Monday 24 July 2017

Obama: 'I think we're going to be okay...good luck!'

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

President Barack Obama's final words as he exited his last news conference as president were: "I think we're going to be okay...good luck!"

In his farewell speech, Obama said former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of US government secrets.

Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning

He said that he felt it made sense to commute Manning's sentence because she went to trial and took responsibility for her crime.

Manning gave classified information to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks in 2010. She received a "very disproportionate" sentence relative to what other leakers had received, Obama said, adding that he felt "very comfortable that justice has been served."

He also referred to America's relations with Russia, saying he was prepared to go further on nuclear with Russia, but they have been "unwilling to negotiate".

He also said "we'll see how Trump's approach on Israel will play out", adding, he fears the "moment may be passing" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Obama described the phone calls between him and Trump as "constructive" and "lengthy", adding that once he gets into office and is hit with the "complexities" of issues, that his thinking on Obamacare may change.

Wednesday's news conference will be the final time Obama is expected to speak in public before he departs Washington as a former president.

Reuters

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