Throughout his astonishing run for president, PEOPLE Senior Editor Charlotte Triggs has covered every moment of Donald Trump’s campaign – from interviewing him in the luxury of his Trump Tower apartment with his family, to his office (laden with magazines featuring his face), to accompanying him on the trail.
On Tuesday night she joined his supporters as he was elected the 45th President of the United States:
The last time I saw Donald Trump, it was in March and he had invited me on the campaign trail.
What had started as a simple interview at his imposing office at Trump Tower ended up in the Presidential candidate inviting me to a rally in Tucson, Arizona, on a whim.
Fast forward to eight months later and I’m standing in the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York City.
As the minutes and hours ticked by, and vital states fell to Trump, the crowd smelled triumph. For the most part, the atmosphere was enthusiastic. For Trump’s jubilant supporters, they really believed they were vanquishing an evil person — Hillary Clinton. But then in darker moments, there were cries of “Lock her up” and “build the wall.”
Some also turned on the press, most of whom were kept in a pen, sneering “Come on, smile.”
But as it sank in that Trump had REALLY won, the crowd, many wearing Trump’s now-famous Make America Great Again caps — “These hats are so hot. You can’t get them,” Trump had told me — started screaming with joy.
The room was a busy, steaming hot whirl of flags and signs. It was so hot one woman fainted and others seemed to be overheating.
As I looked around, I still could not believe the man who I was so used to seeing on my TV screen, the man I had interviewed so many times, was our next President.
With a front-row seat to history, this is a night none of us will forget.