Conway: Trump 'has been given a mandate'

Story highlights

  • "That mandate is going to be somewhat different than what we've had," Kellyanne Conway said
  • Conway said she knew Clinton would struggle in Michigan and Wisconsin

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's campaign manager said Wednesday the president-elect has been given a mandate unlike any other in American history and that Hillary Clinton's concession phone call was "very gracious."

"He's being given a mandate," Kellyanne Conway told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day." "And that mandate is going to be somewhat different than what we've had, it's a repudiation of some of the things we've had."
    After it became apparent that the reality-star-turned-politician was elected the 45th president of the United States, Conway said she received a call from Clinton aide Huma Abedin, letting her know that the former secretary of state wanted to talk to Trump.
    "I handed him the phone and they had a maybe one-minute conversation, very gracious, very warm. I heard Mr. Trump's side of it," Conway said. "He commended her for being smart and tough and running a very hard-fought campaign. And I am told Secretary Clinton congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, and conceded to him."
    Conway did not say whether or not Trump would follow through with his vow to prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server at the State Department.
    "I have not discussed that with him, Alisyn," she told Camerota. "Especially since he became the next president of the United States."
    Conway said the Trump campaign always knew that places like Michigan and Wisconsin -- states Clinton was counting on as part of her "blue wall" -- were always in play.
    "We always felt that Hillary Clinton promising to put coal miners out of work, or steel workers, that wasn't going to go well in a place like Pennsylvania. Michigan, Wisconsin, the same thing," she said. "So it just all started to come together."
    Conway said it was the "undercover Trump vote" is what led the outsider's campaign to the White House.
    "We saw two things that ended up being true: One is the undercover Trump vote, these people who want to take the country in a new direction, have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton but don't look the part of a Republican presidential voter," she said.
    Conway said some of these people previously backed Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and even President Barack Obama, but now resonated with Trump's message.
    "Maybe they vote for Democrats in the off year but it's the combination of the message and the messenger this year and their reluctance to go for more of the same and go for Hillary Clinton that really made them available to us," she said.
    Clinton also struggled to attract the support needed to defeat the number of people backing Trump.
    "The second thing that we saw was that Hillary Clinton just had a very difficult -- and it turns out impossible -- time to bust through her ceiling of 45%, 46% in some of these states that President Obama carried twice with more than 50%," she said.