Mr. Trump comes to Wash­ing­ton

Pres­i­dent-elect takes a tri­umphant tour

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Julie Pace AP White House Correspondent

Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump took a tri­umphant tour of the na­tion’s cap­i­tal Thurs­day, hold­ing a cor­dial White House meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, sketch­ing out pri­or­i­ties with Repub­li­can con­gres­sional lead­ers and tak­ing in the ma­jes­tic view from where he’ll be sworn in to of­fice.

Trump’s meet­ing with Obama spanned 90 min­utes, longer than orig­i­nally sched­uled. Obama said he was “en­cour­aged” by Trump’s will­ing­ness to work with his team dur­ing the tran­si­tion of power, and the Repub­li­can called the pres­i­dent a “very good man.”

“I very much look for­ward to deal­ing with the pres­i­dent in the fu­ture, in­clud­ing his coun­sel,” Trump said from the Oval Of­fice. He’ll be­gin oc­cu­py­ing the of­fice on Jan. 20.

While Trump noted that he and Obama had never met be­fore, their po­lit­i­cal his­to­ries will for­ever be linked. Trump spent years per­pe­trat­ing the lie that Obama was born out­side the United States. The pres­i­dent cam­paigned ag­gres­sively against Trump dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign, warn­ing that his elec­tion would put the repub­lic at risk.

But at least pub­licly, the two men ap­peared to put aside their an­i­mos­ity. As the meet­ing con­cluded and jour­nal­ists scram­bled out of the Oval Of­fice, Obama smiled at his suc­ces­sor and ex­plained the un­fold­ing scene.

“We now are go­ing to want to do ev­ery­thing we can to help you suc­ceed be­cause if you suc­ceed the coun­try suc­ceeds,” Obama said.

From the White House, Trump headed to Capi­tol Hill for meet­ings with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McConnell of Ken­tucky to dis­cuss the GOP leg­isla­tive agenda. Ryan, who holds the most pow­er­ful post in Congress, was a some­time critic of Trump and never cam­paigned with the nom­i­nee.

Emerg­ing from the meet­ings, Trump sketched out pri­or­i­ties for his pres­i­dency.

“We’re go­ing to move very strongly on im­mi­gra­tion,” he said. “We will move very strongly on health care. And we’re look­ing at jobs. Big league jobs.”

Ryan took Trump on a tour of the Speaker’s Bal­cony over­look­ing the Na­tional Mall, the scene of Trump’s up­com­ing in­au­gu­ra­tion. The view, Trump said, was “re­ally, re­ally beau­ti­ful.”

Trump was also be­gin­ning the process of putting to­gether his White House team. Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee Chair­man Reince Priebus, who worked his way into Trump’s in­ner cir­cle dur­ing the elec­tion, and top cam­paign of­fi­cial Kellyanne Con­way were emerg­ing as pos­si­ble picks for White House chief of staff, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the tran­si­tion plan­ning.

A third per­son said con­ser­va­tive me­dia ex­ec­u­tive Steve Ban­non was also in the mix, though oth­ers in­sisted Ban­non would not have a White House role. Those in­volved in the process in­sisted on anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the plan­ning pub­licly. A de­ci­sion on chief of staff is ex­pected in the com­ing days.

First lady Michelle Obama met pri­vately in the White House res­i­dence with Trump’s wife, Me­la­nia, while Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den saw Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence late Thurs­day. Trump’s team was said to be sketch­ing a ro­bust role for Pence, an ex­pe­ri­enced Wash­ing­ton hand, that would in­clude both do­mes­tic and for­eign pol­icy re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Obama and Trump met alone, with no staff present, White House press sec­re­tary Josh Earnest told re­porters fol­low­ing the dis­cus­sion.

“The two men did not re­lit­i­gate their dif­fer­ences in the Oval Of­fice,” Earnest said. “We’re on to the next phase.”

Trump trav­eled to Wash­ing­ton from New York on his pri­vate jet, break­ing with pro­to­col by not bring­ing jour­nal­ists in his mo­tor­cade or on his plane to doc­u­ment his his­toric visit to the White House. Trump was harshly crit­i­cal of the me­dia dur­ing his cam­paign and for a time banned news or­ga­ni­za­tions whose cov­er­age he dis­liked from his events.

At the White House, Obama chief of staff De­nis McDonough was seen walk­ing along the South Lawn drive­way with Jared Kush­ner, Trump’s son-in-law. A hand­ful of Trump aides trailed them.

The show of ci­vil­ity at 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue con­trasted with post­elec­tion scenes of protests across a po­lit­i­cally di­vided coun­try. De­mon­stra­tors from New Eng­land to the heart­land and the West Coast vented against the elec­tion win­ner on Wed­nes­day, chant­ing “Not my pres­i­dent,” burn­ing a pa­pier­ma­che Trump head, beat­ing a Trump pinata and car­ry­ing signs that said “Im­peach Trump.”

More than 100 pro­test­ers held a sit-in out­side Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel just blocks from the White House. The mostly stu­dent pro­test­ers held signs say­ing “Love Trumps Hate,” a phrase Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton of­ten used dur­ing the cam­paign.

The demon­stra­tions drove the pres­i­dent-elect back to Twit­ter Thurs­day night. “Now pro­fes­sional pro­test­ers, in­cited by the me­dia, are protest­ing,” Trump tweeted. “Very un­fair!”

Trump’s ad­vis­ers, many of whom were stunned by his un­ex­pected vic­tory, plunged into the huge task of staffing govern­ment agen­cies. A tran­si­tion web­site, GreatA­gain.gov, ref­er­enced 4,000 po­lit­i­cal ap­pointee open­ings.

Of­fi­cials at the Pen­tagon and State Depart­ment said they had not yet been con­tacted.

State Depart­ment spokesman Mark Toner said the agency stood ready “to work with the in­com­ing team once that team is des­ig­nated and ar­rives here. But we don’t have any firm word as to when that will be.”

As pres­i­dent-elect, Trump is en­ti­tled to the same daily in­tel­li­gence brief­ing as Obama — in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion on U.S. covert op­er­a­tions, in­for­ma­tion gleaned about world lead­ers and other data gath­ered by Amer­ica’s 17 in­tel­li­gence agen­cies. The White House said it would or­ga­nize two ex­er­cises in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple agen­cies to help Trump’s team learn how to re­spond to ma­jor do­mes­tic in­ci­dents.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama shakes hands with Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.