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.”