President Donald Trump responded the chaos that unfolded Wednesday on Capitol Hill in what appeared to be a concession speech released on Twitter Thursday night, just a day before his account on the platform was permanently suspended.
According to Politico, the embattled president told Americans it was the “honor of my lifetime” serving as the 45th president of the United States and condemned a “heinous attack” by a mob of his supporters.
Trump condemns Capitol riot
Trump shared the speech on Twitter after his account was unlocked following a 12-hour ban instituted the day before after his supporters stormed the Capitol and interrupted Congress, which was in the middle of certifying Joe Biden’s election win.
Five people died in the chaos, including a Trump supporter who was shot, later identified as 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, as well as a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, the New York Post reported.
The chaos led to an outcry of condemnation of Trump and calls for his removal from political leaders, with one-time allies like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) signaling they would support the move in a remarkable severance between Trump and his party — just days before the end of his presidency.
Against the backdrop of these dizzying events, Trump began his video speech by condemning the “violence, lawlessness, and mayhem.”
“America is and must always be a nation of law and order,” he said, according to Politico. “To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
“Seamless transition of power”
Trump went on to seemingly concede defeat to Joe Biden, ending weeks of controversy in which he raged against a “rigged” election. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power,” he said, as Politico reported. “This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Trump added: “To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime, and to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”
The president wrote in a tweet the next day that he would not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, his final message on Twitter before the social media giant permanently suspended his account, citing its “Glorification of Violence policy.”
Pelosi looks to impeach – again
Despite there being just days left in his presidency, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is meanwhile said to be teeing up the launch of an impeachment effort against Trump as soon as Monday after threatening to do so if he would not immediately step down of his own accord.
Pelosi has also made a remarkable demand to Trump’s generals to block the president from launching military attacks or accessing the nuclear codes, though Defense officials have reportedly argued that unilaterally subverting the commander-in-chief’s orders would amount to a military coup, according to The New York Times.