Obama uses his final press conference to issue extraordinary warning to Trump that he will step in if he ’rounds up’ children for deportation, hits voting rights or ‘silences dissent’
- President Obama laid down a marker for President-elect Trump after he takes office
- In his final press conference, Trump brought up contentions issues for the U.S. citizenry, and pointedly told Trump he would speak up if his successor strayed far from current policy on rights issues
- He mentioned ‘systematic discrimination’ and efforts to ‘punish’ immigrants who came here as children
- He praised the press for making ‘this place work better’ in another signal to Trump, who has attacked networks and news outlets
- Invokes Jim Crow efforts to ‘restrict the franchise’ and prioritizes voting rights amid looming fight with the GOP over voter ID laws
- But he explains that doesn’t mean he would ‘get on the ballot’
At his last scheduled news conference before leaving office on Friday, Obama said if there was ‘systemic discrimination,’ efforts to ‘silence dissent’ or to ‘roll back voting rights,’ he would be ‘speaking out.’
It was among his most activist descriptions of his next act, and indicates Obama may be rethinking his post-presidency role and heeding the urging of some activists to play a stronger function in the leaderless Democratic Party as it navigates the Trump administration.
That group of issues, Obama explained, were ‘core values that may be at stake’ and would prompt him to get off the sidelines.