Outgoing president, Barack Obama, has instructed his team to help make the transition of power as smooth as possible for Donald Trump. He cited the way he was treated eight years ago by George W Bush and his team as an example of good practice.
“We’re not Democrats first, we are not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We are patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” he said from the White House.
He said everyone was rooting for Trump’s success and called for respect for US institutions and rule of law.
“This was a long and hard-fought campaign,” he continued. “A lot of Americans are exultant today, a lot are less so.”
Standing with Vice President Joe Biden by his side, he urged young people to remain encouraged and not to become cynical, echoing Hillary Clinton’s words just ahead of his speech.
“Good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy. […] It’s how we have come this far,” he said.
“I look at this job as being a relay runner. […] Hopefully by the time you hand it off, you’re a little further ahead, you’ve made a little progress.”
“Ultimately, we are all on the same team,” he concluded, perhaps a nod to claims that America is more divided than was initially realised.
Hillary Clinton made an emotional speech in New York, in which she acknowledged her defeat in the race of her life was “painful.”
She publically conceded the presidency and admitted she had since offered to work with President-Elect Donald Trump.
“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” she told supporters and staff at a Manhattan hotel.
“I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”
As he celebrated victory, Donald Trump vowed to heal the wounds of what’s been described as one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in American history.
“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” he told an audience of supporters in New York.
After revealing Hillary Clinton had called him to concede, he paid a rare tribute to his rival, acknowledging: “This political stuff is nasty and it is tough.”
In a speech designed to allay fears he promised to reach out to those who had not given him his vote and expressed a wish to work with “other nations who are willing to get along with us.”
Significantly, he did not mention immigration, nor a proposed wall on the Mexican border which had featured heavily in his campaigning.
Nevertheless, markets around the world tumbled through the night as the result emerged. The Mexican Peso dropped to record lows on concerns about the impact on cross-border trade.
And it wasn’t just traders who were reeling. Democrats had been assured by pollsters that their candidate was a sure fire winner.
Things started to go wrong for them around 3am CET, however, as Trump claimed the key swing state of Ohio, followed shortly afterwards by the even more significant Florida.