While Democrat Hillary Clinton was trying to make history as the first female president, Trump made a different kind of history as one of the least experienced presidential candidates ever elected.
Trump responded by giving credit to Clinton and her family at his standing speech, commending the former secretary of state's track record by saying, "we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country".
"It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences", Obama said, adding later, that "we all want what's best for this country".
Standing in the Rose Garden, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side, Obama spoke to more than a hundred of his White House staffers, who stood silently, dazed, some crying, before breaking out into a prolonged round of applause that continued long after Obama returned to the Oval Office.
"That's the way politics works sometimes", Obama said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest had told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One last week that the president was leaving his schedule open on Wednesday and Thursday for a possible meeting with the president-elect.
Competing claims of voter fraud, intimidation raise tensions
Around 10 a.m., roughly 2,700 people had voted, DeLand said , or about 26 percent of the town's 10,343 registered voters. The first candidate to win 270 Electoral College votes will be declared as the 45th President of the United States.
Mr Trump paid tribute to his rival for a hard-fought campaign and promised to be "president to all Americans".
Conceding his party's staggering electoral defeat, President Barack Obama on Wednesday invited President-elect Donald Trump to meet with him to discuss the handover of power from his administration to Trump's.
President Obama told Americans watching election returns Tuesday night that the USA will still be great no matter who wins the presidency. The White House says Obama conveyed admiration for the "strong campaign she waged throughout the country". Trump appeared with his family before cheering supporters in a NY hotel ballroom, saying it was time to heal the divisions caused by the campaign and find common ground after a campaign that exposed deep differences among Americans. Kelly Ayotte, a race that could determine control of the chamber, where Republicans hold a slight edge. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also a Republican, said in a guarded and similarly timed statement: "The American people have chosen a new direction for our nation".
Like Clinton and other Democrats, Obama didn't appear to see Trump's victory coming.
Mrs Clinton later urged her supporters to accept the election result and give Mr Trump the "chance to lead".