Obama says he may comment as citizen on Trump's presidency
US President Barack Obama has said he may speak out after leaving office if he feels his successor Donald Trump is threatening core American values.
By convention, former presidents tend to leave the political fray and avoid commenting on their successors.
Mr Obama said he would give Mr Trump time to outline his vision but added that, as a private citizen, he might speak out on certain issues.
Mr Trump spent the weekend interviewing candidates for top jobs in his cabinet.
"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," Mr Obama said at a forum in Lima, Peru.
But, he added, if an issue "goes to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I'll examine it when it comes".
The president described himself as an "American citizen who cares deeply about our country".
Speaking at a news conference to mark the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, Mr Obama reiterated that he would extend to Mr Trump's incoming administration the same professional courtesy shown to his team by his predecessor George W Bush.
Mr Bush has refrained since leaving office from commenting on Mr Obama's presidency. "I don't think it does any good," he told CNN in 2013, after Mr Obama was elected for a second time.
"It's a hard job. He's got plenty on his agenda. It's difficult. A former president doesn't need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that's mine."