President Barack Obama, in his final press conference on Wednesday, said he’ll mostly remain silent during the incoming administration of Donald Trump.
But if Trump implemented policies of “systematic discrimination” or where the U.S.’s “core values may be at stake,” he won’t remain silent. “Efforts to silent dissent” or “[rolling] back voting rights” would prompt him to be “speaking out,” Obama said.
“If I saw systematic discrimination [is] being ratified in some fashion. I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise,” Obama said.
He continued: “I put in that category institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press.”
Obama’s last day in office is Inauguration Day, Friday, Jan. 20.
Obama left some strong remarks for child immigrants. “And for me, at least, I would put in that category efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country, they are our kids’ friends and their classmates and are now entering into community colleges or in some cases serving in our military,” he added.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 19, 2017
The president also said farewell to the press corps covering his administration.
“I want to thank you all for your extraordinary service to our democracy,” he added. “Having you in this building has made this place work better, it keeps us honest … it makes us work harder.”
And during his final news conference, Obama sought to end his chapter in history on an optimistic note, AP reported.
He said that despite his party’s devastating losses in the election, he was confident in the country’s future, adding, “this is not just a matter of ‘no-drama Obama,’ this is what I really believe.”
“It is true that behind closed doors, I curse more than I do publicly, and sometimes I get mad and frustrated like everybody else does,” Obama said. “But at my core, I think we’re going to be OK. We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it and not take it for granted.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.