NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton conceded the presidential election to Donald Trump this morning — capping a stunning electoral result and a stunning period of civility after a bitter and divisive campaign.
Trump abandoned his slash-and-burn rhetoric in a 3 a.m. acceptance speech that praised Clinton’s service and called for America to “bind the wounds of division.”
» PHOTO GALLERY: Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home Mar-a-Lago
About eight hours later, Clinton put aside criticism of Trump as temperamentally unfit and told supporters that she had congratulated Trump and “I hope he will be a successful president for all Americans…We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the fuure. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and chance to lead.”
Clinton supporter Kathy Sloane, a real estate broker who helped Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton buy their homes in Chappaqua, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., said she and others who gathered to hear Clinton were “very emotional, but Hillary was so strong.”
Sloane, who said she also knows Trump, called the Republican winner’s speech “extremely gracious.”
Outside the hotel where Clinton spoke, 22-year-old Ava Victor said she came by in hopes that a glimpse of Clinton would lift her spirits.
“I felt like when I woke up I had no closure. It’s been like a day of grief,” Victor said. “She’s an amazing woman. That was a good moment for me but then it passes and I’m devastated again.”