Clinton, Obama urge disappointed backers to reconcile themselves to Trump’s win

November 9 at 4:30 PM
Both Hillary Clinton and President Obama urged their backers Wednesday to accept President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and support his transition into power, as Democrats prepare to hand over control of the White House for the first time in eight years.The calls for a national political reconciliation underscored the seismic political realignment now underway in Washington after Clinton’s crushing loss to the New York businessman. Both the president and his former Secretary of State told their supporters not to despair as Republicans rejoiced at the idea that they will control both the legislative and executive branch in two and-a-half months.

Clinton said her loss exposed the nation’s deep and difficult divisions, but she urged her backers to give him “a chance to lead.”

In her first public statements since the stunning election results, Clinton also called on other women to take up where she left off and continue the push for the White House, suggesting she may not make another run in four years.

“We need you to keep up these fights,” Clinton said in New York, making special mention of the many women who hoped she was on her way to become the first female president.

“I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it, too,” said Clinton, less than 24 hours after calling the president-elect to concede after his history-shaping run that defied pollsters and galvanized legions of aggrieved voters in a loud repudiation of the status quo. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time.”

Clinton, who was misty-eyed at times but composed throughout her remarks, said the long and bitter campaign against Trump showed that “our nation is more deeply divided that we thought.”

But she told her backers: “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

Clinton and her allies are now left to sort out how Trump upended her once-clear path to become America’s first female president. Clinton called Trump to concede as the results were clear.

Minutes after Clinton finished speaking, President Obama addressed reporters in the Rose Garden with Vice President Biden by his side, as more than a hundred White House staffers stood off to the side. Several of the aides were visibly emotional, with at least one crying before he began speaking.

“Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage,” Obama said, vowing to work to ensure a smooth transition for the president-elect.

The president, who has invited Trump to the White House Thursday, added he was “heartened” by the tone of his victory speech and their private phone call, which took place around 3:30 am Wednesday.

“That’s what the country needs — a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and respect for each other.”

Trump — who had used social media as a tool to court support and mock foes during the campaign — sent a tweet at 6:30 a.m.: “Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before”.

But protests flared as dismay among Clinton supporters turned to anger. In Los Angeles, about 500 people chanted, “Not my president.” In Oregon, anti-Trump demonstrators blocked traffic and rail lines.

After running a divisive campaign, Trump sounded a magnanimous note of reconciliation as he claimed victory shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

He had portrayed his opponent as the embodiment of a rigged system that had failed the everyday American. Her credentials through a quarter-century on the national stage, which in another electoral climate would have been an asset, pegged her in his supporters’ view as the ultimate establishment insider.

Trump said that under his administration, “America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.” And he promised foreign countries that “while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” adding: “We will seek common ground, not hostility.”

Speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Trump and Clinton “had a very gracious exchange” when she conceded the race.

Asked whether Trump would consider appointing a special prosecutor to probe Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state and her ties to the Clinton Foundation, Conway said: “We have not discussed that at all, and he certainly did not discuss that with Secretary Clinton on that call.”

With Trump’s ascension to the White House, the nationalist wave that has swept capitals around the world — including in Britain, which voted to break from the European Union this year — came crashing onto U.S. shores.

The prospect of an impulsive authoritarian in the Oval Office initially rattled investors around the world. But a panicked global sell-off Tuesday night transformed into a near-record high for Wall Street by the end of trading on Wednesday.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average surged ahead about 250 points, or 1.4 percent, close to an all-time high — despite futures markets overnight signalling a decline of as much as 800 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq both gained about 1 percent.

Even the Mexican peso — which had fallen as the Republican nominee rose in the polls during his campaign — regained some ground after dropping to the lowest level since the 1990s.

World leaders congratulated Trump even as they grappled with the repercussions of his win. Britain, Germany and other U.S. allies stressed their close bonds with Washington. Russia, meanwhile, was quick to make overtures for better ties — something Trump encouraged as he campaigned.

In Mexico, the nation’s currency plunged and leaders weighed how to deal with a president-elect who has vowed to build a border wall and drive out undocumented workers.

The general election, which riveted the nation and produced a record television audience for a presidential debate, turned on the question of national identity.

