refused to have his clothing line produced within America; but most of all, automation is taking over. 60% of today’s jobs, including those that require master’s degree or higher, i.e., doctors, lawyers, etc., won’t even exist in 20 years. It’s not your Granddaddy’s or Daddy’s generation anymore, when America had no competition, as its trading allies were trying to rebuild from the ravages of war . . . the times they are ‘a changing! Trump can’t stop this, no matter what pablum he spouts to assuage the public’s fears. Americans used to be resourceful and resilient–never taking “no” for an answer. Now, they just sit around and complain that everything isn’t dropped in their lap. I’ve retrained twice in my work life . . . and re-located . . . it was grueling, exhausting, and in the immediate, very costly, but it’s the very reason that I have a decent standard of living today, and should have for the next 10 years of my career before I retire.

Anonymous

An opportunity to unite us? You have got to be kidding! He’s trying to spare us from Trump and his fellow Russian crooks. THANK GOD!

BTW, if Trump is such a “uniter” why do his speeches alienate more than half the country’s population.

Dee

Here goes Obama, again, throwing Trump voters under the bus. Does he really think that Hillary would have won if the leaks didn’t come out? She barely had the stamina to even campaign!! And what about the illegal aliens that were able to vote? And he needs to go look in the mirror to see who divided us!!

Darbley Ale

Yeah, but what if Trump is wittingly culpable? He clearly has the means and stands to benefit, as do many of those whom he is trying to surround himself with. Now, both the FBI and the CIA agree on the evidence regarding Putin’s involvement.

Shaner

Yea…since when can you hack paper ballots? Since when can you hack a voting machines that isn’t connected to the Internet?

People believe so much garbage.

b

That would be Brennan, the one and the same that made stuff up and lied to congress during an investigation. Really, you would believe HIM? Numerous folks are now saying the leak that lead to the hacks came from several disgruntled employees who were disgusted with the refusal to charge Hillary, followed by the stealing of the primary from Sanders to Hillary. Actually that sounds like a much more plausible reason to me. But, put all that aside and we were not told anything in the leaks that turned out to be false. The DNC just got outed and they are furious over it. A wise teacher always warned, never put anything in an email that you would not want to be found out.

STL MAMA

Do you really think Trump is going to do anything for you? Do you really want your children or grandchildren shipped off to fight another country’s civil war because you do know Trump is a draft dodger so I am sure none of his family will die from him running his foul mouth, trying to be the biggest d**k. Obama wasn’t perfect but his mouth didn’t get our children killed fighting for people who hate us, don’t care about us, but want us to save them and want our American dream. He isn’t leaving Trump half the mess Bush left him.

b

If it becomes necessary to fight another war, you only have to thank Obama and his feckless foreign policy. He and Hillary have created the mess in the Middle East and Africa. There is no denying it. From the time of their Arab Spring policy to now, they have created the worst mess in our entire history of foreign policy. As for the draft dodge claim, I don’t recall Obama having served.

Anonymous

The draft ended in the early 1970’s, long before Obama came of age. There was a draft when Trump came of age. Supposedly he had a heel spur, but when asked “which heel,” he couldn’t recall.

Anonymous

Guess your selective amnesia doesn’t recall George W. Bush’s claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but then later had to admit that he was wrong. Didn’t we go to war over that? Didn’t lots of young people get killed, lose limbs, and suffer from PTSD, over weapons that never existed? Plus, didn’t W plung us into the worst Recession in 75 years? Is it your selective amnesia that allow you to make such an outrageously untrue claim about Obama having the worst foreign policy on record? Seems to me ole Bush Sr. started the war in Afghanistan too . . . but got nowhere. Oh well, even tho I know they’re abhorrent to Trumpsters, just wanted to acquaint you with the facts.

Anonymous

There’s a laugh . . . Trump voters not only metaphorically throw Clinton voters under the bus, but practically literally do it!

I am sick about hearing about all these so-called illegal aliens that were able to vote. Show substantiated, vetted, non-partisan documentation, or shut the f*ck up!

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