US President Barack Obama has congratulated his successor Donald Trump on winning the election, calling on Democrats to help the president-elect toward a peaceful transition of power. Obama made the remarks on Wednesday at the White House in Washington, DC, after Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Obama promised to work for a “smooth transition” of power to Trump when he leaves office in January. Obama called Trump early Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his election victory and invite him to the White House.
“I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night at 3:30 in the morning to congratulate him on winning the election and invited him to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure there is a successful transition between our two presidencies,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden with Vice President Joe Biden at his side.
Obama also thanked Clinton for her presidential election campaign. Obama campaigned hard against Trump to boost his former secretary of state, who conceded the race in a speech earlier Wednesday morning. “It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” Obama said, adding later, that “we all want what’s best for this country.”
As America’s first black president, Obama in January would hand over the presidency to Trump, the first American president without any experience in government or the military. The business mogul garnered 289 electoral votes on Tuesday, half a dozen votes more than what he needed to win the presidency. Clinton finished with a mediocre 228 votes, after losing most of the battleground states. Clinton also called Trump and congratulated him on his win, a nice gesture after one of the darkest US presidential races in history.