Hillary Clinton had to "suppress the anger that touched every nerve in her body" when she conceded the presidential election to Donald Trump on the night of November 8, according to an excerpt from a new book about her ill-fated campaign.
The extraordinary account was relayed by the authors of Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Election Campaign.
Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes describe the behind-the-scenes goings on during that fateful night - particularly when the realisation sets in that Clinton would fail to win crucial swing states like Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, according to Daily Mail.
Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were watching the returns in their suite on the top floor of The Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, according to the excerpt published in the New York Post.
They were joined by top aides Robby Mook, John Podesta, and Cheryl Mills - all of whom were burning up the phone lines with Democratic operatives who were reporting the grim results as they were rolling in.
"Hillary was still surprisingly calm, unable or unwilling to delve into the details of how her dream was turning into a nightmare," the authors write as the campaign was coming to grips with its loss in Florida.
"Bill was less reticent. He'd had a sinking feeling that the British vote to leave the European Union had been a harbinger for a kind of screw-it vote in the United States.
"He'd seen the trans-Atlantic phenomenon of populist rage at rallies across the country, and warned friends privately of his misgivings about its effect on Hillary's chances.
"Now his focus turned back to the international movement he'd seen gathering. 'It's like Brexit,' he lamented. 'I guess it's real'."
After North Carolina and Wisconsin were called for Trump, President Barack Obama reached out to his former secretary of state and told her it was time to give up.
"What's going on in your camp?" an Obama aide, David Simas, asked Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.
"I don't think we're going to win," Mook replied.
"I don't think you are either," Simas agreed. "POTUS doesn't think it's wise to drag this out."
Now Mook had to tell his boss that Obama was interested in a smooth transfer of power to his successor, Trump, and that Clinton needed to give up any last-ditch hopes that the swing states would somehow flip for her.
"I don't see how you win this," Mook told Clinton.
"I understand," she told Mook.
Still, Clinton was not ready to officially bow out of the race.
"I'm not ready to go give this speech."
Eventually, Obama personally picked up the phone to call Clinton.
"You need to concede," the president said.
After Pennsylvania was called for Trump and the Associated Press declared "The Donald" the winner, Clinton finally faced reality.
"Kellyanne Conway picked up Huma Abedin's call and handed her phone to Trump," the authors write.
"Hillary took Huma's phone and faked a smile with her voice. 'Congratulations, Donald,' she said, suppressing the anger that touched every nerve in her body. 'I'll be supportive of the country's success, and that means your success as president'.
"Trump credited her for being a smart opponent who ran a tough campaign. The denouement lasted all of about a minute."
Shortly after the call with Trump, as the scope of her defeat sank in, Abedin walked up to her boss once again with phone in hand.
"It's the president," Clinton's loyal aide said.
The authors write: "Hillary winced. She wasn't ready for this conversation.
"When she'd spoken with Obama just a little bit earlier, the outcome of the election wasn't final yet.
"Now, though, with the president placing a consolation call, the reality and dimensions of her defeat hit her all at once.
"She had let him down. She had let herself down. She had let her party down. And she had let her country down.
"Obama's legacy and her dreams of the presidency lay shattered at Donald Trump's feet.
"This was on her. Reluctantly, she rose from her seat and took the phone from Abedin's hand.
"Mr. President", she said softly. "I'm sorry".