Donald Trump has arrived at the White House to meet with Obama

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Today the President-elect has his first meeting with current leader Barack Obama, in a symbolic start to the transition of power to the nation's 45th president.

There is no love lost between the two. Obama was strongly critical of Trump throughout the campaign, labelling him unfit to serve as commander in chief. Trump himself has spent years challenging the legitimacy of Obama's presidency, falsely suggesting Obama may have been born outside the US.

People wait outside the White House for Trump
People wait outside the West Wing of the White House for Trump to arrive (Susan Walsh/AP)

If Trump makes good on his campaign promises, he will do away much of what Obama has done during his eight years in office. Trump, who will govern with Congress fully under Republican control, has vowed to repeal Obama's signature health care law and dismantle the landmark nuclear accord with Iran.

First lady Michelle Obama was meeting privately in the White House residence with Trump's wife, Melania, while vice president Joe Biden prepared to see vice president-elect Mike Pence.

Trump travelled to Washington from New York on his private jet, breaking with protocol by not bringing journalists in his motorcade or on his plane to document his historic visit to the White House. Trump was strongly critical of the media during his campaign and for a time banned news organisations whose coverage he disliked from his events.

Trump's jet
Unlike many previous presidents, Trump already has his own private jet (Stacie Scott/AP)

Also on Trump's schedule were meetings with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to discuss the Republican legislative agenda. Ryan, who holds the most powerful post in Congress, was sometimes critical of Trump. He was slow to endorse him and did not campaign with the nominee.

This anticipated show of civility contrasts with the post-election protests across the politically divided country. Demonstrators from New England to the West Coast vented against the election winner on Wednesday, chanting "Not my president", burning a papier mache head of Trump, beating a pinata of his likeness and carrying signs that said "Impeach Trump".

Protests in Detroit
Wednesday night's protests in Detroit (Steve Peresz/AP)

As president-elect, Trump is entitled to get the same daily intelligence briefing as Obama - one that includes information on US covert operations, information gleaned about world leaders and other data gathered by America's 17 intelligence agencies.

The White House said it would organise two exercises involving multiple agencies to help Trump's team learn how to respond to major domestic incidents.

It's unclear whether Trump will go in for the traditions of the presidency. He will enter the White House owning his own private jet as well as a hotel just blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue.