Hillary Clinton: 'I wanted to curl up' after defeat to Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton has addressed the disappointment she felt after her crushing defeat by Donald Trump in last week's presidential election, stating: "All I wanted to do was just to curl up."
In her first public appearance since her shock defeat a week ago, the Democrat said that she had felt like never leaving the house.
Despite winning the popular vote, Mr Trump triumphed in most key swing states to pull of a victory that the pollsters had said was virtually impossible.
"Now I will admit coming here tonight wasn't the easiest thing for me," Mrs Clinton said in a speech at the annual gala of the Children's Defense Fund, the child advocacy organisation where she started her legal career.
"There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do was to curl up with a good book and never leave the house again."
Mrs Clinton did not mention Mr Trump once by name in the speech. She said in her concession speech last week that the country needed to give the billionaire businessman "a chance to lead".
"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," she said.
"But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it."
Mrs Clinton's first job out of law school in the 1970s was at the Children's Defense Fund. She later became a staff lawyer and chairman of the group's board.
Throughout her campaign, she cited her work for the group as her "north star", which had sparked her interest in standing up against injustice toward children and families.
On Wednesday night, she urged the audience to continue supporting disadvantaged children, alluding to one of Mr Trump's major campaign promises - to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
"There are also children who are afraid today, like the little girl I met in Nevada who started to cry when she told me how scared she was that her parents would be taken away from her and be deported," she said. "No child should have to live with fear like that."
On Sunday, Mrs Clinton blamed her defeat in the US election on James Comey, the FBI director, who announced days before the votes were cast that he was reopening the investigation into her handling of classified information.
During a conference call with top donors on Saturday, Mrs Clinton said that Mr Comey's intervention in the election had reversed her "momentum" and energised Mr Trump's supporters.