By Beth Day Romulo
Real estate mogul Donald Trump surprised the world with his upset victory for president of the United States, beating his Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton, whom pollsters had predicted would have an easy win. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters in New York. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” And he paid tribute to his defeated opponent: “Hillary has worked hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” During his two-year campaign for president, Trump pledged to deport illegal immigrants, ban Muslims from entering the country, and tear up free trade deals. He called into question US support of NATO allies in Europe, and suggested that South Korea and Japan should develop their own nuclear weapons. One of the first world leaders to congratulate him was Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whom Mr. Trump had openly courted.
America’s allies abroad were dumbfounded by Mr. Trump’s spectacular rise, but the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, insisted that “EU-US ties are deeper than any change in politics. We’ll continue to work together.”
At 70, Mr. Trump is the oldest man to ever become president of United States. He credited social media with his election win. “The fact that I have such power in terms of numbers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I think helped me win,” Trump said. Calling it a “great form of communication” Trump added that he has 28 million followers on social media.
Following Trump’s upset win, Hillary Clinton blamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director for her defeat. She said her campaign was winning when FBI Director, James Comey, sent a letter to Congress announcing that the FBI had uncovered e-mails possibly related to its earlier investigation into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. Although Comey told lawmakers a few days before the election that the FBI had found no evidence to warrant criminal charges against Clinton, nearly 24 million people had already cast their ballots.
Following the election, President-elect Trump named Vice President-elect Mike Pence to head his transition team, and included three of his children and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in the executive committee for the transition. He also told the press about the call he had received on election night from Hillary Clinton, conceding that he had won.
“It was a lovely call,” he said, “and it was a tough call for her to make. For me, it would have been very, very difficult. But she couldn’t have been nicer. She said: “Congratulations, Donald, well done.”