In his final year-end press conference, President Barack Obama had some harsh words for Russia, which he described as a “smaller,” “weaker” country than the United States.
“Think about what’s happening to our political culture here,” Obama said, responding to a question about whether he will declassify evidence about state-sponsored hacking during the 2016 election. “The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, and their economy does not produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.”
He went on to suggest that the greatest risk is one of ideological influence.
“They can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values,” Obama said. “Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s okay to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people because of their faiths or what they look like.”
Watch his comments below: