- The Washington Times - Monday, November 14, 2016

President Obama said Monday that protesters upset about the election of Donald Trump need to accept the results, and he also advised the president-elect to reach out to his opponents to help to bring the nation together after a contentious election and resulting street protests against the Republican.

“The people have spoken. Donald Trump will be the next president,” Mr. Obama said at a White House press conference. “Those who didn’t vote for him have to recognize that’s how democracy works, that’s how the system operates.”

Addressing the unrest in many cities across the U.S., Mr. Obama said, “It takes a while for people to reconcile themselves with that new reality. Hopefully it’s a reminder that elections matter and voting counts.”

He called Mr. Trump’s election “one of the biggest political upsets in history.”

Mr. Obama said that during his first meeting with Mr. Trump at the White House last week, he told the president-elect to make public efforts to heal the country.

“I emphasized to him that in this hotly contested election, gestures matter,” Mr. Obama said. “How he reaches out to groups that may not have supported him … those are the kinds of things that can set a tone that will help move things forward.”

In an interview on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Mr. Trump said any of his supporters who are reportedly intimidating political opponents or minorities should “stop it.”

Asked about Mr. Trump’s selection of conservative website chief Stephen Bannon of Breitbart as a White House strategist, the president didn’t criticize the selection.

“It’s important for us to let him make his decisions and I think the American people will judge over the course of the next couple of swears whether they like what they see,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama also said Mr. Trump assured him in their meeting of his desire to maintain “core strategic relationships” abroad, a message Mr. Obama said he will deliver to allies on his final foreign trip this week.

“There is no weakening of resolve when it comes to America’s commitment to maintaining a strong and robust NATO relationship,” Mr. Obama said at a White House press conference. He said in his meeting last week with Mr. Trump, the president-elect “expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships.”

During the campaign, Mr. Trump questioned whether he would continue the U.S. commitment to NATO members who didn’t pay their fair share to the alliance, raising concerns especially in Eastern Europe, which is confronting renewed Russian aggression.

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