Chelsea Manning, Cuba, Russia, fake news and cordial terms with Donald Trump - the press corps put US President Barack Obama on the briefing room hot seat for one last time.

"We're going to have a woman president. We're going to have a Latino president. And we'll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president…I suspect we'll have a whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some point nobody really knows what to call," said Obama. (Image Source)

A day after US President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance during White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's final daily press briefing, the president took to the podium for the last time to face the West Wing press corps.

TRT World's Tetiana Anderson reports from Washington.

As he fielded an array of tricky - and at times provocative - questions on Wednesday, Obama kept a measured approach without heavily relying on his famous dry sense of humour. Here are some of the things POTUS commented on:

'You're supposed to ask tough questions'

In his final press conference as president, Obama said to the journalists in the briefing room: "You're not supposed to be sycophants. You're supposed to be sceptics. You're supposed to ask tough questions."

He said "having you in this building has made this place work better. It keeps us honest."

Obama went on to say, "My hope is that you will continue with the same tenacity which you showed us [...] in getting to the bottom of the stories."

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is considering holding press conferences outside the briefing room, a proposal that is raising concern over whether it could result in limited White House access. Briefings have been held in the West Wing – which houses the office of the president – since the late 1960s.

'Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence'

Obama defended his commutation of the former army intelligence analyst's sentence and said, "Let's be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence."

He said her time spent in jail would function to deter the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital, classified information.

"She had served a significant amount of time and it made sense to commute not pardon her sentence. I feel very comfortable that justice has been served."

Manning, who as a transgender woman spent her jail time in a prison for men, released classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010.

Obama said commuting her sentence was "entirely appropriate."

Israeli settlements 'will make a two-state solution impossible'

"I came into this office wanting to do everything I could to encourage serious peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians."

But, he said, with a rightward shift in Israeli policies and the inability of Palestinian President Abbas to take risks, "what we at least wanted to do [...] is to preserve the possibility of the two-state solution because we do not see an alternative to it."

The president added, "Because if you do not have two states, then in some form or fashion you are extending an occupation, functionally you end up having one state in which millions of people are disenfranchised and operate as second-class residents."

On LGBT rights, 'I could not be prouder of the transformation that's taken place'

Discussing achievements in the fight for LGBT rights over the last eight years, Obama told the press: "The primary heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, this is who I am and I'm proud of it."

LGBT rights in the US are no longer reversible, said the outgoing US president since because "if you talk to young people, Malia, Sasha's generation, even if they're Republicans, even if they're Conservative, many of them will tell you, I don't understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of sexual orientation. That's just sort of burned into them in — in pretty powerful ways."

'Man, my daughters are something'

In a "proud father" moment while answering a reporter's question, Obama spoke of his girls' reaction to the results of the US presidential elections.

"They were disappointed. They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it's consistent with what we have tried to teach them in our household and what I've tried to model as a father with their mom and what we've asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses," said Obama about his daughters and wife.

"But what we've also tried to teach them is resilience and we've tried to teach them hope and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies