By JULIE PACE
AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump claimed his place Wednesday as America’s 45th president, an astonishing victory for the celebrity businessman and political novice who capitalized on voters’ economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House.
Trump’s triumph over Hillary Clinton, not declared until well after midnight, will end eight years of Democratic dominance of the White House. He’ll govern with Congress fully under Republican control and lead a country deeply divided by his rancorous campaign against Clinton. He faces fractures within his own party, too, given the numerous Republicans who either tepidly supported his nomination or never backed him at all.
As he claimed victory, Trump urged Americans to “come together as one united people.”
Clinton, who hoped to become the nation’s first female president, called her Republican rival to concede but did not plan to speak publicly until Wednesday morning.
President Barack Obama invited Trump to meet with him at the White House on Thursday to discuss transition, and the White House said the president planned to address the election results in a statement Wednesday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama called Trump to congratulate him and also called Clinton to convey his admiration for the “strong campaign she waged throughout the country.”
Trump, who spent much of the campaign urging his supporters on as they chanted “lock her up,” said the nation owed Clinton “a major debt of gratitude” for her years of public service. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Obama and Trump had “a very nice talk” when the president called to congratulate him in the early hours Wednesday.