Barack Obama, making his first major appearance since leaving the White House, made no mention on Monday of his successor, Donald Trump.
He however urged young people to get more involved in their communities.
“What’s been going on since I’ve been gone?” joked the former Democratic president as he moderated an event at the University of Chicago, the city where he began his political career and which will be the site of his presidential library.
Obama, who once taught constitutional law at the school, recalled starting out as a young community organizer in the city and told a panel of six current and former students that he decided to focus his post-presidency on encouraging young people to engage with their communities.
“The single most important thing I can do is to help in any way prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world,” he told an audience of several hundred people.
Obama has largely stayed out of the public eye since leaving office in January despite efforts by Trump and the Republican-led Congress to undo much of his legacy, including on healthcare and the environment.
Trump, a Republican, has said he “inherited a mess” and accused Obama in March, without providing evidence, of wiretapping his 2016 presidential campaign. Obama has since denied the charge and FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing he had seen no evidence to support the allegation.
Obama was not asked about Trump by the students and he took no questions from reporters.