Obama: Trump expressed a 'great interest' in maintaining America's core strategic relationships

President Barack Obama said Monday that President-elect Donald Trump had expressed a "great interest" in maintaining America's core strategic relationships.

Those continued relations include U.S. participation in NATO, Obama indicated during a news conference at the White House.

"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. "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, they're good for the United States and they're vital for the world."

Obama also reflected on Trump's upcoming transition into the White House, saying the presidency is bigger than any one person.

When asked about Trump's appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist, Obama said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on every appointment the president-elect starts making. When pressed on how he thought Trump would perform as the 45th U.S. president, Obama struck an optimistic tone,

"He's sincere in wanting to be a successful president," Obama said. "I think he's going to try as best he can to make sure he delivers."

The president said issues raised by Trump during his campaign, such as immigration and trade, have to be approached differently when governing than when campaigning.

"We do need to make sure that we have an orderly, lawful immigration process, but that if it is orderly and lawful, immigration is good for our economy," Obama said. "It keeps this country young, it keeps it dynamic."

When asked if he has any concerns about a Trump presidency, Obama said he "absolutely" has concerns. He added that he doesn't think Trump is ideological, but is ultimately pragmatic, which is something that can serve him well as long as he has good people around him and a clear sense of direction.

Obama will depart today for his final foreign trip as president, visiting Greece for the first time, Germany and Peru.

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