Trump and Obama meet at the White House to begin transition of power

Donald Trump Obama
Donald Trump Obama

(Trump and Obama shake hands in the Oval Office.Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

President-elect Donald Trump met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday to begin the transition of power after the billionaire businessman's surprise Election Day victory.

Trump and Obama met inside the White House for over an hour. Trump's wife, Melania, also met with first lady Michelle Obama, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with Vice President Joe Biden later in the day.

It's tradition for the president-elect to meet with the current president at the White House after Election Day.

"We talked about foreign policy, we talked about domestic policy, and as I said last night, my number one priority in the coming two months is trying to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful," Obama said after the meeting. "And I've been very encouraged in the interest in President-elect Trump's wanting to work with my team on many of the issues our great country faces."

He continued: "It is important for all of us, regardless of party ... to now come together, work together, and deal with the many challenges that we face."

Trump said he and Obama "discussed a lot of situations, some wonderful, some difficult." At the end of the meeting, he called Obama a "very good man."

Obama was highly critical of Trump during the campaign, and traveled the country campaigning on behalf of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the final weeks leading up to the election. But both men have taken a more conciliatory tone toward the other since Trump's surprising victory.

Polls had shown Clinton leading Trump consistently throughout the general election season, but Trump pulled off a surprise victory. Trump surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold by winning key swing states such as Florida and Ohio, but Clinton was ahead in the popular vote.

It's also tradition for the president and first lady to take a photograph with the president-elect and his spouse, but the Obamas canceled the photo op with Trump and Melania, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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