Barack Obama, Joe Biden

Obama Vows to Work for a ‘Successful Transition’ of Power to Trump

President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to work for a “smooth transition” of power to President-elect Donald Trump when he leaves office in January, citing the example set by former President George W. Bush eight years ago. “I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night at 3:30 in the morning to congratulate him on winning the election and invited him to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure there is a successful transition between our two presidencies,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden.

Obama campaigned hard against Trump to boost his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who conceded the race in a speech earlier Wednesday morning. “It is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” Obama said, adding later, that “we all want what’s best for this country.”

Here are the highlights from Mr. Obama’s appearance:

• We are “all rooting for his success,” Mr. Obama said of Donald J. Trump after acknowledging that they have their differences.

• Mr. Obama said that he and former President George W. Bush had major differences eight years ago, but they managed a successful transition. He expects to do so with Mr. Trump and he invited him to come to the White House on Thursday.

• Mr. Obama reminded the country that we “are all on the same team” and characterized politics as an “intramural scrimmage.” He said that he was heartened by the conversation that he had with Mr. Trump at 3:30 a.m. and that he hopes he maintains that spirit.

• Mr. Obama said that he was proud of Hillary Clinton, who gave her concession speech on Wednesday just before Mr. Obama spoke, and called her a historic figure.

• Mr. Obama said he told his team to “keep their heads” up and he reminded them that they should be proud of all that they have accomplished during his presidency.

• Mr. Obama called on Americans to move forward with the presumption of good faith in fellow citizens. He said that those who are disappointed should not give up on their dreams.

“Sometimes you lose an argument, sometimes you lose an election,” he said, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. by his side.

“But the path this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag.”

 

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