Trump Commends Protesters’ ‘Passion’ After New Night Of Rallies
US President-elect Donald Trump has praised protesters’ “passion” after a new night of demonstrations against his election victory that included rioting in Portland, Oregon.
“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country,” he tweeted. “We will all come together and be proud!”
He had previously blamed the unrest on “professional protesters”.
“Busy day planned in New York,” he tweeted. “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government.”
According to unnamed sources quoted by the New York Times, Vice President-elect Mike Pence is to take over the job of overseeing the transition from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie because “the surprise nature of Mr Trump’s victory made it critical to move more quickly to assemble a team”.
The Republican is due to be inaugurated on 20 January, taking over the White House from Democrat Barack Obama, who served two terms.
Mr Obama, one of Mr Trump’s most withering critics during the election campaign, said his priority was to “facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful”.
Protests have taken place in US cities on both nights since the result of the election, which Mrs Clinton lost for the Democrats despite enjoying a lead in most opinion polls.
Only on Thursday, Mr Trump had tweeted: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
About 4,000 demonstrators gathered in the centre of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, which voted in favour of Mrs Clinton.
Some protesters smashed shop and car windows, threw firecrackers and set rubbish alight. Objects were thrown at the police, who responded with pepper spray and rubber baton rounds.
Police declared a riot and made 26 arrests.
Spencer and Kristen Foxworth, who left the protest before it turned violent, told the Daily Released most of the demonstrators were just ordinary people like themselves who were horrified by some of the things Mr Trump stood for.
“This is not any sense of a hangover, this is more like the galvanising effect,” Mr Foxworth told Outside Source. “People who were quiet, were polite or not activists by any means – I mean myself, for example – are now galvanised by this. Trump now has the Senate and the House, and there will be very little checks and balances on his actions.”
Why are people wearing safety pins after Trump’s victory?
In Oakland, California, police made 11 arrests after anti-Trump protesters lit fires on streets and in rubbish bins, smashed windows and sprayed graffiti.
Elsewhere, protests were largely peaceful:
- In Los Angeles, about 185 people were detained, mostly for blocking streets, but one person was arrested for injuring a police officer
- Demonstrators in Minneapolis briefly blocked an interstate highway in both directions
- In Philadelphia, crowds gathered near City Hall holding placards bearing slogans such as “Not Our President”, “Trans Against Trump” and “Make America Safe For All”
- In Baltimore, police say a peaceful crowd of 600 people marched through the city, blocking traffic
- In San Francisco, high school students waved rainbow banners and Mexican flags
- A small crowd also gathered outside Trump Tower in Chicago while protesters also returned to Trump Tower in New York for a second night
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said anti-Trump protesters had to accept the election results.
“Everyone needs to just take a deep breath, take the weekend… count our blessings, and let’s come back on Monday,” he told ABC News.
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who fought Mrs Clinton for the Democratic nomination, appealed to protesters to show restraint.
“Our job is to deal with the real issues – to deal with our rigged political and economic system – not take our anger out on our neighbours,” he said in a tweet.
Mr Trump’s team is understood to be focused on quickly filling key national security posts.
It is not yet clear who will sit in his cabinet or fill senior posts in his administration, such as chief of staff, but several figures in his inner circle have been mentioned.
Despite their cordiality, Mr Trump has vowed to dismantle much of President Obama’s legacy. That includes Obamacare, the act extending medical insurance to more Americans than ever before.
The Republicans will control both the White House and Congress as a result of this week’s elections.