President Barack Obama said that claims of voter fraud in the U.S. elections are "fake news," and that the U.S. is the only democracy that makes it harder for its citizens to vote.
Obama referred in his final presidential news conference to election fraud claims repeatedly raised by Donald Trump during his campaign. He didn't use is successor's name, but said claims of voter fraud have been "disproved."
Obama said there is an "ugly history" behind restrictive voting that traces back to the era of slavery.
Obama also warned that many Trump voters also feel disenfranchised. He says those people feel forgotten, looked down upon or fear that their children don't have the same opportunities as other Americans.
The president said thatt economic equality is one of the reasons President-elect Donald Trump won his election.
Obama said that there are many people who voted for the president-elect "because they feel forgotten and disenfranchised. They feel as if they're being looked down on.
"You don't want to have an America in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well and everybody else is fighting for scraps," he said, adding that's often "when racial divisions get magnified."
Obama also said he expects to see a woman president, a Latino president, a Jewish president, a Hindu president and many others in the future.
"We'll have a whole bunch of mixe- up presidents at some point that nobody knows really knows what to call them," he said.
Obama also said he doesn't think the expansion of LGBT rights in the U.S. is reversible,explaing that society's attitudes have changed too much to turn back the clock on these issues.
He says there's still more work to do on the subject, but that acceptance by young people like his daughters has made a difference.
Obama also says he "could not be prouder" of the country's transformation on these issues, most of it coming during his tenure as president.
He said he gives credit to individuals and couples who he says were courageous in saying "this is who I am and I'm proud of it."
That, he said, helped open people's minds and hearts and the legal system eventually caught up.
The "moment may be passing" for a two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, he added.
Obama said he continues to be worried that the "status quo is unsustainable" in Israel. He says his administration has tried to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution because he does not "see an alternative to it."
The United States decision to allow the United Nation's most powerful body to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has been condemned by President-elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama said the president-elect "will have his own policy" and that is his administration's prerogative. The president calls the situation in Israel "a volatile environment."
He also said that United States underwent "a fundamental shift" in its relationship with Cuba.
But, he added that treating Cuban migrants differently "didn't make sense" in this day and age, saying it shouldn't make a difference whether migrants come to the U.S. by land or by foot.
Obama announced last week that he is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident.
He said that opening up bilateral relations with Cuba last year ultimately would lead to a "serious improvement" in commerce and trade relations with Cuba.
After he leaves office on Friday, Obama said he wants to take time to process the "amazing experience" his family has gone through.
He wants to write, be quiet a little bit and "not hear myself talk so darn much." He also wants to spend time with daughters Malia and Sasha.
Obama and his family will head for vacation in Palm Springs, California, after Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
The White House has not said how long they will stay in California before they return to a rented home in Washington.
Obama said he has had "cordial" talks with President-elect Donald Trump but he's under no illusions that they share many policy goals.
© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.