While Clinton assembled a diverse coalition that she said reflected the nation’s future, it was no match for the powerful and impassioned movement built by fanning resentments over gender, race and religion.

Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” inspired millions of Americans alienated by the forces of globalization and multiculturalism and deeply frustrated with the inability of Washington to address their needs.

Voters anxious about the economy, convinced that the system was stacked against them, fearful of terrorism and angry about the rising gap between rich and poor, gravitated toward Trump. In him, they saw a fearless champion who would re-create what they recalled as an America unchallenged in the world, unthreatened at home and unfettered by the elitist forces of “political correctness.”

Online, the distress of some of some of Clinton’s top advisers was palpable. David Plouffe, who had served as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and helped guide Clinton’s campaign, had predicted in late September that the Democratic nominee had a 100 percent chance of winning the election.

“I’m sorry everyone,” he tweeted around 1 a.m. Wednesday. “Had to talk to my kids. Wrong and remarkably so. But the idea of our country has always been stronger than an election.”

Control of Congress was on the line as well, with Republicans maintaining their majority in the House and a string of hotly competitive Senate contests going their way as well.

Trump’s feuds with Republican leaders created deep fissures in his party, and his victory has set the GOP on a new path. But congressional leaders–including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who declined to campaign with Trump after a videotape surfaced of the real estate magnate talking in lewd terms about sexually accosting women–said they looked forward to collaborating on a conservative agenda together.

“This is the kind of unified Republican government that we set out to deliver,” he told reporters in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., adding Trump “earned a mandate” with his victory. “I think we are going to hit the ground running.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also called the election a rejection of Obama’s policies and said that “the American people have chosen a new direction for our nation.”

Obama campaigned vigorously for his former secretary of state — going so far as to label her opponent temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief — but his resurgent popularity did not rub off.

Trump had pledged to dismantle Obama’s achievements, starting with his signature law, the Affordable Care Act that became known as Obamacare. He also will be in position to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court.

A Trump presidency is certain to produce significant geopolitical repercussions. He has promised to transform U.S. foreign policy and take it in a more unilateralist direction.

He also has promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico and deport immigrants who are in this country illegally. Trump said he would “bomb the s—” out of the Islamic State and claimed he has a secret plan to annihilate the terrorist organization. He has also expressed admiration for strongmen such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has promised to forge a closer relationship based on mutual respect.

US election: ‘Cruel’ Trump claim dismays dead soldier’s family

US Election

BBC News

Republican Donald Trump has been criticised by the family of a dead US soldier after saying as president he would have kept him alive.

“Had I been president, Captain Khan would be alive today. We wouldn’t have been in this horrible, horrible mistake, the war in Iraq,” he said.

The soldier’s father, Khizr Khan, said it was a “cruel” remark.

He is campaigning for Hillary Clinton, who is making her first appearance with First Lady Michelle Obama.

The two shared a stage at Winston-Salem in North Carolina.

Introducing Mrs Obama, the former first lady said her voice was needed in this election “more than ever”.

Clinton and Obama embrace as they arrive in Winston-Salem
Clinton and Obama embrace as they arrive in Winston-Salem

Mrs Clinton referred to Mr Trump’s ongoing feud with the Khans and accused him of “rubbing salt into the wounds of a grieving family”.

Mr Khan’s son Humayun was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27.

Their grief became part of the presidential campaign in July when Khizr Khan made an emotional speech at the Democratic Convention attacking Mr Trump for anti-Muslim rhetoric, as his wife stood next to him.

The Republican candidate’s reaction, in which he implied the mother was not allowed to speak up, attracted strong condemnation from within his own party.

Speaking to ABC News in an interview aired on Thursday, Mr Trump repeated his insistence that their son would be alive, but added he believed the soldier was a “great hero”.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Million Air Orlando in Sanford, Florida.
Image caption Mr Trump continues to draw attention to his clash with the Khans

In response, Mr Khan said: “This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents, that if I was there this would not have happened.”

