Obama seeks to keep lines open with Trump

At an end-of-year press conference on Friday, Obama sought to dial down tensions that seemed to be reaching a crescendo this week, when news headlines were dominated by allegations that Russia had interfered in the election specifically to help Trump win…

That tone is a long way from the more confrontational one liberals would prefer Obama to strike against a man whom they view as an existential threat to American democracy.

But the president gave them little satisfaction in that regard, nor did he oxygenate some of their wilder hopes. He insisted that there was no evidence that any outside power had interfered with the process of casting and counting votes, and he refused to get at all embroiled in the question of whether individual members of the Electoral College should cast “faithless” votes against Trump on Monday.

Obama offered some criticisms of the Clinton campaign, too — albeit implicitly. He stressed the importance of Democrats making their case even in rural counties and other places that some in the party view as hostile territory.