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Obama says Trump is not 'ideological

President Barack Obama speaks to the media during a news conference in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House Monday (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump ran a campaign committed to very bold policy statements and fiery rhetoric, but now as president-elect, he seems to be recalibrating some of those hard-line positions, and President Barack Obama isn't surprised.

"I don’t think he's ideological," Obama said during a press conference Monday afternoon. "I think, ultimately, he is pragmatic."

The president even seemed to offer a little bit of praise to his soon-to-be successor, telling reporters that his pragmatic qualities could "serve him well" when he's in the White House.

"[Trump] is coming to this office with fewer set hard-and-fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with," Obama said.

During the presser, Obama said it's important for Trump to have "good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction," later adding that the billionaire businessman had "expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships," namely a commitment to NATO, an organization from which Trump once indicated the U.S. should back away.

"One of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance," Obama said he would tell foreign leaders as he prepares to embark on his trip to Europe and South America.

He added, "I think that one of the most important functions I can serve at this stage during this trip is to let them know that there is no weakening of resolve when it comes to America's commitment to maintaining a strong and robust NATO relationship and a recognition that those alliances aren't just good for Europe, they're good for the United States."

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