Bill Clinton told his life it was 'just like Brexit' when he realised she had lost to Donald Trump
President Clinton correctly feared that his wife's campaign team never realised the danger that Mr Trump posed until too late, according to a new book about the election.
The Democratic Presidential candidate stepped into an anteroom for privacy as she apologised to President Obama for failing to secure his legacy by losing to her Republican Rival.
I'll be supportive of the country's success and that means your success as president
As she took the call Secretary Clinton knew she had "let her country down" and that President Obama's legacy lay "shattered at Donald Trump's feet".
Minutes earlier Secretary Clinton had called President-elect Trump and suppressed "the anger that touched every nerve in her body" as she conceded.
She said: "Congratulations, Donald. 'I'll be supportive of the country's success and that means your success as president."
The drama of Secretary Clinton's election in the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan is detailed in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Election Campaign which is out today.
Hillary Clinton congratulated Donald Trump
Political journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes tell the hour by hour drama of how Secretary Clinton's confidence at her victory was replaced by anxiety and then defeat as Mr Trump achieved the biggest upset in modern political history on November 9 last year.
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The book says that President Clinton felt that Brexit showed there was a "strong contempt for existing power structures that reflected the mood of the American electorate".
The book says that President Clinton felt his wife's team were "underestimating the significance of Brexit".
President Clinton had come to power in 1992 by tapping into similar frustrations and he knew what it was like to be an insurgent candidate.
The book says: "Bill had a better feel for the working stiff, whether American or British, than anyone in Hillary's orbit.
"He knew that and he felt like he was being heard. But he couldn't figure out why Hillary and her team weren't executing."
On election night as it became apparent his wife would lose Florida, President Clinton 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 said: "It's like Brexit. I guess it's real."
Bill Clinton said: "It's like Brexit. I guess it's real."
Shattered tells the story of election night and as the results rolled in for states like Pennsylvania, the clear tipping point for the race for the White House, President Obama called Mrs Clinton and said: "You need to concede."
Shattered says that Mr Obama was "determined to make sure that his friend understood that the election was over" and that she had to accept the loss with dignity to counter Mr Trump's attempts to undermine the electoral system.
President Obama said that he "didn't see any point in prolonging the inevitable" and didn't want to turn the election into a "recount mess" – then having delivered his message he hung up.
The call worked and Secretary Clinton's close aide Huma Abedin called Mr Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
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The two candidates were brought to the line and Mrs Clinton conceded.
Shattered says that Mr Trump credited her for being a smart opponent who ran a tough campaign and the conversation lasted about a minute.
Next came a second, previously undisclosed call from President Obama which "crystallised everything for Hillary".
The book says: "Hillary winces. 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.
Mr Trump credited Mrs Clinton for being a smart opponent
"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.
"'Mr President', she said softly. 'I'm sorry.'"
As she drafted her acceptance speech Secretary Clinton defied her aides who asked her to criticise President-elect Trump and said that she wanted a "gracious exit".
Had Mrs Clinton won then in her victory speech she would have talked about her beloved mother Dorothy Rodham, the book reveals.
Beneath the glass ceiling of the Javits Centre in Manhattan she would have imagined going up to her mother when she was eight years old and telling her: "As hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will one day grow up and become President of the United States."
Shattered also offers a blunt assessment of why Mrs Clinton lost and says that some of her team thought that Clinton Inc, referring to the baggage and machinery of being a Clinton, was an "albatross" around the campaign.
In early 2016 one of her advisors had given her a clear warning that Mr Trump could beat her, a warning which seemed to go ignored.
At the time Mrs Clinton was beating Mr Trump 46 points to 41 though neither candidate had secured their party's nomination.
According to Shattered, the memo said: "FACT: Donald Trump can defeat Hillary Clinton and become the 45th President of the United States."
The memo warned that Mrs Clinton "should not underestimate his capacity to draw people to the polls who normally do not vote" because it could "tip the scales in key states".
Mrs Clinton however did not seem to get it and once told her close aide Minyon Moore: "I don't understand what's happening with the country."