WaPo | President Obama used one of the last news conferences of his presidency Friday to lament the country’s deep political divisions, asserting that they make the United States vulnerable to foreign manipulation, and to warn President-elect Donald Trump to be less casual in his dealings with foreign leaders.
“My advice to him has been that before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments other than the usual courtesy calls, that he should want to have his full team in place,” Obama said. “. . . He should want his team to be fully briefed on what’s gone on in the past and where the potential pitfalls may be. You want to make sure you’re doing it in a systematic, deliberate, intentional way.”
For the past five weeks, Obama has tried to hide his disappointment about Trump’s win and to remain publicly upbeat about the country and its institutions. On Friday, the optimistic facade began to crack.
He worried that the political discourse had been degraded to a point where “everything is under suspicion, and everybody is corrupt, and everybody is doing things for partisan reasons, and all of our institutions are, you know, full of malevolent actors.”