Incumbent United States President Donald Trump has, for the first time, conceded the presidential election and formally announced that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20.” In a video message, he also condemned the violent breach at the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters.
The video was posted in the early hours of January 8 on Trump’s Twitter profile—the only social media account he now has posting access to—in which he termed the events of January 6 “heinous.”
“Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” Trump said. “I immediately deployed the national guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.”
This statement is refuted by multiple reports that said it was Vice President Mike Pence who took this action, while Trump resisted. As the events of January 6 unfolded, following a rally where Trump’s asked his supporters to “stop the steal” and “keep America great,” it was noted that the outgoing president refrained from actively telling the mob to retreat. “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!” he had tweeted.
Trump’s explicit condemnation of the violence at the Capitol, which resulted in the deaths of at least four people, came amidst increasing calls for his impeachment prior to the formal transition of power.
In his video speech, Trump acknowledged Joe Biden as the next US President and promised a peaceful transition process.
“My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote,” he said. No evidence any election fraud has yet been unearthed, despite Trump’s past claims.
“Now, Congress has certified the results,” Trump conceded. “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
He concluded his message by asking for “healing and reconciliation,” and urged his supporters to not lose heart.