Transcript for SPECIAL REPORT: Obama Holds 1st Press Conference Since Election
This is an ABC news special were. George Stephanopoulos. Good afternoon we are coming on the air right now because President Obama is about to hold a press conference at the White House his first since last week's election made Donald Trump his successor. That wasn't a plan for President Obama he campaigned hard against trump calling him uniquely unqualified for the office. But when the president elect came to the White House Thursday for his first meeting Oval Office you see it right there the two met for ninety minutes shared words of respect. And trump said he would seek Obama's council on a range of issues. Already present like trump has said he will consider keeping two key parts the obamacare law he had promised to repeal and replace. Later today pres Obama leaves for Athens Greece is expected to be his final official trip overseas. And Martha Raddatz in the White House briefing room one of the president's goals will be to assure reassure American allies who don't know what to expect from president term. They certainly don't George president Lech trump made many controversial statements during the campaign about NATO about Russia apparently. President elect trump has now talked to Vladimir Putin according to the Kremlin. The President Obama will try to reassure those allies he will be speaking to leaders from Germany from France. From the UK from Italy but it is president elect trump who really have to reassure them George. And President Obama may also be questions about the first of plans you know from present electron as chief of staff. Ranks pretty this is chief strategist Steve banning controversial head former head of that bright pardon news agency already getting some criticism. From the anti defamation league and many Democrats again pres Obama expected to come in the White House briefing room his first press conference. Bell ordered by. In a couple hours will be departing on my final portrait of president. And while were brought. All have a chance to interfere your questions but I figured why wait I know that. There's a lot of domestic issues that people. Are thinking about someone that's your. Clear out some of the underbrush and sort of when were. Overseas. People were asking about foreign policy questions people feel obliged to tack on free other. Questions tool. Went Larry can I know you stole. More but I'm I'm trying to sell but I. First small image mentions three brief topics. First of all as I discussed what the president elect on Thursday. My team stands ready to accelerate. In the next steps if required to ensure us transition. And we are going to be staying in touch as we travel. I remember what it was like when I came in eight years ago it is a big challenge. This office is bigger than any one person. And that's why it sure this transition is so important. It's not something to the constitution explicitly requires but it is one of those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy. Similar to norms of civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis. It it's part of what makes. This country war and as long as I'm president we are going to uphold those norms and cherish and uphold those ideals. As I've told my staff. We should be very proud that their work has already insure that when we turn over the keys. The car's in pretty good shape. We are. Indisputable in a stronger position today than we were when I came in eight years ago. Jobs been growing for 73 straight months incomes are rising. Poverty is falling the uninsured rate is at the lowest level on record. Carbon emissions have come down without infringing on our world. And so my instructions my team are that we run through the tape we make sure that we. Finish what we started. That we don't let up in these last couple months. Because my goal is on January 21. America's in the strongest position possible. And hopefully. There's an opportunity for the next president to build moment. Number true. Our work has also is help to stabilize the global economy and because there is one president at a time. All spending this week reinforcing America's support for the approaches we've taken to promote economic growth and global security on a range of issues. I look forward to my first visit embrace. And then in Germany offers that would chancellor Merkel who has probably been. My closest international partner these past eight years. Also signal our solidarity work closest allies and express our support for a strong integrated and united Europe. It's essential to our national security and it's essential to global stability and that's why the trans Atlantic alliance and the NATO alliance who worked for decades under democratic and Republican administrations. Finally in Peru on meet with leaders of countries that have been the focus of our foreign policy to our rebalance in aviation circuit. This is a time of great change in the world but America's always been a pillar of strength and a beacon of hope. Two peoples around the globe and that's what must continue to be. Finally our personal loan Michelle I want to offer our deepest condolences to work rifles through. And all of you for Collins on her past. When was friend of ours she was extraordinary journalist. She always kept faith with the fundamental responsibilities of a profession and asking tough questions. Holding people in power accountable and defending a strong and free press that makes our democracy work. I always appreciate wins reporting even when I was at the receiving end one of her tough and thorough interviews. Whether she reported the convention floor or from the field. Whether she says the debate moderated table or at the actress desk. She not only informed today's citizens but she also as far as tomorrow's reports. She was especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity her tenacity and her court. And for whom she blazed a trail as one half the first all female anchor team on. Network news so when did her country a great service. Michelle might join her family and her colleagues and everybody else laughter and remembering her fondly today. So without amid took some questions and because. Josh Earnest. It has some pull around here he just happens to report at the top at least topless. Calling Nelson of the Wall Street Journal. My understanding is following this is. Wrapping up you were spent here and you're going to Kansas City. Josh just happens to be from Kansas City. I saw I don't know if there was any coincidence there. We we wish you the very best in this event. Here SC. Okay let me say. Leaders about its fast track did expressing his savings savings you have Don Cassidy. Separately as Democrats and after city. Nice about we're that I. One of the great things about. The United States is that. When it comes to world affairs. The president obviously is. The leader. The executive branch the commander in chief. The spokesperson for the nation but. The influence in the war but we have. Is the result not just over the post it is. The result of countless interactions and arrangements and relationships between. Our military and other militaries and are difficult and other diplomats and intelligence officers and development workers. And there is enormous continuity. They need good data big news. That makes us. There are indispensable nation where it comes sort of maintaining order and promoting prosperity around the world that walker turned. In my conversation with the president elect. He. Expressed. A K great interest in. And maintaining our for a strategic relationships. And so one of the messages I will be able to whoever is his commitment to NATO and the transatlantic alliance. I think that's one of the most important. Functions I can serve at this stage during this trip. Is to let them know that. There is no weakening of resolve when it comes to America's. Commitment to maintaining a strong and robust. NATO relationship and a recognition that. Those alliances. Aren't just good for Europe. Reserved for the United States and their vital for the world. We respect. The Democratic Party. What as I served in the Rose Garden right after the election when your team loses everybody gets deflated and it's hard. And his challenger. And it's so I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through. Some reflection. I think it's important for me not to be. Big footing the conversation. We wanna see new voices and new ideas emerged as part of the reason why. And its term limits are a really useful thing. Linda Democrats. Should. Not waver on our core. Beliefs and principles. The belief that we should have economy it works burglaries just feel the belief that America. At its best. It is inclusive not exclusive. That we. Insist on. The dignity and god given potential and work. Every child regardless. Race or gender or sexual orientation and what's your quote there were more. That we're committed to. A world in which we keep America safe but. We recognize that. Our power doesn't just flow from our extraordinary military but also flows from. The strength of our ideals and principles and values so they're going to be core set of values. Shouldn't. Be up for debate should be remorseful. But how we organize politically. I think it's something that we should spend some time thinking about. I believe that we have. Better ideas. But I also believe that good ideas no matter if people. Don't hear them. And one of the issues the Democrats have to. Clear on is that given. Population distribution across the country. We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to work very grass roots like something that's been running threat. In my career. You know I won Iowa and not because. The demographics dictated that I would win Iowa. It was because that's been 87 days. Ornery small town. Fair and fish fry and VFW hall. And there were some counties where I model lost. But maybe a loss. By twenty points and stir fifty points. There's some charismatic I want the people and expect because people had a chance to see it was until you get a sense. We stood for whom you're fighting for and the challenge for a national party is how do you. Billionaire. And create those kinds of structures. So the people have a sense. What it is that you stand for. And and and that increasingly is difficult to do just threw. National press. It's increasingly difficult to do because of the spoiler this. And so. I think the discussions that have been taking place about how do you feel more grassroots organizing how to build a state parties and local parties and school board elections are paying attention to. State rep races and City Council races. All. I think will contribute to. Strongly from some future. I'm optimistic that will happen. For for Democrats were feeling. Completely discouraged. Been trying to remind them. Everybody remembers my Boston speech in 2004 they may not remember me showing up here 2005 when. John period lost a close election. Tom Daschle the leader of the senate that he beat them up so. Ken Salazar and I would be ordered to don't press the warm national. Republicans control the senate. And the house. And two years later. Democrats were winning back congress in four years whereas from the United States things. Change pretty rapidly. But there though they don't change inevitable change. Because you work for. Members of democracy as forcefully as it is hard and in a big country like this. That probably should be. We're no thank you sir producer thank goodness you. This president what can you tell us about these learning curve on becoming pro. Four we're fully Eddie used in the job if that never