WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama offered his congratulations to Donald Trump Wednesday after Trump became president-elect following Tuesday’s election.
During a brief news conference Wednesday afternoon, the president said he called Trump around 3:30 a.m. to congratulate him on the victory. He also spoke to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express his admiration for her campaign.
According to a statement from the White House, the president called Trump to congratulate him on his victory. The president also called Hillary Clinton to express admiration for the “strong campaign she waged throughout the country.” He said he “could not be prouder” of her and her service.
The president invited Trump to the White House on Thursday so he and his transition team can discuss what needs to be done as a new administration prepares to take over the country.
“It is no secret that the president-elect and I have significant differences. But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running.”
Obama said he’s instructed his team to follow in the footsteps of Bush’s team to ensure a smooth transition of power.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” Obama said. “A peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, and over the next few months we are going to show that to the world.”
He acknowledged that it’s sad to come out as a loser during an election. But at the end of the day, he reminded Americans that they’re “all on one team.”
“We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs. A sense of unity, a sense of inclusion.”
Obama said he believes the hard work of everyone in his administration has left Trump an America that is stronger than the one he inherited eight years ago.
“That was always our mission from day one. Everyone on my team should be extraordinarily proud of everything they’ve done.”