Hillary Clinton says Americans owe Donald Trump ‘an open mind’

Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said today Americans owe Donald Trump “an open mind and the chance to lead.”

Speaking for the first time to supporters since losing the U.S. election, she said: “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”

Clinton didn’t give a formal concession speech earlier but called Trump early Wednesday to congratulate him.

Trump, 70, was elected the next president of the United States in one of the tightest races in U.S. political history. 

“This is painful, and it will be for a long time,” Clinton told several hundred supporters at the New Yorker hotel. “And I want you to remember this: our campaign was about building an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.”

Trump’s triumph over Clinton will end eight years of Democratic dominance of the White House and threatens to undo major achievements of President Barack Obama.

“We must accept this result and look to the future,” Clinton said. But she added: “Our constitutional democracy demands our participation not just every four years but all the time …. If we stand together, our best days are ahead.”

Obama calls for unity

Obama also stressed the importance of unity in his first public address since Trump’s victory Wednesday.

“The day after, we have to remember that we’re actually on the same team,” he said. “This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re American first, we’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”

Obama said he had spoken to Trump to congratulate him and “to invite him to come to the White House tomorrow to talk about a transition.”

He added that it was important to go forward with “a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, the rule of law and respect for each other.”

“I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.”

Obama also said he could “not be prouder” of Clinton.

“Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country.”

‘Ain’t whupped us yet’

Earlier, Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, noted that “she won the popular vote of Americans.” (As of noon ET Wednesday, Clinton had 47.7 per cent of the vote against Trump’s 47.5 per cent.)

Kaine quoted author William Faulkner, saying: “They kilt us but they ain’t whupped us yet.”

Trump has pledged to act quickly to repeal Obama’s landmark health-care law, revoke the nuclear agreement with Iran and rewrite important trade deals with other countries, particularly Mexico and Canada.

Trump congratulates Clinton

Speaking to supporters overnight, Trump sounded unusually gracious as he announced he had received a call from Clinton. He had vowed during the campaign to send her to jail.

“I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign …. We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”​

Despite losing the state-by-state electoral battle that determines the presidency, Clinton narrowly led Trump in the nationwide popular vote, according to U.S. media tallies.

Clinton had cast herself as heir to Obama’s legacy and had pledged to make good on his unfinished agenda, including passing immigration legislation, tightening restrictions on guns and tweaking his signature health-care law.

Donald Trump thanks Clinton, calls for unity2:12

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