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Trump meets with Obama at White House

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president-elect-trump1-696x493President Barack Obama hosted a triumphant Donald Trump in the Oval Office Thursday for talks on executing a smooth transition of power and steadying nerves after a vote that shocked the world.

Anger over the Republican property mogul’s upset election win over Hillary Clinton spilled out onto the streets of US cities late Wednesday as chanting protesters lit bonfires and snarled traffic.

The billionaire president-elect arrived at his soon-to-be home on Pennsylvania Avenue at roughly 11:00 am (1600 GMT), a US official said, for what may be an awkward meeting with Obama ahead of the January 20 inauguration.

Trump, 70, championed the so-called “birther movement” challenging that Obama was actually born in the United States — a suggestion laden with deep racial overtones — only dropping the position recently.

The Democratic commander-in-chief in turn has described the celebrity businessman as “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

But in the day after Trump’s shock election win, which virtually no poll had predicted, both sides spoke of healing the deep divisions sown in a bruising two-year battle for the White House.

His vanquished Democratic rival Clinton, holding back the bitter disappointment of not becoming America’s first female president, urged the country to give Trump a chance.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said Wednesday in a concession speech.

Obama, addressing disconsolate staff in the White House Rose Garden, played down Trump’s win as part of the messy “zig-zag” movement of a democracy.

“Sometimes you lose an argument,” he said, adding that all Americans should now be “rooting” for Trump’s success.

In the battle for the soul of America, those who helped elect its first black president now appear to be in retreat and pondering whether his eight years in power have come to naught.

Both Obama and Clinton issued a faint — but clear — warning that Trump must respect institutions and the rule of law if a modicum of goodwill is to hold.

Trump’s tone, indicated White House spokesman Josh Earnest, “would seem to suggest that certain basic principles of our democracy are likely to be upheld.”

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