In other campaign developments:

  • Mr Trump complained again about media bias, saying it was “the greatest pile-on in American history”
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz has said Republicans may decline to fill the vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court
  • Voting problems in Texas have been reported on social media but put down to human error by officials
  • A former Republican congressman has said he will take up arms if Mrs Clinton wins

Former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh tweeted: “On November 8th, I’m voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I’m grabbing my musket. You in?”

He later said he was speaking metaphorically about “acts of civil disobedience”.

Mrs Clinton’s campaign is dealing with more questions arising from hacked emails published by Wikileaks.

The Trump campaign has seized on the latest dump to suggest the line between Bill Clinton’s personal income and the donations for the Clinton Foundation has been blurred.

Doug Band, a top aide to Mr Clinton, said in an email that he had solicited donations to the foundation and also generated personal income for him through gifts and paid speeches.

Trump: I’ll run America like my business. Clinton: Let’s not

WASHINGTON — His presidential dreams increasingly in question, Donald Trump pushed his business empire to the centre of his political campaign Wednesday. Taking a break from battleground states, he made the case at his newest hotel that all Americans should look to his corporate record for evidence of how well he’d run the country.

Hillary Clinton agreed, but not the way he meant it. She used campaign events in Florida to attack the GOP nominee for having “stiffed American workers,” saying he built his empire with Chinese-manufactured steel, overseas products and labour from immigrants in the country illegally.

“Donald Trump is the poster boy for everything wrong with our economy,” she told several thousand supporters in Tampa, Florida. “He refuses to pay workers and contractors.”

Trump’s political aspirations have long been deeply intertwined with promoting his corporate goals. He announced his campaign in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan and has held dozens of campaign events at his own properties. His remarks at his new Washington hotel, which has struggled to fill rooms amid the controversy surrounding his presidential bid, followed a visit Tuesday to his Doral golf course outside Miami.

“Under budget and ahead of schedule. So important. We don’t hear those words so often, but you will,” said Trump, linking the hotel redevelopment — just blocks from the White House — to his promised performance as president. “Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country.”

Though the GOP nominee focused his remarks on his political message, the event was heavy with marketing, too. Standing under glittering chandeliers, top company executives, including his daughter, touted the hotel. And after his brief speech, Trump and his family headed to the hotel’s grand lobby where they cut a wide red ribbon with golden scissors before he flew to North Carolina for what his campaign billed as an urban policy speech.

In Charlotte, Trump unveiled what he billed a “New Deal for black America” in front of a mostly white crowd. Trump, who has struggled to earn the support of minority voters, bemoaned that “too many African-Americans have been left behind and unveiled a handful of new proposals aimed at revitalizing impoverished urban areas.

They included new tax incentives for inner cities, new micro-loans for African Americans to start companies and hire workers and reinvesting money from suspended refugee programs in inner cities.

He also wants cities to be able to seek federal disaster designations to help them rebuild infrastructure, demolish abandoned buildings and invest in law enforcement.

As Trump cut the ribbon, Clinton was slamming his business practices in Florida, a state he must win to have any chance on Nov. 8. In Tampa, she was introduced by restaurateur Jose Andres, a naturalized U.S. citizen who pulled out of the Washington hotel to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Trump and Andres are currently locked in litigation over the deal.

Trump’s unusual travel schedule, coming amid signs that the controversy surrounding his campaign has hurt his corporate brand, raises questions about whether the GOP nominee has begun to turn some of his focus to postelection plans.

Rooms at the overhauled $212 million hotel that bears his name at Washington’s Old Post Office Pavilion have been heavily discounted and smartphone data suggest fewer people are visiting his properties compared to rival venues nearby. A new Facebook live show produced by his campaign has heightened speculation that he may try and offset any losses with advertising revenue from a new a media network — a plan he denies.

Trump supporters defended his strategy, blasting critics for not making as big a deal of Clinton’s decision to attend an Adele concert Tuesday night. Trump took a break from campaigning to see the singer perform during the GOP primaries.

“I can’t take one hour off to cut a ribbon at one of the great hotels of the world? I mean, I think I’m entitled to it,” he said, in an interview with ABC News. He was more defensive in a CNN interview in which he called questions about his time away from swing state campaigning “insulting” and “rude.”