Barack Obama to welcome Donald Trump to White House

US President Barack Obama is set to meet his successor Donald Trump in the Oval Office for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition of power.

Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.

Mr Obama mounted a fierce campaign to prevent Mr Trump from winning the White House, branding him “unfit” for office.

But the president has now urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday’s election.

“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” Barack Obama said of Mr Trump.

Despite Mr Obama’s calls for unity and Mrs Clinton telling supporters Mr Trump must be given a “chance to lead,” his victory has sparked protests in several US states.

Hundreds of Anti-Trump demonstrators in New York staged a march on Trump Tower in Manhattan on Wednesday evening, waving placards declaring “Not my president” and other slogans.

Police earlier erected concrete barriers and other security measures outside the 5th Avenue skyscraper, which is likely to be Mr Trump’s headquarters during the transition to power.

There were also reports of protesters blocking the entrance to Trump Tower in Chicago on Wednesday evening, chanting: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA” and “Not my president!”

In Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon, protesters have reportedly burned American flags.

In his victory speech in the early hours of Wednesday, Mr Trump vowed to “bind the wounds of division”, after the acrimonious election contest, and to be “president for all Americans”.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest has insisted Mr Obama will be sincere about ensuring a smooth handover when he meets Mr Trump, although he added: “I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy meeting.”

The president-elect will be accompanied to the White House on Thursday morning by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.

Mr Obama, who congratulated his successor in a phone call in the early hours of Wednesday, said it was “no secret” that he and Mr Trump had pretty significant differences.

But he added that “we all want what’s best for this country” and he was “heartened” by what he heard in Mr Trump’s remarks the night before.

Mr Trump’s transition team for the 10-week period until inauguration will be led by Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey.

The president-elect, who has never held elected office, has said his immediate priorities will be restoring the country’s infrastructure and doubling its economic growth.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said: “Donald Trump is taking this very seriously,” adding that the business mogul’s deal-making ability would enable him to quickly “make things happen for the American people”.

How Donald Trump won the presidency

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