happened and didn't discuss. President elect rob. About a week ago I certainly feel pretty good. Look the I think the alert learning curve always. Continues. This is in a remarkable job it is like no other job on our. And. It is a constant flow of information and challenges and issues. That is truer now than it has ever been. Partly because of the nature of information. And the inner connection. Between. Regions of the world. Nokia if you were president. Fifty years ago. The treasury and Syria. Might not even penetrate. What. We've heard people we're thing about a bit it is today they're seeing vivid images. A child in the aftermath of the bombing. There was a time when if you have a financial crisis in southeast Asia somewhere it had no impact on. Markets today at us so. The amount of information. The amount. In common that any administration has to deal with today and respond to much more rapidly. Than ever before. That makes a difference. I was watching a documentary. That. During the beta picks crisis JFK about two weeks before. Anybody reporter. Imagine that. Things for asserted. Something like that happens under current president. They got figure of about an hour. What the responses. So. These are the kinds of points that I shirt with the president elect. It was very. Free flowing and I think useful conversation I hope of what's. I try to be as I was as I could about. The things. I think any president coming in needs to think about. And probably most important point that I made it was that. How you staff. Particularly the chief of sir your national security advisor. Who White House counsel. How you set up and processing system. Surface information. Generate options for president. Understanding that ultimately the president is gonna be the final decision maker. That that's something that has to be attended to right away. I have been blessed by having. And I admittedly am bias. Some of the smartest hardest working. Good people. In my administration that. Having any president's ever had and as a consequence of that team. I've been able to make good decisions. And if you if you don't have that Iraqi. They yoga swamped so. I hope that he appreciated. Bad advice. What I also discussed was the fact that it I've been encouraged by his statements on election night about the need for. Unity and his interest in being the president for all people. And that how he straps. The first steps he takes. First impressions he makes. The re so they can happen after election. All those things are important and should be. And I think it's important to give him the room in the space to do that. It takes time. To put that together. But I emphasize to him look. Election like this that was so hotly contested and so divided. Gestures matter. And how we. Reaches out. Groups that may now have support them how the signals his interest. In their issues or concerns I think. Those are the kinds of things that can sort of tone. That war. Will help move things forward. Once he's actually taking office and take more yeah yeah. For idle air time to worry about being of these because you'll call we were losing by 8000 jobs a month so. The good news is that. In some where's my experience is a terrible. It's hard to find analogous situation. By the time FDR came in office the depression have been going on for a couple years. We were in the midst of a free fall. Financial system was walking out the auto industry was about to go belly up. The housing market have entirely collapsed. So. You're one of the advantages that I had was that I was too busy. It's. Worried about how acclimated I was feeling. In the job we does that make budget decisions. In this situation. We're turning over countries as challenges has problems and obviously. There are people out there who were feeling deeply disaffected. Otherwise we wouldn't have have the results that we had the election. On the other hand if you look at. The basic. Indicators. Where the country is right now. The unemployment rate is. As Lowe's has been in. 89 years. Incomes. And wages both. Over the last year faster than they have. And a decade or true. We've got to historically low. And short rates the financial systems are stable the stock market is. Hovering around us all time high 41 case of been restored the housing market has recovered. We have challenges. Internationally. Our most immediate challenge. Would respect I shall. We're seeing significant progress. In Iraq. And Mosul. Is now. Increasingly. Being. Retaken by Iraqi Security Forces supported by us our alliances are in strong shape. Are the progress we've made with respect to carbon emissions. Has been greater than any country. And while gas is two books ago so. He will have time and space. I think to make. Judicious decisions. The incoming administration. Doesn't have to. Put out. A huge number of fires they may want to take the country and significantly. Different direction they got. Time to consider. What exactly. They want to achieve and that's a testament there. The tremendous work but my tombstone over western yours -- price for. Peter Jones. You said more than once they do not believe that Donald Trump will be elected president and that you thought you. The office thousands spent time with hands and brown. Do you doubt me. Let's talk is qualifier. Good comeback question yeah. Snapping and tall what do you say it is an American troops may not doubt that the Yankees it's that are concerned. Those policies and I expressed my son has what are the result would order that. Pops out to minorities and others specifically I'm talking about the announcement that he the end. Of the so called all right movement women. Quite national. You have prominent role in the White House I'm. President and his cheese. What message does that send. This agreement without copping out I think it's fairly assertive. