Obama's message from Trump

Kermit Williams Jr. | 11/14/2016, 4 p.m. | Updated on 11/14/2016, 4 p.m.
President Barack Obama encouraged Americans Monday to give President-elect Donald Trump some time to get adjusted to the responsibilities of ...

(CNN)President Barack Obama encouraged Americans Monday to give President-elect Donald Trump some time to get adjusted to the responsibilities of the presidency.

But in his first news conference since last week's stunning election results, Obama warned that some of Trump's expectations will soon be shaken up by the gravity of the job.

Obama said he was certain after meeting Trump last week that his successor and longtime political foe was "sincere" about being president for all Americans but also called on the President-elect to reach out to people who felt anxious after the explosive rhetoric of the campaign, including women and minorities.

"I don't think he is ideological, I think ultimately he is pragmatic in that way and that can serve him well as long as he has got good people around him and he has a good sense of direction," Obama said.

Obama appeared before reporters before leaving the United States on the last scheduled foreign trip of his presidency, to Greece, Germany and Peru. It takes place with many of Obama's subordinates and liberals across the nation still barely able to believe he will be succeeded by Trump, whose volatile character and taboo-busting rhetoric could hardly strike a more overt contrast to the current president.

Obama said he told Trump that his election achievement in tapping into the enthusiasm of his voters was impressive.

"I think he is coming to this office with fewer set hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with. Do I have concerns? Absolutely, of course I've got concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues," Obama added.

Obama dodged an opportunity to comment on the appointment of firebrand polemicist Stephen Bannon as Trump's senior White House policy adviser, who has been vigorously criticized as a leading member of the alt-right nationalist movement.

Obama said it would not be appropriate for him to weigh in on all of Trump's appointments because it would be incompatible to his desire to provide a smooth transition of power to his successor.

"I think it is important for us to let him make his decisions. The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see," Obama said.

He added: "This office has a way of waking you up. Those aspects of his positions or his predispositions that don't match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick because reality has a way of asserting itself."

Obama was repeatedly pressed about Trump's temperament, which he had criticized extensively during the campaign.

"There are going to be certain elements of his temperament that will not serve him well unless he recognizes them and corrects them," Obama said, pointing out the impact that a comment from a US president that is not accurate can have around the world.

"I think he recognizes that this is different," he said.

Affirms US commitment to NATO

Obama also said Monday that the United States would remain the world's "indispensable" power and that Trump had told him he was committed to NATO.