Donald Trump wins: President-elect vows to unite America after most divisive campaign in US history

'I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all Americans,' victor tells supporters

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 09 November 2016 08:50
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Trump victory speech calls on Americans to become 'one united people'

Donald Trump has pledged to unite America after his shock election as President after the most divisive campaign in US political history.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division…I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said, as supporters chanted “USA! USA! USA!”.

“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all Americans and this is so important to me.”

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Mr Trump said he received a call from Hillary Clinton conceding her defeat in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Republican presidential elect Donald Trump gives his victory speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016

“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton, she congratulated us on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign,” he added.

“She fought very hard. Hillary has worked very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”

His comments marked an abrupt change of tone from much of the Republican’s campaign, where he repeatedly called his rival “corrupt”, apparently suggested she should be assassinated, and accused American politicians and the media of a conspiracy against him.

"This politics stuff is is nasty and it's tough," he conceded.

Mr Trump said he wanted to “reach out” to critics for guidance and help as he opens his term, adding: “Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American Dream.”

Amid widespread concern over international tensions following Mr Trump’s comments on countries including China and Russia, he insisted he expected “great relationships” with foreign nations.

“America will no longer settle for anything less than best, - we must reclaim our country’s destiny,” he added. “I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will always deal fairly with everyone – all people and all other nations.

“We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.”

Mr Trump took to the stage at a rally in New York after analysis showed it was impossible for Ms Clinton to surmount a deficit in Electoral College votes after her rival won several battleground states.

As her defeat looked certain, she had tweeted: “Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything.”

Mr Trump’s supporters were hailing his victory as a “historic” sea-change in world politics, claiming it represented the triumph of “the people over the elite”.

Politicians offering their congratulations included the leader of France’s far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage.

Stock markets in the US, Asia and Europe were tumbling as the result became clear in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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