Obama, Trump hold ‘excellent’ White House talks
WASHINGTONU.S. President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 10 put past animosity aside during a 90-minute White House meeting, which Obama characterized as an “excellent conversation,” designed to quell fears about the health of the world’s pre-eminent democracy.
As protests against the Republican property mogul’s shock election rumbled across U.S. cities and world capitals contended with a suddenly uncertain world order, Obama and Trump vowed to carry out a smooth transfer of power.
After a nasty campaign that culminated in the election of a 70-year-old billionaire and former reality TV star who has never held public office and who gained power on a populist platform, the message was: this is business as usual in a democracy.
The outgoing Democratic president and his successor huddled one-on-one in the Oval Office, for what Obama characterized as an “excellent conversation” and then put on a remarkably civil joint public appearance.
“It is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face,” Obama said.
Trump appeared more subdued than usual, and was unusually cautious and deferential in his remarks.
“Mr President, it was a great honor being with you,” Trump said, calling Obama a “very good man.”
The meeting, which came less than 36 hours after Trump’s shock election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, had the potential to be awkward.
If the president-elect fulfils his campaign promises, he will unravel almost all of Obama’s signature achievements.
Trump - who previously called Obama the “most ignorant president in our history” - said he looked forward to receiving the president’s counsel.
Obama - who previously said Trump was a whiner and “uniquely unqualified” to be commander-in-chief - vowed his support.
“A fantastic day in D.C. Met with President Obama for first time. Really good meeting, great chemistry,” Trump said on Twitter late on Nov. 10.
Trump later met congressional leaders, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican who has had a strained relationship with Trump.
Civil rights a major concern of anti-Trump protests
Hours after the meeting in the White House, demonstrators took to the streets across the United States for a second day to protest against Trump’s victory, voicing fears that the real estate mogul’s triumph would deal a blow to civil rights.
On the East Coast, protests took place in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, while on the West Coast demonstrators rallied in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland in California, and Portland, Oregon.
The protests were for the most part peaceful and orderly, although there were scattered acts of civil disobedience and damage to property.
Police in Portland Oregon detained several people as an anti-Trump protest-turned violent with demonstrators breaking windows of businesses and starting a dumpster fire downtown. Police termed it a riot.
“Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property, anarchists refusing. Others encouraged to leave area,” the department tweeted after declaring the demonstration a riot.
At least 35 were arrested in a protest in downtown Los Angeles, where demonstrators blocked traffic and sat in the street, local media reported.
Dozens in Minneapolis marched onto Interstate 94, blocking traffic in both directions for at least an hour as police stood by. A smaller band of demonstrators briefly halted traffic on a busy Los Angeles freeway before police cleared them.