President Donald Trump on Friday applauded former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for attending his inauguration—a rare conciliatory gesture between two people who were recently bitter opponents in a tight presidential race.
“I’ll tell you there is something that I wanted to say because I was honored—very, very honored—when I heard that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today, and I think that’s appropriate to say. And I’d like you to stand up. I’d like you to stand up,” Trump said at his inaugural luncheon in the Capitol, as the Clintons received a standing ovation.
Those at the luncheon included political leaders in both parties, members of the new presidential administration and the families of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
“Honestly, there’s nothing more I can say because I have a lot of respect for those two people, so thank you both for being here,” Trump said, addressing the Clintons. Trump and Hillary Clinton also shook hands when the new president arrived at the luncheon.
Hillary Clinton smiled as she was introduced at the inauguration, though she appeared to take a deep breath and steel herself before entering the ceremony—one she had likely envisioned with an alternate ending.
“I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values,” she wrote in a tweet shortly before the inauguration. “I will never stop believing in our country & its future.”