UPDATED 4:03 p.m.: “If we look for one explanation or one silver bullet or one easy fix for politics, then we’re probably going to be disappointed," President Obama said, adding that his hope for his fellow Democrats is that they "reflect a little bit more about how can we get to a place where people are focused on working together based on at least some common set of facts, how can we have a conversation about policy that doesn’t demonize each other. ... [We've become] so polarized and so nasty ... that in some cases you have voters and elected officials who have more confidence and faith in a common adversary than their neighbors."
UPDATED 3:55 p.m.: With regards to the electoral college, Obama said that it is "not his job" to determine his successor, but said that he does believe that the red and blue states are constructs. "It's not in my hands now, it's up to them," he said when asked whether he believes the electoral college should be revised. "The electoral college, it's a vestige, it's a carry-over from an earlier vision" of how our nation works.
UPDATED 3:44 p.m.: “Our vulnerability to Russia or any form of foreign power is how divided, partisan and dysfunctional our political process is. That's the thing that makes us vulnerable," Obama warned. "If fake news that’s being released by a foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued to partisan news venues ... [and] everything’s under suspicion and everybody’s corrupt ad everybody is going things for partisan reasons, … if that’s the storyline that’s being put out there by whatever party’s out of power, then when a foreign government introduces that same argument, voters who have been listening to that stuff or years, who have been getting that stuff every day from talk radio or other venues, they are going to believe it."
UPDATED 3:22 p.m.: A reporter in the audience appeared to have fainted during the press conference, causing the president to pause his answer and call for a doctor to take care of the affected individual.
UPDATED 3:15 p.m.: Among the many topics that President Barack Obama tackled in his final press conference of 2016 was the ongoing concern about Russia's involvement in the outcome of the recent presidential election. "Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC," Obama stated early on during the press conference, adding that America's priority needs to be "preventing that kind of interference in the future. That should be a bipartisan issue. ... My hope is that the President-elect will be similarly concerned with foreign influence in our election process."
The president also spoke about the media's "obsession" with the WikiLeaks incident in the weeks leading up to election day, and noted that the problem of cyber security is a "constant challenge" that the government will continue to face. "We are a digitized culture and there is hacking going on every single day," he said.
ORIGINAL STORY: President Barack Obama delivered his final press conference of 2016 at the White House on Friday, December 16, giving the press an update on the state of the nation the year comes to a close.
Obama took questions from the press prior to his family’s annual trip to Hawaii for the holidays, and many reporters are speculating as to which of the many global issues he will be addressing.
The president took to the stage at approximately 2:35 p.m., and kicked off his press conference by addressing the press with a friendly, “I’ve got a list of who’s naughty and nice.”
He then jumped directly into addressing some of the most pressing issues of the day, including the ongoing tragedy in Aleppo. Obama reminded Americans that we “must not avert our eyes” from the violence that is happening overseas. “American values and American ideals are what will lead the way to a safer and more prosperous 2017,” Obama said before taking questions.
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