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on every appointment. President elect starts making. If I want to be consistent where. The notion that we're gonna try to facilitate a smooth transition. What. The people spoke. Donald Trump who will be the next president. Reportedly frozen the United States. And it will be up to him to set up eighteen. He thinks will serve him well and reflect. His policies. And those who didn't vote for have to recognize that that's how democracy works that show. This system operates. When. I want there were a number of people who didn't like make and a white what I stood for. And I think that whenever you've got. An incoming president of the other side particularly in bitter election lifeless. It takes awhile for people to. Reconcile themselves where is that new reality and hopefully it's a reminder that. Elections matter. And vote counts. And so. You know I don't know how many times ripped three learn this lesson because we ended up having. 43% of the country not voting were eligible to vote but it makes a difference. So. Given that report from. Is. Now trying to balance. Ways campaign. Dependency made to a supporters we're. Working with the those who disagreed with them and members of congress. Reaching out constituencies that didn't vote for. I think it's important for us to let him make his decisions. And I think the American people won't judge over the course of the next. Couple years whether. Like what they see and whether. Season because of policies. This is the direction we'll save the country going. And and my role is to make sure that. When I hand off this. The White House. That it is in the best possible shape. And I've been as helpful as I feel for him. In. Going forward and building on the progress that we've made. We'll and then my advice is also due to. The president elect we had our discussions. Was. Campaigning is different from government. I think he recognizes that. I think he's sincere in wanting to be a successful president. And moving this country for. And I don't think any president ever comes in saying to himself. Or figure out how to make people language. Alienate. Half the country I think he's going to try. As best he can't to make sure that. He delivers not only for people who order form book for the people at large in the Brooklyn uses that there from the elections coming up so there's still an incentive. For him to try to do but. Here it's only been. Six days and I think it will be important for him to. Good to have the room to step up. To figure out what his priorities are due to be able to distinguish between forty. Was campaigning on and one practical and what we can actually achieve. There are certain things and make for good sound much but don't always translate into good policy. And you know that something that he and his team I think will wrestle with in the senate where an ever present. Brussels. I did say to him as I've said. Publicly. That. Because. The nature of the campaigns. And the bitterness. Ferocity of the camp and it's really important to try to send some signals. Of unity and to reach out. Two. Mind or groups or women. Others that were. Concerned. The terror of the campaign. And I think. Now that's something that he will. He will want to do it. But this is all have a little faster. He's got commitments to support news that helped to get him here and he's gonna have to balance those. And over the over the coming weeks and months. And years and my hope is is that those impulses. Ultimately win out but. Too little too early to start. Making judgments. You I think Kurt. He successfully mobilized. A big chunk of the country folk form and he's gonna win. He is why he's going to be the next president. And regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office. This officer is aware waking up and those. Those aspects. It is positions war. Pre dispositions that. Don't match up will be. He wore. Find shaken up pretty quick because. We all this aware. Asserting itself. And some of his gifts that obviously that allowed him to. Execute one of biggest political upsets in history. Those are ones that hopefully if you put to good use on behalf of all remarkably. So poorly. Europe Europe which is facing some. What twenty. Of course correction. What are your music. I think the American people. Recognize. That. The world has Schwab that it's interconnected. You're not gonna put that genie back in the ball. The American people. Recognize that. Their careers or their kids' careers are gonna have to be more dynamic. They might not be working. The single plan for thirty years but they might have to. Change careers in my left. More education. My. Retool or retrain. And I think the American people are game for that they want to make sure that the rules of the game. Our fair. And what that means is that. If if you look at surveys around them. Americans' attitudes on trade. The majority of them are people still support trade. But there are concerned about. Whether or not trade is fair and whether. We've got the same access to other countries markets as they have with us this is just released to the bottom when it comes to wages and so forth now. I made an argument this thus far unsuccessfully that. The trigger weird organized to PP did exactly that. Strength and workers' rights environmental rights level playing field and as a consequence would be good for American workers American business. But that's a complex. Argument to make when people. Remember plants closing and jobs. Being offshore. So part of what. I think this election. Reflected was people wanting that course where the extra. Stand. The message oh. Stopping. Searches of immigration. Not creating new trade deals that may be unfair. I think those were themes that. Quite prominent role in the campaign. As we now shift to