NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Republican Donald Trump claimed victory in the 2016 presidential race in the wee hours Wednesday morning.
The Republican nominee won the White House with 289 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 218.READ MORE: New York City Begins Offering COVID Vaccine To Students, Parents & Staff At Summer Rising Sites
WEB EXTRA: Watch President-Elect Trump’s Complete Victory Speech
Addressing supporters at his victory party at the New York Hilton Midtown, Trump immediately struck a conciliatory tone clearly intended to reassure those shocked at his victory.
He told the nation it’s “time for us to come together” and pledged to be a president “for all Americans.”
Trump also called upon Republicans and Democrats to unite.
“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said. “It’s time.”
Running mate Mike Pence, who took the stage before Trump, called it “a historic moment.”
“The American people have spoken and the American people have elected their new champion,” he said.
After an acrimonious campaign, Trump praised Clinton for working “very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
“I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us – it’s about us; it’s our victory,” he said. “And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign too.”
He said he had been elected by a “movement” and had a mandate to make government serve the people, “and serve the people it will.”
“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I spent my entire life in business, looking at projects and looking at the untapped potential of people all over the world,” Trump said. “That is what I want to do with our country.”
Trump went on to thank the many people who worked on his campaign, including former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
“It’s been what they call a historic event, but to be really historic, we have to do a great job,” Trump said. “And I promise you that I will not let you down. We will do a great job.”
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Clinton conceded later Wednesday morning after a crushing defeat.
“This is painful and it will be for a long time,” she said.
But she asked her supporters to keep an open mind.
“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said. “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. And we don’t just respect that. We cherish it.”
President Barack Obama also invited President-elect Trump to meet with him at the White House on Thursday and discuss transition plans.
“We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night,” Obama said. “That’s what I heard when I spoke to him, directly, and I was heartened by that.”
Trump’s transition team was meeting with him Wednesday to discuss cabinet posts, and Trump has been reaching out to leaders in Congress.
“This is the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).READ MORE: Man Struck And Killed While Trying To Fix Tire On Long Island Expressway In Queens
Ryan said many of Americans would benefit from the new order.
“Think about the laid off coal workers now who see relief coming. Think about the farmers who are being harassed by the EPA and the Waters of the USA,” Ryan said. “This is good for our country.”
The race was tight throughout the night, with many states deemed too close to call well into the wee hours.
Earlier, Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta had said the campaign would not be conceding or otherwise addressing the results again during the overnight hours.
“There’s still votes and every vote can count,” Podesta said to a crowd that began cheering after people were seen in tears seconds before. “So we’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”
But while not all battleground states had been officially called, Clinton later called Trump to concede the presidential race early Wednesday morning.
Trump’s win marks the worst night ever for America’s political pundits, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
The Center for Politics had Clinton winning in a landslide and the vaunted FiveThirtyEight website had Clinton with a 71 percent chance of victory at the start of the night.
Experts tried to make sense of what many see as a stunning surprise.
“What I think I’m seeing is an uprising, a revolt, a push back against the elites, the establishments of both parties,” said CBS News contributor Peggy Noonan.
Trump broke every rule and still won, scoring better than expected with suburban women and outperforming Mitt Romney four years ago with blacks and Hispanics.
And the long lines seen in so many places might have given the impression that voter turnout was up this year – but it was actually way down.
Meanwhile, as CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, there was perhaps a glimpse during the early-morning speech of Trump’s future administration as he personally thanked his supporters one by one.
“I want to give a very special thanks to our former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who’s unbelievable – unbelievable,” Trump said during the speech.
Giuliani is a potential candidate for Attorney General, having served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1983 until 1989, and U.S. Associate Attorney from 1981 until 1983.
Giuliani has been quick to defend Trump throughout his campaign.
Another name being considered for Attorney General is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey for almost seven years.
While running against Trump for the Republican, Christie made it clear he was not a fan.
“Showmanship is fun, but it’s not the kind of leadership that will truly change America,” Christie said while a candidate.
But once Christie dropped out, he quickly jumped on the Trump train. He was a top campaign adviser, who prepared Trump for his debates and is currently heading the president-elect’s transition team.
Nevertheless, political science professor Bob Capano said the governor, tangled in the Bridgegate scandal, may pose a problem for the Trump administration.
“I think Donald Trump is going to begin his presidency on a very positive note and I think the less controversy the better, so I think that may include not having Chris Christie as part of the administration,” said Capano, of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Another familiar name in the hat is former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly as a possible Secretary of Homeland Security.MORE NEWS: Trump Advisor Thomas Barrack Faces Arraignment In Brooklyn Federal Court
“He has great experience working around the world with security, and I think as Homeland Security Secretary he would be an outstanding choice,” Capano said.