Washington, December 20 (RHC)-- In the United States, the Electoral College officially announced the New York billionaire Donald Trump as the 45th president of the country, despite efforts to persuade electors not to back Trump in the vote, mostly considered a formality.
The vote clears the way for the reality TV star and real estate tycoon to succeed Barack Obama on January 20, 2017, after beating his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on November 8. The electors gathered in every state capital as well as Washington, DC, to formally elect the president.
"Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!" tweeted Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The vote came as Democrats were engaged in efforts to highlight the idea that Trump had won the White House through Russian support, an allegation denied by both Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary by a 2.8-million difference on the Election Day.
"The basis of this is the people's vote. The people voted and they place their vote as they should and had a right to on November the 8th and that is the basis of the vote that we placed today in my mind I place that vote for the people of Pennsylvania who voted in a certain way," said Pennsylvania State Elector Tina Pickett in Harrisburg, where the electors were meeting.