Instead of answering, Obama spoke of his own holdings, which he said were “significantly smaller than some other presidents or president-elects.” Trump, the president-elect, has been criticized by some Democrats for his decision to allow his family members to manage his company when he is in the White House.
Obama's decision when it came to his finances was not nearly as complicated as those facing Trump.
“I basically had our accountant put our money in Treasury bills ... just because it simplified my life,” Obama said.
The president was in Peru for an economic summit that brought together world leaders from the Asia-Pacific region.
He said he is proud that his administration has not suffered any major scandals during his time in office and recounted advising Trump that he should hire a strong White House counsel.
Obama also hedged on whether he would follow the example of former president George W. Bush, who largely refrained from criticizing Obama during his eight years.
“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance,” Obama said. But he added that he would feel compelled to speak out on questions that go to the country's core “values and our ideals.”
“If I think it is helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes,” he said.