Barack Obama leaves Oval Office for last time as president

US President Barack Obama departs the Oval Office for the last time as president, at the White House in Washington, Jan 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP
US President Barack Obama waving as he walks through the colonnade as he departs the Oval Office for the last time as president, at the White House in Washington on Jan 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Outgoing US President Barack Obama on Friday (Jan 20) left the Oval Office for the last time, before welcoming his successor Donald Trump to the White House.

Mr Obama had walked into the Oval Office holding a letter, which he left on the Resolute desk, a 19th century gift from Queen Elizabeth that is made from the timber of a British arctic vessel.

It is customary for the outgoing president to leave a personal note for his successor.

Mr Obama was to have morning tea with Mr Trump before they make their way to the Capitol for the inauguration ceremony.

As Mr Obama walked along the West Wing colonnade, when asked if he was feeling nostalgic, "Of course" was the reply.

Asked for last words for the America people, he offered a simple "Thank you."

When Mr Obama arrived in the Oval Office eight years ago, he found a note from his predecessor George W. Bush.

"Very few have had the honour of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face," it read.

"There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your 'friends' will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me."

"No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead."

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