Donald Trump speech: what president said on Capitol riots and Joe Biden inauguration, and was it a concession?
There are increasing calls for the president to be removed from office via impeachment or the 25th amendment
The outgoing president posted a video to Twitter following a 12-hour freezing of his account, saying that he was outraged by the “violence, lawlessness and mayhem” which consumed Washington DC on January 6. This is in stark contrast to his rhetoric on Wednesday when he declared his love for rioters and described them as “special” people.
Five deaths have now been connected to the insurrection, including police officer Brian D. Sicknick who died of injuries “while physically engaging with protesters”.
What did the president say about rioters?
President Trump’s charged rhetoric played a key part in inciting Wednesday’s riot, but in his statement he condemned the “heinous attack” over 24 hours after it took place.
He said:“I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.
"America is and must always be a nation of law and order. The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. 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.
Did he concede the election?
Two months after Joe Biden claimed a clear-cut victory, the outgoing president appeared to concede defeat for the first time.
He said: “We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. “
"My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy. I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections.”
Though Trump did not congratulate Biden on his victory, this appeared to be the first example of Trump accepting defeat since the November victory.
He said: “Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. 2020 has been a challenging time for our people.
What did he say about the pandemic?
The president called for thousands to visit Washington DC during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump said that “defeating” the pandemic and “rebuilding the greatetest economy on earth was now a priority.
He said: "a menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy and claimed countless lives. Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family. We must revitalise the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family.
It’s unclear how much we will be seeing of the 45th president during his final fortnight in office with calls increasing for him to be removed from office via impeachment or the 25th amendment.
What’s more the president is apparently set to avoid attending president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Concluding his speech, Mr Trump addressed his supporters.
He said: “To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honour 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. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”