In his first remarks about Donald Trump's presumptive Republican presidential nominee status, US President Barack Obama on Friday urged media to closely vet the New York billionaire developer's past statements and stances.
"It's important for us to take seriously the statements he's made in the past," said Obama here at a press conference. "I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job."
Since the outset of his campaign last June, Trump, a bombastic businessman turned reality TV star, suffocated the rest packed GOP field with his unpredictability and incendiary remarks.
While it was not the first time he urged the US media to refrain from being distracted by the "spectacle and the circus" aspect of the 2016 election campaign, Obama on Friday took direct jabs at the presumptive GOP standard-bearer.
"This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the US," said Obama.
Stressing that Trump had a long record in public life, Obama said that what Trump said and did should be carefully examined, as should the past stances and statements of all other candidates.
"If they take a position on international issues that could threaten war or has the potential of upending our critical relationships with other countries, or would potential break the financial system - that needs to be reported on," said Obama.