Hillary Clinton is now 2 million votes ahead of Donald Trump

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Hillary Clinton is now more than two million votes ahead of President-elect Donald Trump in the popular vote count for the US presidential elections, a tally compiled by the Cook Political Report showed on Wednesday.

The Democratic candidate’s 1.5 percent lead in the popular vote makes no difference to the outcome of the November 8 election, which Trump won by taking a majority of electoral votes. Clinton conceded the following day.

But the former secretary of state’s popular vote lead continues to grow.

She has received 64 227 373 votes to Trump’s 62 212 752 million, according to the Cook Political Report’s latest tally, which was compiled from official sources.

It is the second time this century that a Democrat has won the popular vote but lost the presidential election.

In 2000, vice president Al Gore lost to George W Bush despite winning nearly 544 000 more votes than his Republican rival.

The Supreme Court ultimately decided that election, pushing Bush over the top in electoral votes by giving him the win in the contested state of Florida.

Meanwhile, Trump began to broaden the base of his future cabinet on Wednesday, nominating two conservative women including a critic, after his earlier picks rewarded campaign loyalists.

Trump’s nomination of South Carolina’s 44-year-old governor, Nikki Haley, as US ambassador to the UN will be seen as a sign he is ready to forgive some foes to raise a bigger tent.

But his choice of wealthy activist Betsy DeVos, a champion of alternatives to local government schools, as education secretary, was another victory for social conservatives.

Trump’s one-time presidential rival, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, appeared to be next in line for the nod — reportedly as housing secretary — after he posted on social media that an announcement was imminent.

Trump’s choice of Haley for the UN was announced amid reports that Trump is considering another vocal critic — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — for the key post of secretary of state.

And it followed a cordial chat between Trump and The New York Times, a newspaper he considers hostile, in which he softened his stance on climate change, torture and prosecuting his defeated rival Clinton.

The 70-year-old property tycoon also told the Times that he is “seriously, seriously considering” appointing widely respected retired Marine general James Mattis as his defence secretary.

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The UN ambassador post is of cabinet rank and if Haley — a staunch conservative with no foreign policy experience — is confirmed by the Senate she will become a powerful figure in world diplomacy, despite previously clashing with Trump. As one of two women tapped so far for Trump’s cabinet, the daughter of Indian immigrants also injects a measure of diversity in a group that until now consisted solely of men.

Last year, after a white supremacist murdered nine black churchgoers in South Carolina, Haley supported a decision by legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the state house.

The decision drew protests from racist groups. This year, while campaigning for Trump’s primary rival Marco Rubio, Haley called Trump out for his failure to repudiate the Ku Klux Klan.

“I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party. That is not who we are,” she declared.

Trump, true to form, responded with one of his trademark Twitter insults, declaring: “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”

Trump’s choice last week of the self-described “economic nationalist” Steve Bannon, head of the right-wing news platform Breitbart, as his chief strategist delighted white supremacists.

But on Tuesday, after video emerged of fans of the so-called alt-right making straight-armed salutes and chanting “Hail Trump,” the president-elect disavowed the movement.

In a video address urging America to come together on its Thanksgiving holiday, Trump acknowledged on Wednesday that a “long and bruising” presidential campaign had left emotions raw and tensions high.

“It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve,” Trump said.

As he works with his advisors in his luxury Mar-a-Lago golf resort outside Palm Beach, all eyes will be on the appointments he makes for a sign of the direction his administration will take.

When Trump’s November 8 election victory still seemed an unlikely prospect, many Republicans and conservative policy experts condemned his anti-Muslim rhetoric, his affinity for Russia or his isolationist and protectionist positions.

Many of these figures are now moderating their tone and looking for work, whether they are lured by the prospect of a powerful job or are keen to serve US interests as a moderating influence inside a Trump administration.

The former Iraq and Afghan war commander, retired general David Petraeus — who resigned as head of the CIA after he was caught sharing classified data with his mistress — made his pitch on Wednesday.

“If you’re asked, you’ve got to serve, put aside any reservations based on campaign rhetoric, and figure out what’s best for the country,” he told BBC Radio.

In May, Petraeus described hardline rhetoric like Trump’s threat to ban all Muslims from travelling to the US as “toxic” and “corrosive to our vital national security interests

 

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