Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE said Wednesday that she had wanted her supporters to give President Trump "a chance" after he was elected in November, rather than going into a "defensive crouch."

"I thought we should give a chance — we had to give an open mind — to the new president. And I meant it," she said in remarks reported by ABC News. "I didn't want everybody who voted for me just immediately going into kind of a defensive crouch."

"Let's see, maybe there will be a pivot, a move away from the horrible rhetoric, the divisive, insulting rhetoric that had fueled his campaign from the first day," she recalled thinking.

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Clinton said that after the election she thought her supporters should wait to see whether the real estate mogul's rhetoric on the campaign trail was genuine or simply a way to "consolidate his position in the Republican Party."

"Maybe that's what he felt he had to do to win, so let's give the guy a chance," Clinton said, recalling her thoughts after the election. 

"Well, that did not last long," she continued. "And it didn't last long because, clearly, as Maya Angelou said, when people show you who they are, believe them the first time."

Clinton and Trump clashed bitterly in the 2016 presidential election, and some supporters of the former secretary of State's presidential bid have been vocal in their opposition to Trump since he took office.