President-elect Donald Trump, Barack Obama meet at White House

Donald Trump is meeting Barack Obama for talks at the White House following a night of protests in major cities across the United States.

The most powerful man in America and the one Americans elected to replace him met at the White House today for more than 90 minutes in a public display of unity intended to help the country digest the shocking results of Tuesday's presidential election.

The two men had never met each other. President-elect Donald Trump said he intended for the getting-to-know-you meeting to last 10 to 15 minutes but it went on much longer, delving into areas of policy.

He described sitting President Barack Obama as a 'very good' man when it was finished as a pack of reporters hurled questions.

"I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,' he said in a statement.

"He explained some of the difficulties some of the high flying assets, some of the really great things that have been achieved."

Obama spoke first, telling reporters his top priority was to "ensure our president-elect is successful".

"I have been very encouraged by...the interest in president-elect Trump's wanting to work with my team," he said.

LISTEN: Melanie Eversley of USA Today speaks to Mike Hosking about post-Trump protests and reports of hate crimes

The Guardian, quoting colour from the media pool, reported: "The president kept saying, 'tell me when you're ready' to reporters, as he waited to make a statement.

"The president-elect looked around the room, and at the floor, his hands tented below him. Both men ignored shouted questions, including 'Mr. President, do you still think he is a threat to the republic?'

"Obama explained to Trump with a joke that the reporters always ask questions and they need to be shooed out, as he motioned with his hand. He singled out one aide who was wrangling the press, saying, 'she's small, but she's tough.' Trump said: 'she's doing a very good job.'

House Speaker Paul Ryan shows Donald Trump and his wife Melania the view of the inaugural stand that is being built and Pennsylvania Avenue from the Speaker's Balcony. Photo / AP
House Speaker Paul Ryan shows Donald Trump and his wife Melania the view of the inaugural stand that is being built and Pennsylvania Avenue from the Speaker's Balcony. Photo / AP

The president-elect and the first lady in waiting, Melania Trump, departed from LaGuardia airport in New York at 9:36 am on his way to Washington on Thursday morning on his personal aircraft, a 757, emblazoned with his name. They arrived at Ronald Reagan National Airport just after 10:30am.

The future first couple entered the White House complex 20 minutes later via a back entrance through the South Lawn that is inaccessible to media.

While their husbands were in the Oval Office first lady Michelle Obama and incoming first lady Melania Trump spoke about the challenges of raising children in the White House.

Trump's 10-year-old son Barron Trump will become a teenager during President-elect Donald Trump's first term. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that's "a rather unique childhood".

He pointed out that Mrs Obama and President Barack Obama also had the experience of raising children in the White House.

Earnest said Mrs Obama and Mrs Trump spoke about the experience of being a good parent under those unique circumstances. He said the two women then walked to the Oval Office to visit with the president and the president-elect.

The show of civility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue contrasted with postelection scenes of protests across a politically divided country.

Demonstrators from New England to the heartland and the West Coast vented against the election winner, chanting "Not my president," burning a papier-mache Trump head, beating a Trump pinata and carrying signs that said "Impeach Trump.

President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania and Vice president-elect Mike Pence, pose with House Speaker Paul Ryan after a meeting in the Speaker's office on Capitol Hill. Photo / AP
President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania and Vice president-elect Mike Pence, pose with House Speaker Paul Ryan after a meeting in the Speaker's office on Capitol Hill. Photo / AP
Vice president-elect Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President-elect Donald Trump walk to a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo / AP
Vice president-elect Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President-elect Donald Trump walk to a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo / AP

"Republicans were emboldened by Trump's stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, giving the GOP control of the White House and both chambers of Congress."He just earned a mandate," House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said.

From the White House, Trump headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to discuss the GOP legislative agenda.

Ryan, who holds the most powerful post in Congress, was a sometime critic of Trump, was slow to endorse him and did not campaign with the nominee. Pence joined both meetings.

Trump found time during his busy morning to put out a tweet, although it's not clear at this stage if his team have given him access to his Twitter account yet:


7am: Donald Trump and Barack Obama have spoken to media after their historic White House meeting today, with Trump describing Obama as "a very good man".

"This was going to last 10-15 minutes," said Trump. "We've never met each other before. I have great respect (for Obama)...the meeting lasted almost an hour and a half and it could have gone on for a lot longer. We discussed a lot of different situations...some wonderful, and some difficulties.

"I look forward to dealing with the President in the future, including (seeking his) counsel.

"Mr President, it was a great honour being with you and I look forward to being with you many many more times in the future."

Obama: "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... it is important for all of us ... to now come together, work together..."

6.41am:President Obama has greeted his successor, Donald Trump, at the White House today in order to facilitate a "successful transition" between presidencies.

The two men met in the Oval Office midmorning Thursday, an historic encounter between rivals that was unforeseen just two days ago. Mr Trump's private plane landed at around 10.30am, local time (4.30am NZT). It is his first visit to Washington, DC as the President-elect.

The two men did not take questions from members of the press. Photo / AP
The two men did not take questions from members of the press. Photo / AP

The First Lady Michelle Obama and future first lady Melania Trump are meeting separately in the White House residence - offering the Trumps their first tour of what will soon become their new home. Both meetings are closed to the press but the pair are expected to have a photo call shortly.

President Obama and President-elect Trump have had almost no one-on-one contact previously. Today's meeting is their first public step toward a peaceful transition of power.


6.30am: President-elect Donald Trump has arrived at the White House for his first meeting with President Obama since the election, beginning a whirlwind transition over the next 10 weeks until Trump is sworn in on January 20.

Trump entered the White House through the South Lawn entrance, avoiding news cameras and the eyes of the president's staff. Just after 11am (5am, NZT), a Marine guard took his spot outside the West Wing entrance, indicating the president and presumably Trump had entered the Oval Office.

About 45 minutes after Trump's arrival, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough was seen taking Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and other Trump aides, including Dan Scavino, across the edge of the Rose Garden. Afterwards McDonough led Kushner on a walk down the South Lawn for nearly 20 minutes, at which point the two men rejoined the other aides and reentered the White House.

A slew of journalists, including international reporters, milled about on the driveway leading to the West Wing ahead of Trump's arrival. Across West Executive Drive, dozens of White House staffers gathered on a steps in hopes of a glimpse.

6.12am: The circumstances of the meeting are extraordinary, as the UK Daily Telegraph reports. "Mr Trump spent years claiming Mr Obama was born outside the US and was therefore not a legitimate president, while Mr Obama savaged him throughout the campaign as irresponsible and dangerous."


6am: Obama has pledged his administration's full cooperation with Trump's transition team, citing the close working relationship he enjoyed with President George W. Bush during their transfer of power eight years ago.

5.51am: Donald Trump entered the White House through the South Lawn entrance, avoiding news cameras and the eyes of the president's staff.

The White House announced that Vice President-elect Mike Pence would meet with Vice President Biden in the afternoon.

Obama had denounced Trump as "temperamentally unfit" for the White House during a long and brutal campaign.

5.38am: A no-fly zone has been imposed over Donald Trump's lavish home and workplace, Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue in New York, the Daily Mail reports. The 58-story building which was the setting of television show The Apprentice, is not only the billionaire's main residence but also a massive tourist hotspot.

5.28am: Trump is meeting Obama in the Oval Office for talks on the 71 days of transition from a Democrat to Republican administration, after Obama's speech yesterday calling for an end to divisions.

5.19am: Michelle Obama and Melania Trump are also meeting - apparently over a coffee. Viceo president Joe Biden's wife Jill is also joining them.

5am: President-elect Donald Trump has arrived at the White House for his historic meeting with President Barack Obama. Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper says the meeting will be awkward "with a capital A".

5am, News Corp reports: Five years after President Obama roasted the new President-elect for his lack of experience and glitzy taste, he will give him a tour of the White House that will become his new home.

It comes after President Obama made a public appeal for a smooth transition of power and said he hopes the country unifies behind Donald Trump.

It was a speech at odds with his roasting of the reality-star and real estate tycoon in 2011 when he mocked him for the "birther" movement that claimed Obama was not born in America and the tough decisions he was forced to make on Celebrity Apprentice.

At the time, the first-term President said he would release his "official birth video" before showing a clip from the Lion King. He said it would be a great chance to put "the Donald's" mind at rest.

"That's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell and where are Biggie and Tupac?"

Five shot in downtown Seattle
Five things on the top of Donald Trump's 'to-do' list
Protests have broken out across the US after the election result.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and world leaders react to the US Presidential election.
Hillary Clinton says she's "sorry" she didn't win the election, adding "this is painful, and it will be for a long time".
Prime Minister John Key is now signalling there's little hope left for the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The best memes of the election

EARLIER

President Barack Obama is set to welcome his successor, Donald Trump, to the White House, extending an olive branch to a man he blasted as unfit to serve as commander in chief and who led the charge to challenge the legitimacy of his own presidency.

The Oval Office meeting on Thursday symbolically begins the transition of power. Obama is a Democrat who ushered in a sweeping health care law and brokered a landmark nuclear accord with Iran. Trump is a Republican who has vowed to wipe those measures away after he takes office on Jan. 20.

First lady Michelle Obama also plans to meet privately in the White House residence with Trump's wife, Melania Trump.The White House says President-elect Donald Trump's team will start working directly with federal agencies this week on the transition.

Trump's team will start getting briefings related to the Defense Department, State Department, Treasury Department and other agencies. The briefings will include budget details, flow charts for staff and other information.

Officials at those agencies will start speaking regularly to Trump team members to facilitate the handover of power in January. And Trump's team will start creating policy teams that will work out of government-provided offices near the White House.

The White House also says the Obama administration will host two "exercises" involving multiple agencies to help familiarize Trump's team with government practices and systems for responding to domestic emergencies.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 30 May 2017 14:05:33 Processing Time: 728ms