WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, as voters eager to shake up the nation's political establishment chose the businessman to lead the country, poll results showed early Wednesday.
"I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me," he said in an address to supporters at the Hilton New York shortly before 3 a.m. in New York.
Trump said he'd received a call from Democrat Hillary Clinton "congratulating us on our victory," and he in return "congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign."
He added that "we owe her a major debt of gratitude" for her service.
The gracious sentiment was a far cry from Trump's usually heated rhetoric about Clinton. He has suggested that she should go to jail and chants of "Lock her up!" were a staple at his campaign rallies.
Clinton — who maintained a narrow lead over Trump in the popular vote as of Wednesday afternoon — is set to address the public for the first time since her overnight loss. Click here to watch her 10:30 a.m. speech.
President Obama has called to congratulate Trump, and invited him to the White House on Thursday to discuss transition plans, the White House press secretary confirmed early Wednesday.
"Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the president identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the president-elect is the next step," the statement read.
The president plans to address Trump's victory during a 12:15 speech.
An unexpected Republican nominee, Trump rode a wave of support from voters seeking change and willing to accept a candidate loose with facts and accused of sexual misconduct.
"Such a beautiful and important evening," the avid Twitter user tweeted Wednesday morning. "The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before."
In a victory that upset Clinton, who would have become the first woman to serve in the Oval Office, financial markets worldwide were also rattled.
When discussing the victory, many world leaders made reference to the shock of watching Britain vote to leave the European Union in a June referendum — the so-called “Brexit.”.
“After Brexit and this election, everything is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes. Dizziness,” France’s ambassador to the U.S., Gerard Araud, said on Twitter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those cheering the win.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has declared Trump's victory "a historic night."
Trump's running mate said "the American people have spoken and the American people have elected their new champion."
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump's victory "a repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies."