Sunday 4 December 2016

President-elect Donald Trump heads to White House for talks with Barack Obama

Arj Singh

Published 10/11/2016 | 06:29

Donald Trump will meet Barack Obama for talks on the transition of power as an anxious world continues to digest his astonishing victory in the United States presidential election.

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There were protests against his election across the US on Wednesday night, with crowds in New York chanting "not my president" outside his Manhattan residence, Trump Tower.

The victor will head to the White House on Thursday as president-elect for talks with Mr Obama, who will hand over power in January.

The controversial tycoon is also expected to have a conversation with Theresa May "at the earliest opportunity" as the world waits on tenterhooks for signs of what a Trump presidency means for global politics.

Downing Street confirmed the Prime Minister is preparing for a phone call with Mr Trump as the "special relationship" between the UK and US begins a new chapter.

Mrs May was at pains not to endorse either Mr Trump or his defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the bitter campaign, although she has previously described the president-elect's call to ban Muslims from entering the US "divisive, unhelpful and wrong"."

A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People protest on the University of Connecticut campus against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Berkeley High School students assemble on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage TEMPLATE OUT
A young man wearing a Berkeley High Class of 2016 shirt wipes away ters during a protest in response to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Berkeley High School students begin to march after assembling in front of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Alice Bynum (C) stands with other Berkeley High School staff members and holds a sign while attending a protest about the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Two young women hold up a sign reading "nasty women unite" in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Placards lay on the floor during an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. Picture rotated 180 degrees. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group expresses his views to media during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Demonstrators protest against the election of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker/File Photo
A protester faces a police line in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Police officers walk past an overturned newspaper rack during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Madeline Lopes, left, and Cassidy Irwin, both of Oakland, march with other protesters in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
An Oakland police officer checks out damage after a window was broken by protesters at a car dealership in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A trash fire burns during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A woman yells as she takes part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Britons will be keen for any indication of what Mr Trump's victory, which sparked horror in some quarters of British politics, means for the future of the transatlantic alliance.

The Republican regularly evoked Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union during his campaign for the presidency, insisting his victory would be like "Brexit plus plus plus".

Although he has run a generally anti-global trade campaign, Mr Trump suggested in May that Britain would be favoured for any future trade deals, saying: "You'd certainly not be back of the queue, that I can tell you."

Read more: Revealed: Coalition has no contingency plan for Trump win

Mrs May on Wednesday wrote to Mr Trump to congratulate him on his victory, declaring that the UK and America will remain "strong and close partners on trade, security and defence".

The Republican has already spoken to the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the PM is likely to be near the front of the queue of other world leaders despite a potential realignment of America's global stance.

Many will be waiting to see the direction of Mr Trump's first conversation with Vladimir Putin, who he as repeatedly praised.

The Russian president has already sent Mr Trump a telegram of congratulation and expressed "his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state".

As part of the transition of power, the White House said classified intelligence materials, including the president's daily brief, are now being made available to Mr Trump, as it was a courtesy extended to Mr Obama and his team by George W Bush.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest has also insisted Mr Obama would be sincere about ensuring a smooth handover when he meets Mr Trump, although he added: "I'm not saying it's going to be an easy meeting."

Read more: 'Trump is not my President' - Windows smashed, bins on fire as Donald Trump victory sparks protests in several states

Despite calls for unity from Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama, Mr Trump's win sparked protests in several US states.

The former reality TV star's comments about Muslims, his calls to build a wall to keep Mexican migrants out, and secretly taped recordings of him joking about sexual assault are among the controversies that have attracted widespread and deep opposition.

After his win, demonstrators in Oakland, California smashed windows and set bins on fire. In Portland, Oregon, reportedly hundreds of anti-Trump protesters burned American flags and chanted "that's not my president" while blocking traffic and causing rail delays.

Protests were also seen in Pennsylvania, Seattle, Phoenix and elsewhere in California.

After defying almost all pollsters' predictions, Mr Trump attempted reassure his opponents, promising to be a "president for all Americans" in a move that steadied financial markets.

Observers will also be looking for indications about the future in who he appoints to his cabinet and how he fills a vacancy in the Supreme Court.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie are among those tipped for senior posts.

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