government. My argument is that. We do need to make sure that we have an orderly and lawful immigration process but. That. If it is orderly. And lawful. Immigration is good for our com. It keeps this country young and it keeps a dynamic. We have option viewers subscribers who come here we'll take risks and that's part of the reason why America historically has been successful as part of the reason why. Our economy stronger and better positioned than most of our other. Competitors. Is because we've got a younger population that's more dynamic. Where it comes to trade I think. You know. When your governing it'll become increasingly apparent that if you were to just eliminate. Trade deals. Will Mexico for example. Well you've got a global supply trade. Parts that are allowing. Auto plants there were about to shut down. To it now implored double shifts is because. They're bringing in some of those parts. To assemble. Mexico. And so it's not as simple as a Muncie. And then you'll be key for us. When I say us I mean Americans but I think particularly for progressives. Is to say. Your concerns are real your anxieties are real. Here's how we fix a higher minimum waged. Stronger. Worker protections so. Workers have more leverage to get a bigger piece of the pie. Stronger financial were regulations not weaker ones. Yes to trade but trade that ensures that these other countries the trailer with us on. Engaging in child labor. Being attentive to equality. And not toned up to a but offering prescriptions are nurtured and helped. Folks. In communities that feel forgotten that's going to be. Almost reform strategy. And and I think we can successfully do. People will still be looking to the United States. Our example. We'll. Still carry great weight. And it. Continues to be. My strong belief that it. The way we'll remain true to everybody feels. What part of this global economy is not by. Shut ourselves off from each other even if you could. But rather by working together. More effectively we have in the past. Margaret's. Some of the harsh words had about mr. trump calling him kept them. Commander in chief. Did anything surprise you about president elect trump when you met with him in your office and also I wanna know it does anything concern you. About a truck presidents. Well. But we had a very. Cordial conversation. And that didn't surprise me to some degree because I think that he is obviously. A gregarious person he's somebody. They're likes to mix it up. Have. A vigorous debate. And there what's clear is that he was able to tap into. Yes the anxieties but also the enthusiasm for his. Voters. In a way that. There was impressive and I served social. Because I think that. To the extent that there were a lot of folks who missed. The thoughtful moment this. That. Connection really was able to make what his supporters. There was impervious to events that might have sunk. Another candidate. That's powerful stuff. I also think that he is coming to this office. We do. Few were. Set. Hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might. Be arriving. I don't think he is ideological. I think ultimately it is he's pragmatic and that way and that can serve him well. As long as he's got good people around him and he has a fierce sense of direction. Do I have concerns absolutely of course under its troops we'll be and I. Differ on a whole bunch issues. But. The federal government and our democracy. Is not a speedboat it's good open line. As I discovered when I came in office. It took awhile we'll really hard work for us to make significant. Policy changes even in our first two years when we head. Larger majorities than mr. trouble enjoy when he comes in office. And they're one of the things I advised him to do was to make sure that before he commits to. Certain courses of action and he's really dug in than. Thought through. How. Various issues play themselves out. Argues. A obvious example. Where we have a difference but only interest is tuned to see what happens. In the coming year and that's the affordable care. So obviously this is been. The holy Grail school. Republicans. Over the last 67 years as we gotta kuril Obama. Now. That has been taken as an article of faith. That this is terrible doesn't work and we have to endure. But now she's Republicans are charged ago took a look at certain what city. We'll get warm and people who have health insurance who didn't have before. Health pure. Cost generally have gone up rates significantly slower rate. Since obamacare was passed than they did before which is saved. The federal treasury. Hundreds of billions of dollars. People who have health insurance. Are benefiting and all sorts of ways that they may not be aware of everything from no longer having lifetime limits on. The claims that they can make to seniors getting prescription drug benefit discounts. Under Medicare. Two free mammograms. That's one thing to characterizes his fingers not working. Where it's just an abstraction also weigh your charging your gonna repeal what OK well. What happens moves toward remind people who have health insurance. Or your. Just kick them off and suddenly they don't have health insurance. And in what ways are there lives better because about. Are either repealed. Provision that ensures that. If you do have health insurance on their job and you lose your job or change jobs or you're. Start small business. You're not discriminate because he got a preexisting condition that's really popular. Holly gonna replace. Are you going to change. The policy good kids who stay on their. Parents' health insurance plan to live point six. How are you get approach. All these issues. My view is that if they. Can come up with something better that actually works and the year or two after they were placed. The affordable care it was their own plan. 25 million people