WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will hold his final news conference Wednesday afternoon in the White House briefing room.
The event, two days before his term ends and President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, will likely be the final time Americans will hear from Obama as a sitting commander in chief.
It follows a tradition from past presidents of holding a concluding news conference. President George W. Bush took his final round of questions from reporters on January 12, 2009, eight days before Obama was sworn in.
Back then, questions ranged from specific queries about tensions in the Middle East and his response to the financial crisis, to broader requests for Bush to reflect upon his presidency and a path forward for the GOP.
Obama, too, is likely to face specific probes into the latest reporting about Russia’s influence in the US election as well as larger issues of his legacy.
After a quiet day Thursday, Obama wakes up Friday for the final time at the White House. He and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome Trump and his wife Melania for tea and a small reception before traveling together by motorcade to the US Capitol.
After Trump’s swearing-in, the Obamas will attend Trump’s inauguration address and will depart the US Capitol by helicopter for Joint Base Andrews.
At Andrews, the former President will deliver remarks to a group of staff from across the administration to bid farewell.
He and the first lady — who have both said they’re looking forward to a long vacation in a warm climate — will depart Andrews on their last flight aboard the presidential aircraft.
Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, wouldn’t specify their destination.