As Congress Certifies His Presidential Demise, Trump Claims He’ll Go Peacefully
In a strained, secondhand statement on Thursday, Trump claimed that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
President Trump appeared to finally admit that his term in office was ending and claimed to commit to a peaceful transition on January 20, with the statement coming after a violent, chaotic, and deadly day in D.C. that eventually ended with Congress certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory overnight.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump, who is currently locked out of his social accounts, said in a statement posted by social media director Dan Scavino just before 4 a.m. Thursday. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
The strained, secondhand statement was the first time Trump appeared to accept defeat in the 2020 presidential election, after spending months refusing to concede and touting unfounded assertions that the election was “stolen” from him due to voter fraud. His statement doesn’t completely ensure that he will follow through on a peaceful transition of power to Biden, who is set to be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on January 20.
The statement followed a chaotic day on Capitol Hill in which members of a pro-Trump rally violently breached the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying Biden’s victory, resulting in a lockdown and a forced recession of the vote. At least four people died, including one woman who was shot by officers in the Capitol building, and 52 people were arrested.
Despite the violent midday interruption, Congress reconvened its vote later in the evening Wednesday and passed the motion to certify the electoral count at around 4 a.m. ET.
Lawmakers and leaders worldwide condemned Trump and the violent mob of his supporters following the Capitol invasion, and after the president posted on Twitter once again alleging voter fraud and urging rioters to “go home” while also calling them “very special,” the platform promptly locked his account for 12 hours. Facebook later followed and locked the president's Facebook and Instagram accounts for 24 hours.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday urged Vice President Mike Pence to "immediately" invoke the 25th Amendment, which would remove Trump from office before his term officially ends on January 20. She added that if Pence does not invoke it, Congress "may be prepared to move forward with impeachment."