President Obama said Thursday that he will not try to call off or denounce the anti-Donald Trump protests that have broken out nationwide, ignoring requests from the president-elect's advisers for him to do so.
Obama made the comment at a joint press conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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"I would not advise people who feel strongly or are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised over the course of the campaign, I would not advise them to be silent," Obama said.
"I've been the subject of protests during the course of my eight years," the president added, defending his position.
He also stressed that Americans should exercise their right to free speech and not take such freedoms for granted, the Hill reported.
Kellyanne Conway, who served as Trump's campaign manager, claimed it was the responsibility of Obama and Hillary Clinton to subdue the protests.
"It's time really for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to say to these protesters, ‘This man is our president,'" she said.
The anti-Trump protests have turned violent in some cities such as Portland, Oregon, where police had to arrest over 100 people.