President Obama Refuses to Tell Anti-Trump Protesters to Stay ‘Silent’

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Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Republicans have repeatedly called on President Obama to calm protesters demonstrating against Donald Trump, and on Thursday he passed up that opportunity. Speaking in Germany, Obama instead said he would not advise people to be “silent.”

“I’ve been the subject of protests during the course of my eight years,” he said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “And I suspect that there’s not a president in our history that hasn’t been subject to these protests. So I would not advise people who feel strongly or who are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised during the course of the campaign, I wouldn’t advise them to be silent.”

The president also offered some advice to Trump. He revealed that he told Trump in the White House last week that successful campaigning is much different from successful governing and then suggested that the president-elect needs to get “serious” about the job he’s two months from taking.

“I think the president-elect is going to see fairly quickly that the demands and responsibilities of a U.S. president are not ones that you can treat casually,” Obama said. “If you’re not serious about the job, then you probably won’t be there very long, because it will expose problems.”