Obama pledges 'continuity' in meeting with top commanders

Obama pledges 'continuity' in meeting with top commanders
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President Obama on Wednesday pledged continuity during the transition to the Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE administration in his last White House meeting with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and top military commanders.

"We've got to make sure that during this transition period that there is a seamless passing of the baton, that there’s continuity," Obama said before the meeting with Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff; Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, its vice chairman; and combatant commanders.

Obama said he wanted to make sure that in "any issues that still remain ... we are doing everything we can to make sure the next president will benefit from the same kinds of outstanding advice and service that these people around the table have provided me."

Obama said there are "obviously" still "major fights" ahead against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the terror group's stronghold in Mosul, Iraq.

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Afghanistan is "still active," he added.

The president also said he is optimistic the commanders will "uphold the values of rule of law and professionalism and integrity."

Trump, the president-elect, on the campaign trail had said he would bring back torture of suspected terrorists, which would be against domestic and international law. Trump later indicated he had changed his views following a meeting with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, his eventual pick for Defense secretary.

Obama also stressed "strict adherence and respect for civilian authority."  

"I know that my optimism about America going forward is in part because we have such an amazing military — not only one that knows how to fight, but also knows how to uphold the values of rule of law and professionalism and integrity, and recognizes our constitutional structure and maintains strict adherence and respect for civilian authority and democratic practices in determining how we use the awesome force of the American military," Obama said.