His last presidential vacation behind him, Barack Obama is entering the closing stretch of his term, an eleventh-hour push to tie up loose ends and put finishing touches on his legacy before handing the reins to President-elect Donald Trump.Obama returns to Washington at midday Monday from Hawaii with less than three weeks remaining in his presidency. His final days in office will largely be consumed by a bid to protect his endangered health care law, a major farewell speech and the ongoing handover of power to Trump.His speech planned for his hometown of Chicago, on Jan. 10 is expected to be his closing message to the nation, and will be open to the public, according to a notice sent to Obama alumni and obtained by The Associated Press.
The smooth transition of power is chief among priorities.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz
Trump’s team, meanwhile, has been frustrated by Obama’s attempts in the final days to box Trump in with parting moves to block ocean drilling, declare new monuments and further empty out the Guantanamo Bay prison.While on his annual vacation in Oahu, Obama asserted himself forcefully on two foreign policy issues that put him in direct conflict with Trump. Obama directed the U.S. to defy tradition by allowing passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing Israel on settlements, then slapped Russia with sweeping penalties over U.S. allegations of hacking against the U.S. political process.Trump sided with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the first case and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the second.