Nov 15, 2016 (LBO) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is committed to maintaining the country’s strategic relationships including NATO, President Barack Obama said speaking to reporters, following a meeting between the two.
“He’s going to be the next president and regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office,” said Obama. “This office has a way of waking you up.”
According to the Washington Post, Obama was cautionary, but struck a sanguine note.
“I think he’s sincere in wanting to be a successful president and moving this country forward,” he 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.
The Kremlin said in a statement that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation Monday that relations between their countries were “unsatisfactory” and vowed to work together to improve them.
The two leaders discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about “a settlement for the crisis in Syria” and their aides would begin working towards a face-to-face meeting between them.
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“I don’t think he is ideological. I think, ultimately, he is pragmatic,” Obama said. “And that can serve him well as long as he has got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction.”
“What’s clear is that he was able to tap into, yes, the anxieties, but also the enthusiasm of his voters in a way that was impressive,” the president said. He observed that Trump was “impervious to events that might have sunk another candidate. That’s powerful stuff.”
But Obama cautioned that Trump would not be able to govern as he campaigned: “There are going to be certain elements of his temperament that will not serve him well unless he recognizes them and corrects them.”