Berlin. President Barack Obama has warned President-elect Donald J. Trump of the need to take the job of the presidency seriously and to be tough on Russia.
Obama on Thursday speaking at a news conference in Berlin, sharply criticized the spread of fake news online and said that President-elect Donald J. Trump would not remain in office for long if he failed to take the job seriously.
On a sentimental final trip to Germany as president, Obama expressed hope that the New York businessman who has never previously held public office would jettison controversial campaign rhetoric when he entered the White House and keep democratic values in mind as he chose his staff.
“What makes me cautiously optimistic about my successor and the shift from campaign mode to governance is there is something about the solemn responsibilities of that office … that it forces you to focus,” Obama said.
He warned Trump, “If you are not serious about the job, then you probably won’t be there very long because it will expose problems.”
Obama said he hoped Trump would be pragmatic in dealing with Washington’s former Cold War foe.
Obama urged Trump to cooperate with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia when the Russians behave, but said he hoped “that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms.”
“And I don’t expect that the president-elect will follow exactly our blueprint or our approach, but my hope is that he does not simply take a realpolitik approach,” said Obama.
Mr. Obama arrived in Berlin on Wednesday night, and had a private dinner with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The two will meet Friday morning along with the leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Spain. Obama leaves for an Asian-Pacific summit in Lima, Peru, early Friday afternoon.