The president took the opportunity to give Secretary of StateJohn Kerry credit for his actions in the Middle East, saying he "has been persistent, he has worked very hard, he has endured, on many occasions, really unfair criticism."
Obama also touted the recent string of positive economic numbers in the Friday address.
"This is the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history," Obama said. But, he added, there are steps the U.S. could take to improve job growth, if Congress cooperated.
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"The fact is we could be much further along, and we could be doing even better, and the economy could be even stronger, and more jobs could be created, if Congress would do the job that the people sent them here to do," Obama said.
At the end of the press conference, Obama briefly turned to the CIA report admitting that the agency tapped into Senate computers, likening it to discussions about torture earlier in his presidency—the president condemned those actions, but he said that he understands why they happened.
"We did some things that were wrong, and that's what that report reflects," he said.
—By CNBC staff