Trump camp plans next moves as protests spread

President-elect Donald Trump was in a huddle with advisers at his New York residence yesterday, plotting his next moves after thousands of protesters besieged Trump Tower and marched in other US cities for a fourth day.

The demonstrations have become daily affairs following Trump’s defeat of rival Hillary Clinton, who blamed FBI director James Comey for her loss during a conference call to campaign donors.

Meanwhile, Trump campaign manager Kelly-anne Conway said the appointment of a White House chief of staff was imminent and Republican national committee chairman Reince Priebus was among the candidates.

Trump has sought to strike a conciliatory tone since his election sent a shockwave around the world, announcing on Friday he no longer intended to completely scrap Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, Obamacare.

“This will prove to be a great time in the lives of all Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!” Trump tweeted.

The news came as a crowd of more than 10 000 marched toward Trump Tower amid cries of “Trump is not my president.”

In Los Angeles, as many as 10 000 people turned out for a march after a night of protests that ended in several hundred arrests.

And thousands more marched in Chicago, walking past Trump’s skyscraper which is emblazoned with his name in giant letters.

New York’s Trump Tower has been the epicentre of furious activity as the Trump team fleshes out his cabinet and works to fill hundreds of other top government jobs.

“He’s receiving many visitors,” Conway said. “These are exciting times.”

Among those seen entering the tower on Saturday were Nigel Farage, whose UK Independence Party backed the Brexit vote that stunned Britons, just as Trump’s victory did many Americans.

Conway said the meeting with Trump had been very productive.

“They absolutely had an opportunity to talk about freedom and winning and what this all means for the world,” she said.

Also entering the building was the provocative documentary filmmaker Michael Moore – whose impromptu effort to meet with Trump was blocked by Secret Service agents.

Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a rising star in France’s far-right National Front and niece to its leader, Marine Le Pen, said on Saturday she had contacted the Trump team about working with them.

Although Trump’s election has set off alarm bells in many world capitals, it has been warmly welcomed by Europe’s surging far-right movements.

Around the world, Trump’s every move is being scrutinised for clues as to how he will govern.

His U-turn on Obamacare – which, as a candidate, Trump had branded a disaster – was prompted by his White House meeting with the outgoing president.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal he may maintain some of the programme’s more popular elements, such as a ban on insurance companies denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

This marked one of several moves by Trump and his advisers away from his more sweeping campaign positions.

Asked by the paper whether he would, as threatened, name a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton over her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state, Trump deflected, saying his priorities were healthcare, jobs, border control and tax reform.

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich also cast doubt on whether Trump would make Mexico fund his proposed border wall — another rallying cry.

Despite his more measured tone, the Republican has yet to respond to mounting calls to reassure Americans who fear a xenophobic crackdown under his authority.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors hate groups, tracked more than 200 incidents of election-related harassment in the three days following the vote.

Growing numbers of Americans, are wearing safety pins to symbolise solidarity with those his words have targeted, like Muslims, Latinos and women.

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