Departing President Barack Obama participated in his final press conference while at the helm of the federal government today.

The president opened by addressing the hospitalization of George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, saying that he and Michelle Obama are sending their prayers for a speedy recovery.

President Obama also credited the press for keeping politicians honest, and said that he enjoyed working with the press corps during his time in office, despite not liking all the stories that have come out of their interactions.

After speaking briefly, the President opened himself up to questions from the press.  The very first question levied to him pertained to yesterday’s announcement that he would be commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence for leaking stolen information from a secure military server to Julian Assange while she served as an intelligence analyst for the United States Army.  Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years, but yesterday’s decision sets her to be released in five months, after having served only seven or so years of her sentence.

“Well, first of all, lets be clear.  Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence, so the notion that the average person that was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished… I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served.” President Obama answered the reporter.

“The sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received,” Obama said. “It made sense to commute and not pardon her sentence.”

In regard to Julian Assange’s tweet suggesting that he would turn himself in to the United States if Manning was released, Obama did not respond as to whether or not charges would be pursued against him.

“I don’t pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange’s tweets, so that wasn’t a consideration in this instance. And I’d refer you to the Justice Department for any criminal investigations, indictments, extradition issues that may come up with him.”