•Michelle, Melania too
United States President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump made a public show yesterday of putting their bitter differences aside after a stunning election upset.
The Oval Office meeting brought together a president who has darkly warned that Trump could not be trusted with the nuclear codes and a successor who rose to political prominence questioning Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy.
“My No. 1 priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” Obama said. “I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Obama told Trump as the two sat side-by-side after the roughly 90-minute meeting originally scheduled for 10 minutes. The president called the session “excellent” and wide-ranging.
Trump thanked Obama for the meeting. “Mr President, it was a great honor being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times,” Trump said, adding that he and Obama had spoken about some wonderful and difficult things and “some high-flying assets.”
It was not immediately clear about what he meant.
The President-elect also said he would seek “counsel” from Obama. As the pool of reporters were led out, Trump told them several times that Obama was “a very good man.” Trump, who said he had never met Obama before and expected the meeting to last only 10 or 15 minutes, said it had been a “great honor” to sit with the president.
“We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,” Trump said.
Trump, whose election on Tuesday stunned the president and rocked the political establishment in Washington, arrived in the White House driveway out of sight of the crowds of reporters and news media cameras assembled there. His staff had refused to arrange for journalists to document his movements, as is customary both for the president and the president-elect, and Obama’s team did not arrange for the traditional photograph of the sitting president and his wife greeting their successors in front of the White House.
Obama said his wife, Michelle, who emerged during the campaign as an outspoken critic of Trump on the campaign trail, met with Trump’s wife, Melania while their husbands spoke in the Oval Office.
“We want to make sure that they feel welcome,” Obama said of the Trumps. The meetings unfolded as Obama’s staff was starting the daunting business of handing over the vast bureaucracy of the United States government to Trump’s staff, including vital national security information and resources he would need in the event of a catastrophic attack.
Second day anti-Trump protests rock US
Despite pleas for unity, thousands of protesters gathered across the United States for a second day yesterday, with many chanting: “Not my president.”
No fewer than 25 cities were filled overnight with demonstrators targeting Trump’s properties across the country in massive street rallies. In New York, about 5,000 people protested Trump’s victory outside Trump Tower, authorities estimated. They included pop star Lady Gaga, a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter.
Their concerns ranged from policies, such as Trump’s proposed plan to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, to the polarizing tenor of his campaign that they say stoked xenophobic fears. “I came out here to let go of a lot of fear that was sparked as soon as I saw the results,” protester Nick Powers said in New York.
He said he feared Trump will support stronger stop-and-frisk policies that would put many people in prison. Powers said he was also worried that Trump’s victory would embolden sexist views. At least 15 protesters at Trump Tower were arrested Wednesday night for disorderly conduct, New York police said.
In Oakland, California, protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, rocks and fireworks at police. Three officers were injured, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said. Throughout the evening, the large group splintered into smaller groups that began vandalizing numerous businesses in the downtown area,” Oakland police said.
In Chicago, activists marched down Lake Shore Drive, an eight-lane expressway along Lake Michigan toward the Windy City’s Trump Tower. “I still can’t believe I have to protest for civil rights,” one sign read.
In Los Angeles, Trump effigy was torched. More than 1,000 protesters rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall, including many young Latinos. They chanted, “I will not live in fear,” “Fight back, stand up” and “¡Si se puede!” (Spanish for “Yes, it can be done”). Protesters also set on fire a piñata depicting the head of the president-elect.
Protesters in Washington chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” as they marched downtown to the Trump International Hotel. Elsewhere in the nation’s capital, an illuminated sign proclaimed that the US is “Better Than Bigotry.”
Trump invites UK PM to visit him
Schmooze her but don’t touch her – UKIP leader warns
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump invited Theresa May to visit him as soon as possible during their first telephone call since his election victory, the British prime minister’s office said on Thursday.
May and Trump agreed that the U.S.-British relationship was “very important and very special, and that building on this would be a priority for them both”, a statement said. “President-elect Trump set out his close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK. He said he was confident that the special relationship would go from strength to strength,” it added.
May, who was appointed prime minister shortly after Britain voted to leave the EU in June, also told Trump that she hoped to strengthen bilateral trade and investment with the United States as the country leaves the bloc.
Meanwhile, outgoing UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will tell Trump to come to the UK and “schmooze” Theresa May but “don’t touch her for goodness sake”. Farage who is travelling to the US where he hopes to meet the Trump, joked in an interview about Trump sexually assaulting the Prime Minister.
He went on to say he would chaperone a visit between Trump and Mrs May to make sure nothing happened and would teach him British etiquette. He told Talk RADIO: “I am going to say (to Mr Trump) come and schmooze Theresa May don’t touch her.
“If it comes to it I could be there as the responsible adult to make sure everything is ok.” Later on in discussions, Mr Farage engaged in smutty chatter about Trump meeting the Queen. During the election campaign, a number of women came forward to say Trump had groped them.
World stock markets: Investors brush aside initial shock
It was a mixed day yesterday on world stock markets, as investors brush aside their initial shock at Donald Trump’s unexpected victory and focus on the potential winners and losers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a new record high of 18,731 in early trading on Wall Street yesterday, with traders citing hopes that Trump’s victory speech will result in a spending spree to bolster US economic growth.
US bank stocks were up sharply amid expectations of less regulation and higher interest rates to boost their earnings. However tech shares, such as Apple, suffered as money was placed in assets likely to benefit from Federal investment such as construction firms instead
Amazon run by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was down 5% as investors pondered possible retribution from the new president for the newspaper’s criticism of him and his campaign.
Earlier, Asian markets recouped losses accumulated on Wednesday by following European and US markets higher. Japan’s Nikkei climbed nearly 7% by the close. But early positivity in London petered out following its 1% gain on Wednesday.
The FTSE 100 climbed 0.9% in early trading but later came under pressure as the dollar and euro lost some of their strength against the pound and precious metal stocks came under pressure.
Sterling gained almost 1.5p on the single currency amid Downing Street comments that Theresa May had been invited to Washington for talks with Trump once he takes office.
Germany’s DAX and the CAC in Paris also closed in negative territory.