‘A CHANCE TO LEAD’

Clin­ton, Obama urge unity af­ter Trump’s stun­ning win

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - As­so­ci­ated Press

Em­bold­ened Repub­li­cans claimed a man­date Wed­nes­day for Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump af­ter his as­ton­ish­ing elec­tion tri­umph, and an emo­tional Hil­lary Clin­ton told crest­fallen sup­port­ers the GOP vic­tor de­served a “chance to lead.” Pres­i­dent Barack Obama pledged a smooth tran­si­tion of power.

“We are now all root­ing for his suc­cess in unit­ing and lead­ing the coun­try,” Obama said of the pres­i­dent-elect, the man who spent years ques­tion­ing Obama’s birth­place and chal­leng­ing the le­git­i­macy of his pres­i­dency. Obama, who had de­clared Trump un­fit for the pres­i­dency, in­vited him to the White House Thurs­day.

Trump was un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally quiet in the af­ter­math of his tri­umph and

made no pub­lic ap­pear­ances Wed­nes­day. He hud­dled with ju­bi­lant, sleep­de­prived ad­vis­ers at his epony­mous sky­scraper in Man­hat­tan, be­gin­ning the daunt­ing task of set­ting up an ad­min­is­tra­tion that will take power in just over two months. He also met with Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence and took calls from sup­port­ers, family and friends, ac­cord­ing to spokes­woman Hope Hicks.

In Wash­ing­ton, Trump’s scant tran­si­tion team sprang into ac­tion, culling through per­son­nel lists for top jobs and work­ing through han­dover plans for gov­ern­ment agen­cies. A per­son fa­mil­iar with the tran­si­tion op­er­a­tions said the per­son­nel process was still in its early stages, but Trump’s team was putting a pre­mium on quickly fill­ing key na­tional se­cu­rity posts.

Ac­cord­ing to an or­ga­ni­za­tional chart for the tran­si­tion ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press, Trump was re­ly­ing on ex­pe­ri­enced hands to help form his ad­min­is­tra­tion. Na­tional se­cu­rity plan­ning was be­ing led by for­mer Michi­gan Rep. Mike Rogers, who pre­vi­ously worked for the FBI. Do­mes­tic is­sues were be­ing han­dled by Ken Blackwell, a for­mer Cincin­nati mayor and Ohio sec­re­tary of state.

Trump was ex­pected to con­sider sev­eral loyal sup­port­ers

for top jobs, in­clud­ing for­mer New York Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani for at­tor­ney gen­eral or na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and cam­paign fi­nance chair­man Steve Mnuchin for Trea­sury sec­re­tary. For­mer House Speaker Newt Gin­grich and Ten­nessee Sen. Bob Corker were also ex­pected to be un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for for­eign pol­icy posts.

Af­ter strug­gling for months with Trump’s takeover of their party, Repub­li­can lead­ers em­braced the busi­ness­man in vic­tory. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was luke­warm in his sup­port through­out the cam­paign, praised him for pulling off “the most in­cred­i­ble po­lit­i­cal feat I have seen in my life­time.”

“He just earned a man­date,” Ryan de­clared.

In­deed, Trump will take of­fice in Jan­uary with Congress fully in his party’s con­trol, giv­ing him strength to try to pass his agenda and turn the Supreme Court in a con­ser­va­tive di­rec­tion. Even Repub­li­cans were stunned by the scope of their elec­toral suc­cess, in­clud­ing many who pri­vately had been pre­dict­ing Trump’s de­feat.

Clin­ton’s emo­tions were raw as she ad­dressed a crowd of sup­port­ers, eyes wet with tears, who gath­ered in a New York ball­room. She said the crush­ing loss was “painful and it will be for a long time” and ac­knowl­edged that the na­tion was “more di­vided than we thought.”

Still, Clin­ton was gra­cious

in de­feat, declar­ing that “Don­ald Trump is go­ing to be our pres­i­dent. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

With sev­eral mil­lion votes still to be counted, Clin­ton held a nar­row lead in the na­tion­wide pop­u­lar vote. Most of the out­stand­ing votes ap­peared to be in Demo­cratic-lean­ing states, with the big­gest chunk in Cal­i­for­nia, a state Clin­ton over­whelm­ingly won. With al­most 125 mil­lion votes counted, The As­so­ci­ated Press tally had Clin­ton with 47.7 per­cent and Trump with 47.5 per­cent. If her lead holds, it would be the sec­ond time in 16 years that the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote lost pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The last time was 2000, when Demo­crat Al Gore lost to Ge­orge W. Bush.

With all but three states ac­counted for, Trump held 279 elec­toral votes to Clin­ton’s 228. The thresh­old for vic­tory is 270.

Trump’s sweep of the bat­tle­ground states that de­cided the elec­tion was com­mand­ing. He car­ried Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, three of the elec­tion’s big­gest prizes, and snatched re­li­ably Demo­cratic Penn­syl­va­nia and Wis­con­sin away from Clin­ton.

Trump’s sup­port skewed older, male and over­whelm­ingly white. His sup­port­ers said they were deeply dis­sat­is­fied with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and ea­ger for change, ac­cord­ing to exit polls con­ducted by Edi­son

Re­search for The As­so­ci­ated Press and tele­vi­sion net­works.

World lead­ers con­grat­u­lated Trump on his vic­tory. Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, who had a con­tentious re­la­tion­ship with Obama, called the Repub­li­can a “true friend of Is­rael.” Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said the U.S. and United King­dom would re­main “strong and close part­ners on trade, se­cu­rity and de­fense.”

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin was among the first to reach out to the in­com­ing Amer­i­can leader. Trump praised Putin through­out the cam­paign and ad­vo­cated a closer re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia, de­spite Moscow’s provo­ca­tions in Ukraine and Syria.

U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have ac­cused Rus­sia of hack­ing Demo­cratic or­ga­ni­za­tions dur­ing the cam­paign, ac­tions Clin­ton’s team saw as an in­di­ca­tion that Putin was try­ing to med­dle in the elec­tion. Trump no­tably did not ac­cept the con­clu­sions of in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials.

If Trump makes good on his cam­paign prom­ises, the na­tion stands on the brink of sweep­ing change in do­mes­tic and for­eign pol­icy. He’s pledged to re­peal Obama’s sig­na­ture health care law and pull out of the land­mark nu­clear ac­cord with Iran. He’s vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der and tem­po­rar­ily ban im­mi­gra­tion from na­tions with ter­ror ties.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

ABOVE: Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump stands with Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence. LEFT: In New York, Hil­lary Clin­ton gives her con­ces­sion speech with hus­band Bill and son-in-law Marc Mezvin­sky be­hind her.

MELINA MARA — THE WASH­ING­TON POST

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