have health insurance and it's cheaper and better and run smoothly. All be the first ones to say that's great congratulations. If on the other end. Whatever proposing results in. Millions of people losing coverage. And results in. People already have health insurance losing protectionist move. Were contained in legislation done. Forever from. And I think that's army unit that. To me Ireland who murder people respond that way. So. I think on a lot of issues. Where you're gonna see is now comes the hard part now there's government. We are going to be able to present. To the incoming administration. A country that is. Strong over a federal government that is working better and more efficiently. Okay national security apparatus that. It is both more effective and tour tore values. Energy policies that. Are. Resulting in not just last pollution but also. More jobs. And I think that would. President elect Writely word to expect that he's judged on whether. We improve from that baseline. And on those metrics or things get worse. And if things get worse loan the American people won't figure out record and if things get better. Then more partial and then I'll be the first to graduate here. Mr. President you would talk specifically about his temperament them. Do you still have any concern about his temper. As I said because of pianist and ask the question. Whatever you bring to this office. This office has it's a a habit of magnifying and pointing out and hopefully even you correct for. This may seem like a silly example but I know myself well enough to know I can't keep track of people. Not well organized in that way. And so. Pretty quickly after I'm getting facts free people coming in every night. I say to myself I've got to figure out a system. Because. I have bad. Filing sorting and organizing half. And I've got to find some people who can help me. Keep track of this stuff. That seems trivial but actually events have been. A pretty big piece of business. I think what happened what the president electors third going to be certain elements of his temperament that. Will not serve him well unless. He recognizes them and corrects. Because. When your candidate and you say something. Is inaccurate or. Controversial. It has less impact than it does wonderful of the United States. Everybody around the world pay attention markets move. Nationals. Security. Issues. Require. A level of precision. In order to make sure that you don't make mistakes. And I think Hughes beat recognizes that. This is different. And certainly American people parliament take just a couple more questions I get out of here. Nodded robots. It's as John. Voters. Nice. Hey it's okay. Well passionate. Many people predecessor. Based. I'm. They've found a statement that the you know support this. Toronto is a good example. The gap I think between. Some of the rhetoric in this town not unit the president elect and the reality. And then there was. Really robust debate about the merits of the Iran deal before. It was completely. And I actually was pretty proud of our democracy process there was a serious debate. I think people of goodwill were on both sides of the issue. Ultimately we're able to persuade. Members of congress and the public at least an iPhone to supported. At the time. The main argument against it was around when. Abide by the deal. That they would shape. We now. Have. Over a year of evidence that. They haven't lied about it. That's not just my opinion that's not just people in my administration that's the opinion of Israeli military and intelligence officers. Who. Are part of a government that vehemently oppose the deal. So. My suspicion is that when the president elect comes and he's consulting work his Republican colleagues on the hill that there will look at. The facts. Because to unravel a deal that's working and preventing Iran from. Pursuing a nuclear weapon. Would be hard. Explain. Particularly if the alternative word to. Have them. Freed from any obligations and Gordon pursuit of weapons. And keep in mind this is not just an international route between us and Iran since this is between. The and go for us to pull out who would then require us to start sanctioning. Those other countries in Europe. Or China or Russia that were storewide in about a deal because from their perspective. Iran had done what it was supposed to do. So becomes more difficult I think to. And do something that's working been under something that is work. And when you're not responsible for I think you can. Call it terrible deal. When you are responsible for. The deal of them prevented Iran from getting nuclear weapon. Feel more like regular. Look at the facts that is going to be true. Did in other circumstances. For example. The Paris agreed. Others there's been a lot of talk about. The possibility of undoing. This international agreement now we've got 200 countries that have signed up to this thing. And the good news is that. What we've been able to show over the last. 568. Years. Is that it's possible to grow the economy really fast. And possible to bring down carbon emissions as well. It's not just a bunch of fools that we've set up. You've got. Utilities that are put new solar and creating jobs you've got. The Big Three auto makers who have seen record sales. And are over achieving on them. Fuel efficiency standards that we sat. Turns out that people like not having them fill up as often and insert Mario upon even if it's good for the environment. You've got states like California that has been moving forward on. Clean energy agenda separate and apart from any federal regulations that have been performer infect. 