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Republican candidate Donald Trump has been declared the President-elect of the United States after winning 288 electoral votes against his contender Hillary Clinton who pulled 215 votes.
In his acceptance speech, Trump acknowledged Hillary as a great woman whom America owes a debt of gratitude.
He said the Hillary has called him to congratulate him “on our victory and I congratulated her for putting up a great fight.”
In an emotion laden speech, Trump thanked his parents and siblings and all who contributed to his election victory, explaining that what we had was not a campaign, but a movement.
Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States, the Associated Press projected Wednesday. He will be the first person to hold the office despite having no prior political or military experience.
“It’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump, flanked by his family and his running mate, Mike Pence, told the crowd inside the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan. “To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across this nation: I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”
The Republican nominee’s victory over Hillary Clinton marks a stunning upset that neither the polls nor the pundits saw coming. But Trump, defiant to the end, insisted he would win despite burning bridges with key voting groups and even many Republicans. In winning, Trump upended almost every norm of American politics and apparently changed the shape of the Republican Party.
Clinton called Trump to concede the race shortly before he took the stage. A Clinton campaign official confirmed to Yahoo News that the Democratic nominee conceded the race.
“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton,” he said. “She congratulated us — it’s about us — on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. I mean, she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a very long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. And I mean that very sincerely.”
Trump spent the final three weeks of his once-unlikely White House bid railing against a “rigged” election, alleging without evidence that voter fraud would be widespread. He even hinted at the idea of not conceding the race if he lost, jokingly promising to accept the results of the election “if I win.”
But the brash billionaire also predicted that he would shock the establishment and said his campaign would be “Brexit Plus Plus,” a reference to Britain’s exit from the European Union, which also was not forecast in the polls. And in the end, to borrow one of Trump’s favorite expressions, he did indeed exceed expectations “big league.”
“They all told it wrong from day number one,” Michael Cohen, a longtime Trump adviser and Trump Organization attorney, told Yahoo News.
“America is going to see the change that it deeply needs and they’re going to have a leader a real leader,” Cohen added.
Trump spent the night huddled with family and friends, watching the returns inside the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where one Trump campaign source initially said some allies expected him to lose and were simply hoping he would outperform Mitt Romney’s showing in the 2012 presidential race. But as the night wore on, the Trump team became more optimistic and began to think the celebrity businessman had a chance, based on razor-thin margins in battleground states. After Ohio was called for Trump, the same source predicted that even the Democrats might also be changing their assessments of Trump’s chances.
Shortly before 2 a.m., Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta appeared on stage at the Javits Center in Manhattan, telling Clinton’s supporters that the candidate would not be appearing.
“We’re not going to have anything more to say tonight,” Podesta told the crowd. “We’ll have more to say tomorrow.”
Podesta added: “We are so proud of you, and we are so proud of her.”
Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, described a jubilant atmosphere in his war room in a text to Yahoo News before Trump was projected the winner.
“Absolutely buoyant. We can smell the win,” Conway said.
The crowd that waited to see Trump speak in a ballroom at the Hilton cheered each time a state was called for him. (Unsurprisingly, the television monitors at the event were showing Fox News, the cable news network favored by conservatives on which Trump had appeared often.)
“I had hoped for this,” a second Trump campaign source said. “I knew there was a chance for this, but I gave it a 30 percent chance. I thought we would come up just short.”