Trump heaps praise on 'gracious' Hillary

FILES-COMBO-US-VOTE US president-elect Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton | AFP

US president-elect Donald Trump called his former Democratic rival "gracious", adding that the call he received from Hillary Clinton on election night "could not have been nicer".

In an interview released on Friday, Trump also described Clinton as "very strong and very smart", the New York Post reported.

"So, Hillary called -- and it was a lovely call. It was a tough call for her, I mean, I can imagine," Trump said.

"She couldn't have been nicer. She just said, ‘Congratulations, Donald, well done'. And I said, ‘I want to thank you very much, you were a great competitor'," he added.

Trump's surprise win in Tuesday's presidential election sent shockwaves all across the world. 

He will officially take over as the 45th U.S. President on January 20, 2017.

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