obama

Donald Trump is expected at the White House Thursday for talks with President Barack Obama.

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The meeting between the two is aimed at securing a smooth transition of power and steadying nerves.

This comes after Trump has questioned whether Obama was born in the United States. On his part, the current president has described the celebrity businessman as “uniquely unqualified” to succeed him.

To heal the wounds

But the last day has seen efforts to bring this deeply divided country together. This follows a brutal two-year battle for the White House that at times appeared more tribal than partisan.

Give Trump a chance – Clinton

Hillary Clinton fought back the bitter disappointment of not becoming America’s first female president. She urged Americans to give Trump a chance, at least from the outset.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said in a concession speech.

Obama addressed a disconsolate staff in the White House Rose Garden. He played down the extraordinary Trump win, painting it as democracy being its messy self.

“Sometimes you lose an argument,” he said, adding that all Americans would now be “rooting” for Trump’s success.

America comes first

“We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” Obama said as staff wiped away tears and pondered whether his administration’s eight years of toil had come to nothing.

In the battle for the White House, those who helped elect America’s first black president now appear to be in retreat.

Both Obama and Clinton issued a faint but definite warning that Trump must respect institutions. He must also respect the rule of law if a modicum of goodwill is to hold.

In remarks that would once have seemed unthinkable, the president of the world’s foremost democracy and military power subtly urged his successor to respect the 240-year-old system of governance and its institutions.

“The country,” Obama said “needs a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and a respect for each other.”