Hillary Clinton has conceded the 2016 US election to Donald Trump. Speaking in New York, she called on her supporters to accept the outcome and look to the future with hope.
“Donald Trump is our President, and we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead”.
Clinton acknowledged that the election has been characterised by widespread discord, stating that America is “more deeply divided than we thought”.
Drawing a distinction between her own campaign and Trump’s, Clinton said, “our campaign was never about one person… it was about the country we love, and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted”.
Clinton was visibly emotional as she delivered her speech, declaring, “this is painful, and it will be for a long time”. She cancelled a planned public appearance on Tuesday evening as the result of the election became clear. The plan had been for her to celebrate the victory many pundits anticipated she would secure with a speech to Democratic supporters under the glass ceiling of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, in New York. Instead, Clinton watched the electoral returns with family and close aides at a hotel in the city.
Despite winning the popular vote, Clinton has been forced to admit defeat, echoing similarities with the defeat of Democratic nominee Al Gore in the 2004 election. Trump passed the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the presidency earlier on Wednesday. Arizona, Michigan and New Hampshire are still yet to declare a winner; the three states hold a combined total of 31 Electoral College votes.
President-elect Trump is expected to meet with President Obama on Thursday at the White House to discuss the transition.