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‘Never ever give up’

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton gives first public remarks since concession speech.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Clinton reflected on her devastating defeat on Wednesday evening, acknowledging the difficulty of her loss for her supporters and urging them to persevere through the Donald Trump era.

In remarks that were equal parts pep talk and funeral dirge, Clinton encouraged her backers to “never, ever give up.”

“I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” Clinton said at the annual gala of the Children’s Defense Fund, the child advocacy organization where she started her legal career. “But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it.”

She added: “It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.”

Clinton never cited the president-elect by name in her remarks, making only an oblique reference to the controversial policies that fueled his rise to the White House.

Instead, she focused on the future, asking her backers to “stay engaged on every level.”

“We need you. America needs your energy,” she said.

Clinton’s surprising loss threw her party into a period of intense soul-searching, with an ascendant liberal wing blaming Clinton’s campaign for failing to embrace a more populist economic message. In private calls with donors and Democratic officials, Clinton has largely attributed her defeat to the decision by the FBI to reexamine her use of a private server as secretary of state.

In her remarks, Clinton offered no accounting for any failures she may have made during her presidential campaign, though she admitted that the past week hasn’t been easy.

“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” she ruefully admitted.

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