40%. Of the country already lives under. In states that are actively pursuing. What's been spotted in the Paris agreement between power plant rule and even states like Texas. Don't politically turned to oppose me. He's you see. Huge increases in wind power and solar power and we've got some very country's biggest companies like. Google Wal-Mart all pursuing energy Richardson who is good for the bottom line so what we've been able to do is to embed. A lot of these. Practices. Into how our economy works and has made are covered more efficient. It's healthy bottom line of folks and. It's clear November. What the president enough doses say that China and India and other countries that are potentially pollute. Come on war. Let's work together so you guys do the same thing. And the biggest threat when it comes to serve. Climate change and pollution. Isn't there a couple months because we only had 300 million people see them come from. China would overbilling people in India would overbilling people and if they are pursuing. The same kind of strategies. That we did before we became more. Aware of the environment been. Our kids will be choked off. And then sold them. Do I think that this new administration will make some changes absolutely. But these international agreements the tradition has been that you carry them forward. Across administrations. Particularly if once you actually examine them turns out that. They're doing good for us in finding other countries in the behavior that will help us. Last question. Just concerned. I'm sorry but lost if you are you're right about there. Would respect to Syria. In Ben Ghazi we have an international mandate we had a UN security resolution. We had a broad based coalition and were able to carry out. Support mission. Met. Achieved the initial goal of prevent and a dozen from being slaughtered. Fairly quickly. It's no secret you know this region well that Syria is it much more messy situation. Where is proxies. Coming from every. And so I wish there. I could bring this to a halt immediately. We have made. Every effort to try to bring about a political. Resolution to this challenge John Kerry has spent. An. An infinite amount of time. Trying to negotiate with the Russians and Iranians. Gulf states and other parties to try to end the killing there. By what you're asking is do we have the capacity to carry out the same kinds of military action. In Syria that we did in Libya. The situation is obviously different. We don't have that option easily available to us. And so we're gonna have to continue to try to pursue. As best we can. Today. Political solution and in the interim. Put as much pressure as we can't of the parties to arrive. Humanitarian safe spaces and cease fires. That at least believed to alleviate the suffering this on the ground. I recognize that that has not worked. And it is something that. I continued to think about every day and we continue to try to find. Some formula. That would allow us to see that suffering. And but. I think it is not. Surprising to you because you study this people. That. If you have behaved Syrian military. That us is committed to. Killing. It's people indiscriminately. As necessary and it is supported by. Russia that now has substantial. Military asses on the ground and are actively supported revolution. And Iran. Actively supporting that version. And we are supporting. What has to be our number one national security burden which is going after arsenal. Both in Mosul and ultimately rocket. That. The situation is not. The same. As it wasn't looking and obviously there's some who question the steps we took in Libya I continue to believe that was right thing to do. Although as I indicated before. In the aftermath. That campaign. Bring the world community not sufficiently support the need for some sort of security structures there. Now is a situation that we have to get back into. A better place and giving you. Last question is doesn't center boomer. What that's about two things. Union desperate. As you here. Reporter the Miami. Fifteen or reassure commercial. His stance on immigration visa and its administration and you won't independently or distress upon you by. Governor. The gradual. Does this now. True test very. Clueless or questions. On. Believe. Deferred action program that we knows doctor. Place to drink score clearly benefiting from. These provisions I will urge. The president elect an incoming administration. Two. Think long and hard before. They are. Endangering the status. For all corrective. Core purposes are American gets. These are kids who were brought here by their parents they did nothing wrong. They've gone to school. Pledge allegiance supplied. Some of them joined the military just old school by definition. They're part of this program. Bears solid. Wonderful young people of good character. And it. It is my strong belief that the majority of the American people would not. Want to see. Suddenly those kids. Have to start hiding again. And that's something good. I world. In courage. The president elect. With respect to want. It is true that I have not been able to close with our premiere. Because. The congressional restrictions would replace office. What is also true is we have greatly reduce the population. You now have. Its significantly less than a hundred people. There. And there are some additional transfers that may be taking place over the next two months. There is a group. Very dangerous people that. We. I have strong evidence of having been guilty. Of committing terrorist acts against the United States but because of the nature of the evidence. In some cases that evidence being compromised. It's very difficult. Put them before the typical article three court. And that. Group has always been the biggest challenge for us mired strongly believe them preference is that we would be much better off closing gitmo. Moving into a different facility that was clearly. Governed by the US jurisdiction. We do a lot cheaper. And justice safely. Congress disagrees with me. And