President Obama said Americans had to “reconcile themselves” to the Trump presidency, and — in a surprising turnabout from his pre-election rhetoric — spoke optimistically about the president-elect’s ability to govern.

Answering questions from reporters for the first time since voters handed the White House over to a candidate who promised to dismantle his agenda, Obama also pledged Monday to give President-elect Donald Trump the space he needs to put together a new government. He declined to comment on the appointment of alt-right firebrand Stephen Bannon to a top role in his White House, and steered clear of his campaign remarks that Trump was unfit for the presidency.

“Look, the people have spoken. Donald Trump will be the next president, the 45th president of the United States. And it will be up to him to set up a team that he thinks will serve him well and reflect his policies. And those who didn’t vote for him have to recognize that that’s how democracy works. That’s how this system operates,” he said. “Whenever you have got an incoming president of the other side, particularly after a bitter election like this, it takes a while for people to reconcile themselves with that new reality. Hopefully, it’s a reminder that elections matter and voting counts.” ( – Gregory Korte) Click here to get the full story.

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