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Trump leads standing ovation for Hillary Clinton
[WASHINGTON] US President Donald Trump on Friday led a standing ovation for his defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, saying he was "honoured" she and her husband had attended his inauguration.
"I was honoured when I heard that former president Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were coming today and I would like you to stand up," he said while addressing lawmakers, his cabinet nominees and other dignitaries at a Congressional luncheon.
"There's nothing more I can say because I have a lot of respect for those two people," Mr Trump added as attendees rose and clapped.
The Republican billionaire clashed brutally with both Clintons during the hard-fought campaign - labelling his Democratic rival corrupt, and digging up past allegations of sexual misconduct by her husband.
Mrs Clinton has largely retreated from public view since Mr Trump's upset win in November shattered her hopes of becoming the first female commander-in-chief of the world's most powerful democracy.
The 69-year-old former senator and secretary of state was spotted earlier this month taking in the final show of "The Color Purple" on Broadway - at which she reportedly received numerous rounds of applause from the audience.
Otherwise, her appearances have largely been confined to walks in the woods near her Chappaqua home, where she has been photographed in minimal make-up by neighbours.
Mr Trump's inauguration - for which she dressed in a streamlined ivory coat and pants - marked her first high-profile public outing in months.
Mrs Clinton and her husband were seen hand in hand and smiling as they headed from the inauguration to the Congressional luncheon.
"I'm here today to honour our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future," Mrs Clinton tweeted.