Hours before leaving on a trip that will take him to Greece, Germany and Peru, the president met reporters on Monday for the first time since Trump's surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election, Efe news reported.
Mr. Obama also declined to comment when asked about the president-elect's selection of Breitbart Chair Steve Bannon for a top White House position.
"Look, the people have spoken". President-elect Trump revealed details about his plans on 60 Minutes Sunday night. And it will be up to him to set up a team that he thinks will serve him well and reflect his policies. As they come to grips with Trump's surprising win, many Democrats have seized on a call not to accept or "normalize" the actions of a man who ran a divisive campaign that included charges of racism, sexism and other offensive rhetoric and actions.
On Monday, as he prepared to embark on a three-nation trip overseas, Obama went so far as to vouch for Trump and his foreign policies.
"One of the things you discover about being president is that there are all these rules and norms and laws and you got to pay attention to them".
Obama said one of his main goals will be to deliver Trump's commitment when he makes his last trip to Europe as president.
But on the whole, Obama spoke nearly admiringly of Trump's political skills. And that connection with his supporters made him "impervious to events that might have sunk another candidate".
Trump's victory has alarmed foreign leaders who fear for the future of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
"I don't think he is ideological", Obama said.
"I think it s important for me not to be big-footing", he said.
"And that can serve him well as long as he s got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction", he continued.
President Obama was very diplomatic in his remarks about his successor Donald Trump during a news conference Monday, his first since Trump's election. "That will continue", Obama told reporters at the White House.
Obama left the briefing room after the news conference.
► The future of the Affordable Care Act: "Obviously, this has been a holy grail for Republicans over the past six, seven years: 'We've got to kill Obamacare.' That's been taken as an article of faith".
But he argued that the GOP now has the challenge of how to improve on something that, Obama contends, is already doing well. "Wednesday do it a lot cheaper and just as safely", he said.
During a 90-minute one-on-one meeting Thursday in the Oval Office, the president tutored Trump, who has no government policy or elective experience, on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy matters he will have to deal with on his first day in office. "I think we want to see new voices and new ideas emerge. He's somebody who I think likes to mix it up and to have a vigorous debate". Both in private and in a brief statement last week, Obama has suggested that Democrats should buck up and move on.
"It s really important to try to send some signals of unity, and to reach out to minority groups or women or others that were concerned about the tenor of the campaign". I think it's important for me not to be bigfooting that conversation. "Good ideas don't matter if people don't hear them", Obama said. "We have to compete everywhere".
On the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Obama said that despite not being able to close the facility the number of inmates there has fallen to below 100.
"What is also true is we have greatly reduced the population". There are now just 60 detainees, down from a peak of about 770.
Obama hopes to use the trip to reassure America's allies and to shore up some of his top worldwide priorities before leaving office.
"Congress disagrees with me, and I gather that the President-elect does, as well".