WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama believes in the right of Americans to protest the election of Donald Trump in a non-violent manner, but wants people to hear the message that "we're Americans and patriots" before Democrats and Republicans, the White House said on Thursday.

"It's important for us to remember, a day or two after the election, that we're Democrats and Republicans, but we're Americans and patriots first," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. "And that's the message the president hopes that most people will hear."

(Reporting by Robert Rampton; Writing by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by James Dalgleish)