Obama Congratulates Trump, To Meet Him On Thursday
The outgoing US President Barack Obama has called president elect Donald Trump to congratulate him upon his victory and invited him to the White House for talks on Thursday.
Obama also called Hillary Clinton, his onetime Secretary of State and fellow Democrat, to express his “admiration for the strong campaign she waged throughout the country,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
The president was set to make a statement later Wednesday about the election results, which sent a shockwave across America and throughout world markets.
During their talks on Thursday, Obama and Trump — who once spearheaded the so-called birther movement questioning the president’s place of birth and legitimacy to be president — are set to discuss the presidential transition.
“Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the president identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the president-elect is the next step,” added Earnest.
For Obama, the act of holding the meeting is a humbling blow to Obama’s legacy and hopes for leaving a lasting imprint on the nation’s policies. Trump has vowed to rip up much of what Obama accomplished, including his signature health care law, the Iran nuclear deal and a painstakingly negotiated trade deal with Asia.
It was unclear how substantive Obama’s call was with Trump, or how long it lasted, although the White House noted that Obama placed the call from his residence in the White House, rather than from the West Wing. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, described it as a “very nice talk.” She said Trump had missed the president’s original call as Trump as speaking to supporters in New York, then called him back after leaving the stage.
Like Clinton and other Democrats, Obama didn’t appear to see Trump’s victory coming. As he campaigned vigorously for Clinton in the race’s final days, Obama said he was confident that if Americans showed up to vote, they’d choose against electing the billionaire reality TV show with no formal government experience.
He had also warned supporters in apocalyptic terms that “the fate of the republic” rested on Clinton defeating Trump on Election Day.