Obama admits he 'probably wouldn't have been president' if high school photos had been public in first post-White House event

Former President Barack Obama made his return to the spotlight on Monday, refusing to directly discuss President Donald Trump and admitting that he might not have been elected to the White House in 2008 if photos from his past had been public.

"If you had pictures of everything I did in high school, I probably wouldn't have been president of the United States," Obama joked on Monday.

The comments came during a roundtable event with students in Chicago discussing politics and civic engagement.

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The former president opened up more about his past with marijuana, noting that he always found campaign-era reports about the prior drug usage nonsensical, given that he had written publicly about those periods of his life.

"I think the best you can do is to own your life and your mistakes," he advised the students involved in the event.

But while he opened up a little more about his own past, he refused to directly address President Donald Trump during the event.

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"What's been going on while I've been gone?" Obama joked as he sat down.

Obama has been largely out of the public eye since leaving office nearly 100 days ago.

But he did speak broadly about the political issues he cares most about, noting criminal justice reform, economic inequality and violence -- and also climate change, which President Trump did not mention in his Earth Day statement released over the weekend.

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"All these problems are serious, they are daunting, but they are not insoluble," Obama said. He also reiterated that he was inspired by the next generation of leaders.

Former Obama administration insider Valerie Jarrett admitted that she has begun to focus on looking for the future possible leaders within the Democratic Party and progressive movement during an interview last week.

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But she shot down the idea that the former first lady might be among those possible candidates, insisting that Michelle Obama has no plans to run for office.