ice together the president elect does as well. We will continue to explore options. For doing them. But keep in mind that it's not just a matter what I'm willing to do. You know more ruthless views Caribbean present news. That. They're all these rules and norms and laws and the other pay attention to. And the people who work for you. We're also subject to those rules and norms. And that's the piece of advice that I Victor. Through the incoming press. I am very proud. Of the fact. We will. Would leave this administration without significant scandal. We made mistakes that when schools. I walked for. The ethics of this administration. And are blacklisted in terms. This dividing by. The rules and norms and keeping trust within those people who put this administration. Against any administration in history. And the reason is because. Frankly we listen to Reuters. There we had a strong White House Counsel's Office had a strong ethics office we have. People in every agency who. Whose job it was to remind people this is how you're supposed to do things and a mere body always. Do everything exactly the way I suppose because I've got two million people. Work and federal government. To include military. So we had. Just try to institutionalize this much we could and that takes a lot of and one of my suggestions recovered present is is that he'd take that part of the job seriously as well. Again you wouldn't know this if you were listening to some news outlets. Or some. Members of oversight committees in congress. But very true of the facts. It works. And this is just one example of that than. Numerous ways in which the federal government is much better today than it wants without people willing I'll. If you look at he added people remember. The legitimate. Problems. There were publicized in Phoenix. It was scandalous what happened. What people don't remember is is that we've brought in. Well over a million people who are getting. Benefits that weren't given before. Driven. Backlog for disability benefits way down. Cut homelessness in half just made the agency. Worker better not work perfect but what better. And one of the models over several my staff was better is good. Perfect is unattainable. A better as possible and so we will try to share. The lessons but we've run over there's less or yours will be incumbent president and my hope is he makes things. And if he does won't benefit from. Thank your body you guys some of you were traveling your village just ask more questions. Just over an hour in the White House briefing room almost entirely. About president elect Donald Trump on that President Obama said the people have spoken he praised. Present electron for the campaign he ran tapping into both the anxieties in the enthusiasm. Of his supporters. Did say that he actually has some concerns about a trump presidency but took comfort in the idea that he sees. That Donald Trump is less ideological more pragmatic also lay down some real markers on a host. Dishes including those dreamers the children of illegal immigrants now here. In the United States the Affordable Care Act some big foreign policy issues the Iran nuclear agreement to Paris climate agreement which Donald Trump has pledged. Time do and Martha Raddatz in that white has brief hearing present question about having concerns within minutes indicated as a was to your question. About that the president also made some news saying Donald Trump told him he wanted to maintain our core strategic partnership we've made up. He did George seven a lot of surprising things in this press conference from President Obama but he really did put the best face forward. About Donald Trump he did say he had may be some issues with his temperament he said certain elements of his temperament that won't serve him well. Andy would have to correct those elements. But in general President Obama he didn't talk about Steve Bannon that latest deaths picked by president elect trump. He basically passed on that with Don that despite some controversy about that selection by president elect trump. But President Obama did say it's very important what staff you do pick and what kind of staff you do pick. This was a very healing press conference I thought George the president really does want this transition to be a good one president elect trump has said the same thing. That's very good market maritime m.'s push you cover president elect trump the president was trying to be conciliatory there had some praise for Donald Trump their but he was also. Without directly taking on dollar from the decisions he's made let is I settling down lots markers giving lots of hints may be giving advice I do it and elect. I agree with you there Georgian Donald Trump himself said he would seek the president's advisors council I think maybe that's what the president is doing today. But he didn't excellent or seen news he said Donald Trump seemed not to have any hard and fast policies. That's going to be news to millions of trump supporters who expect him to build a wall who expecting to renegotiate NAFTA and who expect him to repeal obamacare even though we. Now learned that he may want to keep some parts of it. And even though he didn't address the Stephen banning question in general he did in directly attacked the higher because he said he counseled. President licks from on his staff parks especially his first staff piracy White House counselor one of those important roles and it's a way to reset in the first steps are so symbolic Stephen Bennett somebody who all the groups that oppose Donald Trump are now furious that he's gonna have a role in the white. Perhaps daytime illness arthritis thanks very much more much more tonight on world news to that would David Muir have a good afternoon. This has been a special.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.