President Obama has invited his successor, Donald Trump, to the White House Thursday in order to facilitate a “successful transition between our presidencies.”
The two will meet in the Oval Office mid-morning Thursday, while first lady Michelle Obamaand future first lady Melania Trump meet in the White House residence.
During remarks in the Rose Garden Wednesday, Obama said he was “heartened” by what he heard from the future president in his remarks early Wednesday morning and when they spoke on the phone.
“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. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first,” he said. “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. And I was heartened by that,” Obama said.
“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 a respect for each other. I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.”
Obama invited Trump to the White House during that early morning call Wednesday, after monitoring the election results from the residence.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, Press secretary Josh Earnest rejected the idea that the meeting would occur under an air of insincerity given their criticisms of each other on the campaign trail.
“No, to be blunt. The president is quite sincere about fulfilling the basic responsibility that he has to the American people and our democracy to ensure a smooth transition to the next presidency,” Earnest said.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy meeting, but the president is deeply sincere about fulfilling this responsibility,” he said.