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President Obama pledges peaceful transition for Donald Trump

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama spoke to the nation on President-elect Donald Trump‘s victory Wednesday morning from the White House Rose Garden about the next steps for the country .

He called to congratulate him on his victory, the White House said earlier in a statement.

Obama invited Trump to meet with him at the White House on Thursday to update him on the transition, the statement said.

“Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the President identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the President-elect is the next step,” Obama said.  “I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago.”

Obama said he is confident Hilary Clinton and Trump will both continue to do excellent work for America.

“I could not be prouder of he,” Obama said of Clinton. “She has lived an extraordinary life of public service.”

“Her candidacy and nomination was historic,” he said. “That’s the nature of democracy. It’s hard and sometimes contentious and not always inspiring.”

Obama, who publicly called Trump “unfit” for the Oval Office, campaigned aggressively for Hillary Clinton in the weeks leading up to Election Day to keep the former reality show star from being his successor.

“The choice you face when you step into that voting booth could not be more clear or could not be more serious,” Obama said in Philadelphia on Monday.

“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” Obama said this morning.