Saturday 3 December 2016

Donald Trump hits back at 'professional protesters' as marches continue across the US

Published 11/11/2016 | 06:25

Demonstrators protest after US President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, at a rally in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Ringo Chiuringo Chiu/Getty
Demonstrators protest after US President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, at a rally in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Ringo Chiuringo Chiu/Getty
People march through traffic while protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Demonstrations against Donald Trump continued in cities across the US as the president-elect accused those taking part of being "professional protesters".

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Hundreds of people were marching against his unexpected election as president, including in Dallas, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!"

He had earlier held a cordial White House meeting with President Barack Obama, and sketched out priorities with Republican congressional leaders in Washington.

Protesters gather in Chicago as they demonstrate against the election of President-elect Donald Trump (AP)
Protesters gather in Chicago as they demonstrate against the election of President-elect Donald Trump (AP)
A group of protesters gather outside of the White House after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump met with U.S. President Barack Obama at White House in Washington. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The meeting with Mr Obama spanned 90 minutes, longer than originally scheduled. Mr Obama said he was "encouraged" by Mr Trump's willingness to work with his team during the transition of power, and the Republican called the president a "very good man".

"I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including his counsel," Mr Trump said from the Oval Office. He will begin occupying the office on January 20.

In Dallas, dozens of demonstrators gathered for a second night at Dealey Plaza to speak against the election.

Just like on Wednesday night, the demonstration was peaceful with no disturbances or arrests reported. It ended with a march into the heart of Dallas by protesters carrying signs bearing such slogans as "Love Trumps Hate" and "Spirit Unbreakable".

Read more: Protester numbers are significant but their cause is not - US democracy has played out

A crowd that included parents with children in prams gathered near Philadelphia's City Hall. They held signs bearing slogans like "Not Our President," ''Trans Against Trump" and "Make America Safe For All".

About 500 people turned out in Louisville, Kentucky, chanting and carrying signs as they marched. A day earlier, five people were arrested at Western Kentucky University as demonstrators protested against Mr Trump's election.

The protests came as it was confirmed that Mr Trump had won Arizona's presidential contest and its 11 electoral votes.

The Republican president-elect had a solid lead over Hillary Clinton on election night, but a winner was not declared because there were so many uncounted votes. The latest batch of returns tabulated in Thursday made him the clear winner.

It extends a 20-year winning streak for Republican presidential candidates in Arizona. Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to take the state, winning in 1996.

Mrs Clinton was closer to gaining Arizona than Mr Obama, who lost by more than 9 percentage points during his two runs for president. She is losing by 4 points.

Arizona was one of three races that had yet to be determined from the Tuesday election. Michigan and New Hampshire remain too close to call.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence urged a rally in Indiana to support Mr Trump and to pray that the starkly divided country would be reunified.

He told the crowd he was humbled to be Mr Trump's vice president.

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