He urged the country to come together in the wake of a contentious election battle between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Early Wednesday, Clinton conceded the race to Trump after it became clear that she would not be able to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
"Everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after, we have to remember that we're actually all on one team," Obama said. "This is an intermural scrimmage. We are not Democrats first. We are not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We are patriots. We all want what's best for our country."
Obama said he heard echoes of those feelings in Trump's victory speech.
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"That's what the country needs -- a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect in our institutions, our way of life, rule of law and respect for each other," he said. "I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition."
The relationship between Trump and Obama has been strained over the years, fueled by Trump's insistence that the president was born in Kenya and ineligible for office and Obama's needling of the business mogul.
At the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama joked that if Trump should run for president and win, Trump would redesign the White House in the image of one of his hotels. In that same year, Hawaii released Obama's long-form birth certificate to counteract allegations regarding Obama's birthplace.
Trump acknowledged earlier this year that Obama was born in the United States.