The RNC's Sean Spicer on election night and turning the tide for Trump

The Republican National Committee's chief strategist and communications director recalls when he knew Donald Trump would win the presidential election and what he expects next.

What have you been up to since the election was called?
It's been a whirlwind. First of all, the election was called at 3:30 in the morning and basically just kept going until last night; it literally kept going straight through. I finally got some sleep last night, got up and got back [to Washington DC] and Trump was here.

Where were you on election night?
I was in New York. It was unbelievably surreal. The candidate and the staff and the volunteers left everything on the field and you think that you've done everything you can and the movement and the wave are with you. But [there’s uncertainty] until you see the numbers come in. When we saw reliably blue counties and reliably blue states start to go for Trump and Pence and not just that, but when you saw [Senator] Ron Johnson in Wisconsin keep his seat that most pundits predicted was gone months ago.

How did Donald Trump’s message win the election?
He had his finger on the pulse of where Americans were at. People are ready for change and he was the greatest agent of change ever seen in political history.

How confident were you in the last couple of days of the campaign?
Nervously optimistic. I don't think there's anybody that guessed the degree to which his message resonated. We saw a path to victory and clearly the path had gotten wider and brighter the past couple days. You don't have to have anything more than sixth-grade math to realize that, electorally, Republicans have always been challenged the in modern day.

Since the election ended, Trump’s taken his rhetoric down a notch. How do you expect his tone to change as he moves towards inauguration?
There's a real difference between campaigning and governing. I think there's a natural evolution from the campaign to governing that everyone gets. I think he’s still going to be an agent of change, but I think there's a big difference.

How is he going to build bridges with people who didn’t vote for him, some of whom are clearly very upset?
I think you have to look to the speech he gave on election night to understand that his goal is to be a president for all Americans. He’s going to keep talking about policies and actions that he wants to fight for that are going to make individuals and families and businesses do better.

Do you have any regrets about the language Trump used during the campaign?
He’s the candidate and now the president-elect, and it's up to him to decide, not me.

What’s next for you? Do you plan to stay at the RNC or move on?
I haven't spent any time thinking about it at this point.

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