--OBAMA SAYS TRUMP TOLD HIM HE WOULD SUPPORT NATO: President Obama said yesterday that President-elect Donald Trump told him personally that he would maintain a strong "commitment" to NATO -- after the real estate mogul threatened to abandon the alliance during the campaign. Obama made the remarks at a press briefing at the White House just before departing on his last trip overseas as president, an opportunity he'll take to signal "solidarity with our closest allies," he said. "In my conversation with the president-elect he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships, and so one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance," Obama said. ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL has more: http://abcn.ws/2fR1WY6
--BACKSTORY: During his presidential campaign Donald Trump described NATO as "obsolete," while also suggesting he may not honor the organization's most sacred covenant of mutual defense (an attack on one is an attack on all) in the face of outside aggression. “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes," Trump told The New York Times in July when asked if he would defend the Baltic states from an attack by Russia. http://abcn.ws/2fR1WY6
--REPUBLICANS STRUGGLE TO RESPOND AS DEMOCRATS DENOUNCE BANNON HIRE: Trump’s selection of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to be his chief of staff brought quick praise from members of the GOP, but Sunday’s other major Trump administration appointment has so far been met with silence from within the party, note ABC’s MARY BRUCE, BENJAMIN SIEGEL and ALI ROGIN. While Democrats have been quick to criticize Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist, top Republicans have been hesitant to talk about Bannon’s new role in the White House. http://abcn.ws/2fzIxLX
BANNON BACKGROUNDER: Bannon, 62, worked behind-the-scenes as Trump’s presidential campaign CEO. Top Democrats in Congress and prominent anti-defamation groups decry Bannon’s appointment and point to his rhetoric and leading role with Breitbart News that as an indication that he holds white nationalist and anti-Semitic views, report ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. http://abcn.ws/2eUgO6W
--WHAT TRUMP IS TWEETING:
@realDonaldTrump: If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily
@realDonaldTrump: The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!
ANALYSIS -- HOW DONALD TRUMP WON AND ALMOST ALL OF US MISSED IT. When Loriann Syswerda, 27, walked into her Michigan polling location last Tuesday, election experts and pundits may have thought Syswerda — a white woman with a college degree in a light blue state — would be pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton. But people like Syswerda across the Rust Belt were poised to deliver one of the most shocking upsets in American political history. ABC’s RYAN STRUYK has more: http://abcn.ws/2fSu26W
SPEED READ with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
OBAMA SAYS DESPITE RESERVATIONS, HE HOPES TRUMP 'MAKES THINGS BETTER.' President Barack Obama called for unity as President-elect Donald Trump takes over in the coming weeks, despite the president’s own reservations about Trump's ability to lead the U.S. Obama said that the outcome of the U.S. election leaves him with "concerns" and that many missed Trump's unforeseen victory, ABC’s MARGARET CHADBOURN notes. "There was a lot of folks who missed the Trump phenomenon ... that connection that he was able to make ... that was impervious to events that might have sunk another candidate, that’s powerful stuff," Obama said in his first press conference since the historic 2016 election. http://abcn.ws/2fafw92
COULD DONALD TRUMP REALLY DISMANTLE THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL? Days after a historic nuclear accord was struck between six world powers and Iran, then Republican primary candidate Donald Trump tweeted that the deal posed "a direct national security threat" the United States and called on republicans to "stand up" and put a stop to it. Since then Trump has called it "the stupidest deal of all time," and his Vice President-elect Mike Pence has vowed the deal would be "ripped up." So, what exactly does the Iran deal guarantee as it stands now and what could President-elect Donald Trump, with backing of a Republican-controlled Congress, do to change it or end it altogether? ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL has more: http://abcn.ws/2fTsv0t
MINNESOTA REP. KEITH ELLISON ANNOUNCES BID FOR DNC CHAIR. Rep. Keith Ellison formally announced his candidacy for chair of the Democratic National Committee Monday, an expected move by the Minnesota congressman who, with the support of several prominent Democrats, is considered to be the front-runner for the position. Ellison, 53, a five-term representative from the progressive wing of the party, had been floated as a potential chair in the aftermath of last week's general election, which saw Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeated by Republican Donald Trump. ABC’s ADAM KELSEY has more: http://abcn.ws/2g8YwVl
ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTS SPREAD TO DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP WITH SIT-IN AT SCHUMER’S DC OFFICE. Protests continued throughout the U.S. on the sixth consecutive day following Donald Trump's surprise electoral victory, targeting both the president-elect's anti-immigration policies and factions of white supremacist support, as well as the leadership of Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is widely expected to be elected Senate minority leader to replace outgoing Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. Hundreds of high school students held a walkout in East Los Angeles, California, a diverse neighborhood with a large Hispanic population, demanding protection for the people they said were being targeted by Trump's supporters in the wake of his election, ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN reports. http://abcn.ws/2eUIqJ3
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
OPRAH WINFREY EXPLAINS POSITIVE DONALD TRUMP, OBAMA TWEET. When President-elect Donald Trump met with President Obama at the White House last week, media mogul Oprah Winfrey appeared to try looking on the bright side. That did not go over so well with fans, and she is now admitting her "mistake," writes ABC’s MICHAEL ROTHMAN. On Thursday, as anti-Trump protests which started right after the Tuesday election continued around the country, Winfrey tweeted, "Everybody take a deep breath! #HopeLives!" next to a picture of the Obama and Trump in what was their first-ever meeting. http://abcn.ws/2fNPNEq
@DavidChalian: RIP @gwenifill - A fearless colleague, a fiercely loyal friend. A true North Star in her field. I am so lucky that our paths intersected.
@SpeakerRyan: I am saddened to learn about the passing of Gwen Ifill—an incredibly talented and respected journalist.
@NancyPelosi: Saddened by the passing of Gwen Ifill – a true trailblazer in her field and a role model for young women journalists across the nation.