“It started with sadness and disbelief and definitely some tears around the building,” said one senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, unwilling to be quoted by name in detailing the crying or dwelling on the sense of loss hanging over the West Wing.

“Now it’s, ‘Let’s take a moment to digest,’ but also, ‘Let’s quickly pull ourselves up by our bootstraps because we need to continue to do our jobs,’” the official added.

A second senior official said she felt Hillary Clinton’s loss in her gut.

“I was actually physically ill for a while,” she said. “The only time I cried was when she came out and said, ‘I’m sorry,’” she added, referring to Mrs. Clinton’s concession speech on Wednesday in a hotel ballroom, when the candidate herself briefly teared up.