President-elect Donald Trump has hit out at the “unfair” protests against his sensational victory in the race for the White House.
The controversial tycoon blamed “professional protesters” for the demonstrations which have turned ugly in some cities, with police declaring an incident in Portland, Oregon, a riot.
The protests came after Mr Trump met Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Thursday for talks aimed at delivering a smooth transition of power ahead of the formal handover in January.
Afterwards they both struck a notably respectful tone when they faced reporters in sharp contrast to the bitterness and acrimony of the election campaign.
But as well as the incident in Portland, there were peaceful protests in cities including Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
Mr Trump said on Twitter: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
Meanwhile, Number 10 and Ukip have flatly denied a report suggesting that Nigel Farage - an ally of Mr Trump who appeared alongside him during the bitter election campaign - could act as a go-between as the UK seeks to build relations with the 45th president.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary who has his own close links to the Republican Party, intends to speak to Mr Farage before attempting to hold talks with senior Trump advisers.
But the suggestion was rejected by both Tory and Ukip sources and a Government spokesman said: “Dr Fox has no plans to talk to Mr Farage.”
In a sign that Mr Trump will move swiftly to dismantle Mr Obama’s legacy, he said healthcare would be among his top priorities in office.
The president-elect - who has also said he intends to build a wall between the United States and Mexico - said he would also be taking early action on immigration, but gave no further details.
“We’re going to move very strongly on immigration. We will move very strongly on healthcare. And we’re looking at jobs. Big league jobs,” he said.
The discussion between Mr Trump and Mr Obama - originally scheduled for no more than 15 minutes - lasted for almost an hour and a half.
Mr Trump said their talks had been wide-ranging, with the president explaining “some of the difficulties” the country faced but also “some of the really great things that have been achieved”.
Mr Obama in turn said he was “encouraged” by Mr Trump’s willingness to work with his team, telling him: “We want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed the country succeeds.”
Earlier Mr Trump spoke with Theresa May for the first time since his stunning victory, inviting the Prime Minister to visit him in Washington “as soon as possible” after his inauguration on January 20.
The call only came, however, after Mr Trump had first spoken to a series of other world leaders including Ireland’s Enda Kenny.
Ministers played down the delay, insisting the “special relationship” between the US and the UK remained intact.
A No 10 spokesman said Mr Trump had set out his “close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK” and expressed confidence the special relationship would go “from strength to strength”.
Mrs May had then referred to the two countries’ “long history of shared values” saying they had “always stood together as close allies when it counts the most”.
The spokesman said: “President-elect Trump strongly agreed and added that the UK is a ‘very, very special place for me and for our country’.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also spoke to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He said: “We agreed on the importance of the special relationship and the need to tackle global challenges together.”
Former cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said the election of Mr Trump should be seen as an “opportunity” for the UK.
“He is well-disposed towards the UK. We’ve had a very poor special relationship with President Obama. It has been pretty much in the freezer now for about eight years,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight.
“I think there is a real opportunity for us now with Donald Trump there for us to be able to reinvigorate that relationship.”