President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump gathered for a historic meeting on Thursday, less than a week after both men traded insults on the campaign trail and Obama called his Republican successor “uniquely unqualified” to be commander in chief.

Trump arrived at the White House around 11 a.m. and was escorted into the Oval Office without stopping to greet reporters. The two men met for more than an hour.

“I believe it is important for all of us regardless of party… to now come together, to work together,” Obama told reporters shortly after the meeting concluded.

“We want to make sure they feel welcome,” he added, noting that Trump’s wife, Melania, met separately with First Lady Michelle Obama.

The two men discussed “organizational issues” as well as domestic and foreign policy, said Obama, who described their conversation as “excellent.”

“I feel confident in telling you that they did not resolve all their differences,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters after the meeting. “I also feel confident in telling you they didn’t try to resolve all their differences. What they sought to do was to lay the foundation for an effective transition from the Obama presidency to a Trump presidency.”

Trump said he and Obama spoke about “a lot of different situations – some wonderful and some difficult.”

“It was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes,” Trump said. “The meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half and as far as I’m concerned, it could have gone on for a lot longer.”

“I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. [Obama] explained some of the difficulties and some of the really great things that have been achieved,” he added.

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Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and one other aide who worked on his campaign were spotted with Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief-of-staff, near the Rose Garden as the meeting was taking place. No White House staffers or Trump campaign officials were present inside the Oval Office during the president’s meeting with Trump.

The meeting comes one day after Obama congratulated Trump on his sweeping and unexpected victory, and promised to work with the Republican’s team to ensure a smooth and “successful transition” for the next administration.

“I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago,” Obama said Wednesday. “The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy and over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.”

Trump and Obama also spoke early Wednesday morning, shortly after the election was called in his favor, in a phone call aides later described as “very cordial … between two men who had been at battle.”

In the waning days of the 2016 campaign, Obama spent significant time stumping for failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and sharply criticizing her opponent.

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“He actually suggested shipping Michigan auto jobs to states that don’t have unions so they can pay their workers less,” the president told a crowd gathered Monday in Michigan, a state that has yet to be called but that Trump looks poised to win.

Trump responded to the president’s jabs by questioning his commitment to the American people, repeatedly saying to his supporters: “He should not be campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He should be at the Oval Office working on jobs.”

Tension between Trump and Obama dates back to the president’s initial bid for the White House in 2008, during which Trump demanded that Obama release his birth certificate, putting him at the center of the controversial birther movement. Trump apologized for fueling birther theories at a press conference in mid-September, a move that was rejected by Obama and the first lady, Michelle.

Vice President Joe Biden and his successor, outgoing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, also plan to meet at the White House on Thursday afternoon.

No additional meetings between Obama and the president-elect have been scheduled, according to Earnest. “But I wouldn’t rule out any additional consultations,” he said.

Five things Trump could do to change Obamacare right away

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There’s a laundry list of things President-elect Donald Trump could do on his own to modify the Affordable Care Act, even if Congress gets hung up on exactly how to repeal and replace it.

While the Affordable Care Act is a lengthy piece of legislation, the Obama administration issued many more pages of regulations and guidance explaining exactly how it should be implemented. The new administration, under the direction of Trump, could amend or get rid of those directives as soon as it’s in place next year, and thus significantly alter the law without having to wait for Congress.

Additionally, the Department of Justice is involved in several ongoing disputes involving the healthcare law and some of the payments it lays out for

11/11/16 12:01 AM

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