Obama to host Trump at White House

> US leader: Amer­ica now ‘root­ing’ for pres­i­den­t­elect’s suc­cess

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Barack Obama ( pix) was to re­ceive a tri­umphant Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day for talks on ex­e­cut­ing a smooth tran­si­tion of power and steady­ing nerves after a vote that shocked the world.

Anger over Trump’s elec­tion win spilled out onto the streets of US ci­ties yes­ter­day as chant­ing pro­test­ers lit bon­fires and snarled traf­fic. In Los An­ge­les an or­ange-headed Trump head was burned in ef­figy.

Forty-eight hours after Trump’s up­set win, the 70-year-old pres­i­dent-elect and Obama will meet in the Oval Office for what may be an awk­ward meeting to pre­pare ahead of the Jan 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion.

Trump cham­pi­oned the so-called “birther move­ment” chal­leng­ing if Obama was ac­tu­ally born in the US – a sug­ges­tion laden with deep racial over­tones – only drop­ping the po­si­tion re­cently.

The Demo­cratic com­man­der-in-chief in turn has de­scribed the celebrity busi­ness­man as “uniquely un­qual­i­fied” to be pres­i­dent.

But in the day after Trump’s shock­ing win, which vir­tu­ally no poll had pre­dicted, both sides spoke of heal­ing deep di­vi­sions.

Van­quished Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton, hold­ing back the dis­ap­point­ment of not be­com­ing Amer­ica’s first fe­male leader urged Amer­i­cans to give Trump a chance.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said in a con­ces­sion speech.

Obama, ad­dress­ing dis­con­so­late staff in the White House Rose Gar­den, played down Trump win as part of the messy “zigzag” move­ment of a democ­racy.

“Some­times you lose an ar­gu­ment,” he said, adding that all Amer­i­cans would now be “root­ing” for Trump’s suc­cess.

“We are Amer­i­cans first. We’re pa­tri­ots first. We all want what’s best for this coun­try,” he said as staff wiped away tears.

In the bat­tle for the soul of Amer­ica, those who helped elect Amer­ica’s first black pres­i­dent now ap­pear to be in re­treat and pon­der­ing whether his eight years in power had come to naught.

Both Obama and Clin­ton is­sued a faint but clear warn­ing, too, that Trump must re­spect in­sti­tu­tions and the rule of law if a mod­icum of good­will is to hold.

“The coun­try needs a sense of unity, a sense of in­clu­sion, a re­spect for our in­sti­tu­tions, our way of life, rule of law, and a re­spect for each other,” Obama said. – AFP

REUTERSPIX

A young woman holds a sign read­ing ‘Mus­lims against Trump’ while march­ing in protest to his win in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia yes­ter­day.

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