Obama: How we talk to our daughters about Trump’s election

President Barack Obama prepares to speak at his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
President Obama at his final presidential news conference on Jan. 18 in the White House briefing room. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President Obama concluded his final press conference as commander in chief the same way his began his candidacy for the office — with a message of hope for the United States’ future.

The last question posed to Obama in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House concerned a popular speech his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, gave in October that put the stakes of the U.S. presidential election in personal terms. She addressed many concerns that women, LGBT individuals and ethnic minorities have about President-elect Donald Trump.

Obama was asked how he was interpreting the meaning of former reality TV show host Trump’s startling victory and how he was discussing the issue with his daughters.

“My daughters are something. They just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more each day as they grow up. These days, when we talk, we talk as parent to child but also we learn from them. I think it was really interesting to see how Malia and Sasha reacted,” Obama replied.

“They were disappointed. They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it, because it’s consistent with what we’ve tried to teach them in our household and what I’ve tried to model as a father with their mom and what we’ve asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses.”

In early October 2016, a month before the election, the Washington Post published an infamous video recording of a lewd conversation Trump had years ago with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. Among other things, Trump was filmed lewdly boasting about groping and forcibly kissing women. But the candidate insisted it was all “locker-room talk.”

This denial led to a series of women speaking out against Trump, alleging that he had sexually assaulted or harassed them. The outcry against Trump has not quelled, and his inauguration on Friday is expected to be among the most protested in U.S. history. A massive Women’s March on Washington is scheduled for the following day.

At the press conference on Wednesday, Obama, whose presidential campaigns were defined by hope, said he is still optimistic about the prospects for the nation. Along with modeling a positive male figure in his daughter’s lives, he said, he has also been dedicated to imparting lessons of fortitude and hope for them.

“What we’ve also tried to teach them is resilience, and we’ve tried to teach them hope and that the only thing that’s the end of the world is the end of the world. And so, you get knocked down, you get up and brush yourself off and you get back to work. And that tended to be their attitude.”

Obama said his daughters grew up in an environment in which they could not help but be patriotic and love their country deeply. He said they understand that the United States is flawed but that they have a responsibility to be active citizens and fixing it.

“They don’t mope. And what makes me proudest about them is that they don’t get cynical about it. They have not assumed that because their side didn’t win or because some of the values they care about don’t seem that they were vindicated, that somehow America has rejected them or rejected their values.”

Read more from Yahoo News: