Bill Clinton congratulates Donald Trump

Story highlights

  • The call had to have been painful for the former president
  • Bill Clinton has spent years helping to position his wife to run for president

(CNN)Former President Bill Clinton congratulated Donald Trump on Thursday, an aide to the 42nd president said Thursday.

The call had to have been painful for the former president, who teared up on Wednesday when his wife, Hillary Clinton, publicly conceded to the President-elect.
"President Clinton phoned President-elect Trump this afternoon," the aide said. "During the brief call, President Clinton congratulated Mr. Trump and wished him well."
    Bill Clinton has spent years helping to position his wife to run for president, and when Trump became her sole adversary, the former president regularly laid into Trump, calling him unfit and unqualified to be president and accusing him of feeding his supporters nothing but negativity.
    "This is what is the matter with politics," he said last month about Trump. "When other people pour poison down your throat, don't drink it."
    Trump, likewise, made accusations of sexual impropriety against Bill Clinton a key part of his campaign and regularly called Clinton's presidency a failure.
    Before the second debate, Trump invited three women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to attend the event.
    But the fraternity of former presidents has regularly kept cordial relationships with each other, even if they vehemently disagreed with one another. Former presidents have also tried to stay away from criticizing their successors.
    Bill and Hillary Clinton also went for a hike on Thursday. A woman out for a walk with her children in Chappaqua, New York talked with the Clinton, later positing a photo with the former Democratic nominee.