New York: Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to work with American President-elect Donald Trump, and urged fellow Democrats to allow him the chance to lead the deeply divided country.
"Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country," the defeated candidate told supporters, holding back tears in her first public remarks since the Republican's upset victory.
"I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans."
"We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought," she said. "We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."
Clinton's bid to become America's first female president was crushed Wednesday after one of the bitterest presidential campaigns in memory.
Her unexpected defeat brought to power a candidate who disparaged her as "crooked Hillary" and whom she repeatedly denounced as unfit to lead the United States.
"This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country," she said.
"This is painful, and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this: our campaign was never about one person or even one election."
She said that the constitutional democracy "enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don't just respect that, we cherish it."
"It enshrines other things too," she said.
"The rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them."
It appeared to be a gentle jab at Trump, who called for a ban on Muslims during the campaign, and during one presidential debate appeared to threaten Clinton herself with jail if he was president.