This is the first time Obama had come to the defence of Trump, a man he once said was unfit to be the President of the United States of America.
Obama spoke to Latin Americans at the end of an international farewell tour that included visits to Greece and Germany, Reuters reports.
“My main message to you … and the message I delivered in Europe is don’t just assume the worst,” Obama told a group of young people during a question-and-answer session in Peru on Saturday.
“Wait until the administration is in place, it’s actually putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgments as to whether or not it’s consistent with the international community’s interest in living in peace and prosperity together.”
“It will be important for everybody around the world to not make immediate judgments but give this new president-elect a chance to put their team together, to examine the issues, to determine what their policies will be, because as I’ve always said, how you campaign isn’t always the same as how you govern,” Obama said.
Trump won the election after promising to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, rip up trade deals and ban Muslims temporarily from entering the United States.
Obama had promised a smooth transition of power while also expressing optimism that Donald Trump would shift away from inflammatory campaign rhetoric once he faced the realities of the job.
Obama also hopes that Trump’s team would see the merits of policies that Democrats championed and advise him against dismantling them like he promised.
Some of the policies which Trump has out rightly threatened to dismantle are the Iran nuclear deal, the international pact to fight climate change as well as the Obamacare.
“You’re seeing some countries that are going backwards rather than forwards in terms of freedom of the press, in terms of freedom of the Internet, in terms of respecting political opposition and civil society,” Obama said on Saturday.
Trump barred some news organizations from covering events during his campaign and threatened during a televised debate to jail Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.