Setting aside the deep bitterness that dominated the long campaign season, Obama and Trump met to discuss the transition to the Republican's inauguration on January 20.
US President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met on Thursday to discuss the transition to the Republican's inauguration on January 20.
Trump unexpectedly beat the Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the US elections on November 8 to become the 45th president of the United States.
After his 90 minute meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters: "We really discussed a lot of situations, some wonderful, some difficulties."
A fantastic day in D.C. Met with President Obama for first time. Really good meeting, great chemistry. Melania liked Mrs. O a lot!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Obama said he has offered assistance to Trump over the next couple of months, and urged the country to unite to face its challenges.
"We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds," Obama said, adding that he and Trump discussed a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and details related to the transition period.
Obama had repeatedly called Trump unfit for the presidency, while the charismatic businessman dubbed the president's eight-year tenure a "disaster."
"It was a great honour being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future," Trump told Obama after the meeting with a tone of deference.
"The meeting might have been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
The two men's relaxed, cordial demeanour in front of the cameras was in stark contrast to the months of harsh words during the campaign.
Trump was brutal toward Obama during his campaign speeches, repeatedly attacking the president's policies from healthcare to an Iran nuclear deal. Both Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attacked Trump as temperamentally unfit for the White House and dangerously unprepared to have access to US nuclear codes.
Trump also met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying afterwards that he had told the senator his top three priorities were better control of immigration and the borders, healthcare and jobs.
But protests in a string of US cities against Trump for a second day on Thursday continued as demonstrators expressed concern that Trump's election would be a blow to civil rights.
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
In what seemed like a possible early pivot by Trump, controversial campaign proposals, including his call to ban Muslims from entering the US, disappeared for a while on Thursday from the president-elect's campaign website.
His campaign later blamed a technical problem, and the statements were returned to the website.
Trump declined to respond when asked by reporters after meeting with McConnell if he would ask Congress to ban Muslims from entering the country.