Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election, Plunging US Into Uncertain Future

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump speaks at plane-side rally in a hanger at Pittsburgh International Airport in Imperial, Pa., Nov. 6, 2016.

World Leaders Congratulate Donald Trump

Trump rides wave of anti-establishment sentiment to one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history

Donald Trump shattered expectations on Tuesday with an election night victory that revealed deep anti-establishment anger among American voters and set the world on a journey into the political unknown.

Donald Trump says ‘it’s time to come together’

The Republican nominee has achieved one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history, despite a series of controversies that would easily have destroyed other candidacies, extreme policies that have drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, a record of racist and sexist behaviour, and a lack of conventional political experience.

After surprise early victories in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, it fell to the Rust Belt states of the industrial midwest to determine the result of his stunning upset.

Wisconsin and Michigan, two states hit hard by a decline in manufacturing jobs and lost by Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, were led by Trump as the race headed for an early morning cliffhanger.

At 2.30am, the Associated Press projected Trump had won Wisconsin and called the overall race for Trump, who passed the 270 electoral college votes he needed to secure the presidency. Shortly afterwards, Clinton called Trump to concede but did not make a public address.

World Leaders Congratulate Donald Trump

Vladimir Putin has sent Trump a telegram to congratulate him. The Russian president hopes for joint work to improve US-Russian relations, Russian media report.

Russia has been widely accused of backing Trump in the election, and in Moscow, Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, was jubilant at the result. He said a Trump presidency would mean more chance that the US would agree with Russia in Syria, and less American backing for “the terroristic junta in Ukraine”.

He denied allegations of Russian interference in the election, but said “maybe we helped a bit with Wikileaks”, according to the Guardian’s Shaun Walker in Moscow.

Alexei Venediktov, the editor in chief of Russia’s liberal Echo of Moscow radio, said some in the Kremlin are probably celebrating now, but other “more serious” people will realise there are unpredictable times ahead.

“Putin doesn’t like unpredictability and Trump is the definition of unpredictability,” he said. “They celebrated Brexit, and then Boris Johnson became foreign secretary, and they thought, ‘Oh God, what is this?’”

Venediktov said in Syria and Ukraine, two key areas where Russia and the US are at loggerheads, there might be little difference between Trump and Clinton in the White House. “What will be really interesting is the Baltics. Will Trump remove troops from there?”

At a morning reception his residence in Moscow held as Trump edged ever closer to the White House, US ambassador to Russia John Tefft reminded visitors that diplomats are unable to give personal opinions on elections. He added: “Whether you’re happy or not, one of the key things here is to understand that our institutions in America will continue.”

Privately, however, many US diplomats in the country will be wondering whether a President Trump means a total reversal on Russia policy. Tefft’s predecessor in the role, Michael McFaul, wrote on Twitter: “Putin intervened in our elections and succeeded.”

Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is the only Arab leader to have met with Donald Trump, who has also made no secret of his warmth towards Egypt’s ally Russia, reports Ruth Michaelson from Cairo.

Sisi also congratulated Trump on his victory Tuesday night.

Trump told Sisi during a meeting in New York in September that: “under a Trump Administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead.”

Reached by phone on the cusp of Trump’s victory, spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid said that Egypt is ready to work with Trump. “In general, I want to emphasize that Egypt has strategic relations with the United States that go beyond who is the president in the White House,” he said.

These relations serve for the benefit of both the Egyptian and American people. We have always stated that choosing the president of the United States is the choice of the American people, and Egypt respects this choice. We stand ready to work closely with the new President of the United states for the benefit of both countries and peoples.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has also congratulated Trump, according to Reuters.

And in China, speaking shortly before Trump’s victory was officially announced, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said Beijing was looking forward to working with the new administration, according to the Guardian’s Tom Phillips.

“We will work with the new US president to ensure the steady and sound development of bilateral relations so as to benefit the people in both countries as well as around the world,” Lu Kang told reporters at a regular press briefing in the Chinese capital.

Lu said Beijing hoped to be able to build a “mutually beneficially” relationship with the US, pointing to the massive growth in trade between the two nations since the 1960s.

Lu said any future disputes over trade could be settled “in a responsible manner” and hinted at Chinese concerns over the possibility that Trump might introduce protectionist measures.

“I would like to say that China and US trade cooperation has benefited the US people rather than hurting their interests,” he said.

Source: The Guardian