Had an excellent conversation with Trump, says Obama at White House
- World, Published on: Friday 11th November 16 - 10:01am
US President Barack Obama today met for the first time his successor Donald Trump at the White House and vowed his support for him as the two leaders discussed domestic and foreign policy issues to take a step towards transition of power after a bitterly fought election.
The meeting between the two lasted for 90 minutes.
Obama described his meeting with Trump as “excellent” and wide-ranging.
“Most of all, I want to emphasise to you, Mr President elect, that we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed then the country succeed,” he told reporters after the meeting.
“I have been very encouraged by an interest in president-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that the country faces,” Obama said.
“I believe that it is important for all regardless of party and regardless of political preferences to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges we face.
“We talked about some of organisational issues in setting up the White House. We talked about foreign policy. We talked about domestic policy,” he said.
Obama said his number one priority is to ensure smooth transition of power.
“As I sat last night, my number one in the next coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” he said.
Trump said he looks forward to working with the President.
Trump said he had “respect for the president” and said they talked about some wonderful and difficult things.
Asked if he would seek the advice of the president, Trump said Obama was a “very fine man“.
“We had never met.. The meeting was supposed to last 10 minutes... I have great respect... it went on for an hour-and-a-half and as far as I’m concerned it could have gone on longer... we really 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.
“Mr president, was a great honour being with you and I look forward to being with you many many more times in the future,” he said.
Trump was accompanied by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also accompanied them.
The two have had almost no one-on-one contact previously.
Trump, 70, flew from New York on his private jet and landed at Reagan National Airport, just outside the nation’s capital. Trump broke from protocol and barred journalists from travelling with him to cover his meeting with Obama.
The Republican president-elect has questioned Obama’s US citizenship and vowed to dismantle his legacy.
During the election campaign Obama called Trump “uniquely unqualified“.
Yesterday Obama had urged all Americans to accept the result of the presidential election.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” he had said.