Hillary Clinton has spoken out for the first time since her concession speech to president-elect Donald Trump.
In a conference call with her campaign staffers and volunteers on Friday, Clinton, 69, revealed that the days following her defeat have been “very, very tough.” During the call, which is a part of a series she will hold with advisers and donors over the next few days, the Democratic nominee also thanked her supporters and encouraged them to continue on with their political prowesses.
“I really appreciate you being on this call so that I can tell you one more time how grateful I am to each and every one of you,” Clinton began the 15 minute-call, later adding, “Look I’m not going to sugarcoat it: These have been very, very tough days.”
Though Clinton won the popular vote by a substantial margin, she ultimately fell to Trump, 70, in the electoral college.
“Listen, this is a hard loss for all of us because we know what was at stake in this election and we have to do everything we can to continue to support the causes we believe in,” she continued in her call. “When you’re ready, I hope you will get up and back in there and keep fighting. I never thought this campaign was about one person or one election. I believe in everything we fought for and I believe in you.”
Also on Friday, Clinton held an all-staff party at her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn where many campaign staff and volunteers, including former president and her husband, Bill Clinton, daughter Chelsea and top aide Huma Abedin, were in attendance.
Wearing a red pantsuit, Clinton addressed the crowd and revealed that she received a delivery of 1,200 red roses to her house on Friday. “She brought them to campaign event for everyone to have,” a reporter at the party tweeted. Former president Clinton and campaign manager John Podesta were both seen shedding tears on stage as Hillary talked.
This is not her first public appearance since giving her concession speech. On Wednesday, Hillary was spotted on a hike with her husband in Chappaqua.
Below is an excerpt from Clinton’s conference call:
“Hello everyone, I really appreciate you being on this call so that I can tell you one more time how grateful I am to each and every one of you. I saw many of you on the campaign trail, you were knocking on doors in the snow in Iowa and new Hampshire, and you were part of the final sprint this fall. And in so many ways you are the heart and soul of our campaign and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I have to say as volunteers you didn’t just talk about the values we share, you really embodied them. You made sure that our campaign was as hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted as the America we believe in and that we set out to build together. You left it all on the field, every single one of you and the relationships you formed and the connections you made I hope will prove to be of lasting significance to you, and I think will make a difference for years to come. Your work mattered and I believe it still matters. Look I’m not going to sugarcoat it: These have been very, very tough days. This is a tough time for our country. I think we have seen how people have been reacting to the events of this election and I know we have got to be reaching out to each other to keep it clear in our own minds that what we did is so important. It looks like we are on the path to winning the popular vote, and that says volumes about the importance of your work and the lasting impact it will have. Listen, this is a hard loss for all of us because we know what was at stake in this election and we have to do everything we can to continue to support the causes we believe in. When you’re ready, I hope you will get up and back in there and keep fighting. I never thought this campaign was about one person or one election. I believe in everything we fought for and I believe in you. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”