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THE world saw a different face of Donald Trump when he spoke on TV about Hillary Clinton calling him to concede his victory in the United States presidential election. Gone was the angry, bombastic candidate Trump who had been free with his epithets like “Crooked Hillary.” Instead he appeared thoughtful, sympathetic, quiet.
“Hillary called,” he said, “and it was a lovely call. It was a tough call for her. I mean, I can imagine, tougher for her than it would have been for me. I mean, for me, I would have been very difficult.” He continued: “She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said, ‘Congratulations, Donald. Well done.’ She is very strong and very smart.”
This was just hours after election results from all over the country confirmed that Trump had won the requisite number of Electoral College votes – 270 – to elect a US president. Votes were still being counted in some of the western states and Hillary even appeared to be ahead in the number of individual votes, but in the US election, it is the US Electoral College vote that counts.
President Barack Obama received him at the White House Thursday. The two men had harsh words for each other during the campaign, but on this day, they set their differences aside, with President Obama assuring Trump that he would do everything to help him succeed. Trump appeared to be nervous and uncharacteristically subdued. He said later that the meeting was a great honor and “I look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.”
This last US election campaign has been described as one of the most divisive in the country’s history. It has also raised concerns among many of the world’s leaders because of Trump’s threat to withdraw American support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to ban all Muslims from entering the US along with immigrants from such “terrorist states” as Syria, Iraq, and the Philippines, and to build a wall along the southern border of the country to keep out illegal Mexicans and other Latin Americans.
Since his election victory Trump has toned down on his previous positions. On Obamacare, for example, he said he was reconsidering his total stance against the health care law and leave intact key parts of the program. In the coming weeks and months, we may see Trump shed his vituperative language and his extremist positions as a candidate and assume the stance of statesman and president of the United States in its position of leadership in the world.