Thousands protest against president-elect’s emergence
Zacheaus Somorin in Washington DC with agency report
United States President-elect, Donald Trump, has called President Barack Obama a very fine and good man as the two, long-time antagonists, met in the Oval Office in a ritual epitomising the peaceful transfer of power.
The historical event which was monitored on CNN, Obama told journalists that if Trump succeeds, America succeeds at a White House meeting that encapsulated the stunning political events of the last few days since the president-elect’s remarkable election victory.
Trump said he would seek Obama’s counsel as president and Obama promised his full cooperation in the transition period. The president-elect¹s first visit to Washington as the president-elect began around 10:30a.m. when the plane emblazoned with his last name landed at Reagan National Airport, marking a new beginning for America.
Trump is also scheduled to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, while in town. He is travelling with Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, who will meet Vice President Joe Biden.
The Trump-Obama meeting was unexpected just days ago.
The core of Trump’s campaign was his claim that Obama was incompetent. Obama, meanwhile, had mocked Trump on the campaign trail. But in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s results, Trump and Obama have both sought to set politics aside ahead of the transition. Trump struck a magnanimous tone first, praising rival Hillary Clinton – who he had said on the campaign trail he would imprison – during his election night speech.
“We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said, complimenting her long history of public service. He also reached out to those who hadn’t voted for him. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me.
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country,” Trump said.
On Wednesday, Obama also recognized Trump’s victory, and said he plans to ensure a peaceful transition of power. “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” Obama said. “The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.”
Throughout Obama’s presidency, Trump persistently sought to undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s first African-American presidency by questioning his citizenship and his Christian faith. “He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim,” Trump told Fox News in 2011. “I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that.”
When Obama – attempting to put a stop to the falsehood – released his “long-form” birth certificate from Hawaii in April 2011, Trump continued to claim it was somehow faked.
It took until September 2016 — two months before a presidential election in which he was already the Republican Party’s nominee — for Trump to admit the reality that Obama was, indeed, born in the United States.
And when he did so, it was only in a brief statement with no explanation of why he’d changed his long-held belief, aside from saying in interviews later that he wanted to get the question off the table in the heat of the campaign.
Obama has directed his own barbs at Trump, too. At the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, with Trump in the audience, Obama mocked Trump’s birtherism — joking that “no one is happier” Obama had released his long form birth certificate. “He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?” Obama said of Trump.
He also cast Trump as incompetent and unhinged on the campaign trail, citing a New York Times report that Trump’s staff had taken his Twitter account away from him after a 3 a.m. rant about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. “They had so little confidence in his self-control, they said, ‘We are just going to take away your Twitter.’ Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes,” Obama said at a Sunday rally for Clinton in Florida.
However, demonstrations and vigils (protest) against the election of Trump spread across the country late Wednesday and early yesterday, as thousands of people rallied against the president-elect in cities from coast to coast.
Condemning Trump’s litany of crude comments about women and his attacks on immigrants, demonstrators marched along city streets, blocked intersections, burned effigies and, in some places, gathered outside buildings bearing Trump’s name.
“Not my president,” chanted some of the protesters, while others waved signs with the same message. At least 100 people were arrested at some of the protests. According to police officials, most of them at one in New York.
While most of the demonstrations remained peaceful, police in Oakland, Califonia said a rally there turned violent when some in the massive crowd injured three police officers by throwing rocks and fireworks at them.
The unrest underscored the fractures in a country that awoke Wednesday to learn that Trump had pulled off an unexpected victory over Clinton, his Democratic opponent.
Protests erupted in the biggest cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — and flared in places from Portland and Seattle to Philadelphia and Richmond, along with cities in red states such as Atlanta, Dallas, Omaha and Kansas City, Mo.
Most of the major demonstrations took place in urban centers in blue states Clinton won Tuesday, highlighting the demographic divide that shaped the election results.
Clinton’s apparent narrow victory in the popular vote, coupled with her loss in the electoral tally, spurred demonstrators in New York to chant, “She got more votes!” as thousands massed in front of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The crowd stretched several blocks down Fifth Avenue.