President Trump acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election for the first time Thursday night in a video message urging Americans to unite following violence at the U.S. Capitol.
“Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20th,” Trump said. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Trump said he was “outraged” by individuals who participated in the violence at the US Capitol. He noted that those who broke the law “will pay.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle had accused Trump of inciting the riot through inflammatory rhetoric. Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for President Trump to be removed by the 25th Amendment, or by impeachment if senior Trump officials refuse to act.
McEnany condemns ‘appalling’ violence at Capitol, promises ‘orderly transition’
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany gave a moments-long news briefing Thursday evening to condemn the “appalling, reprehensible” violence at the Capitol Wednesday and to ensure the administration was working on a smooth transition of power.
McEnany said the Capitol siege was done by “a group of violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation’s capital.
“Those who violently besieged our capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for,” she continued, promising rioters would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
“It’s time for America to unite,” she said.”Those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power.”
McEnany did not mention President Trump by name, instead saying she spoke on behalf of the White House.
The press secretary took no questions and walked off to the shouts of reporters. Many asked why the president hadn’t given his own briefing since the attack.
After vowing at the “Save America” rally in Washington Wednesday he would “never concede,” Trump promised early Thursday to offer an orderly transition, despite his grievances, after Congress certified the Electoral College results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
Chaos broke out at the Capitol when pro-Trump rioters breached security to wreak havoc inside the building, prompting lawmakers participating in a joint session to certify election results to go into hiding.
On Wednesday evening, Trump tweeted out a statement: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted. “Go home with love & peace.”
He added: “Remember this day forever!”
Before that, he posted a video message to Twitter, addressing supporters, saying: “I know your pain, I know your hurt.”
“We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump said from the White House. “It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.
“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” Trump said. “We have to have peace.”
Twitter suspended the president for the pair of tweets and removed them.
- Four people died during the riots, including one person who was shot, and at least 52 were arrested.
- Protesters attended a rally outside the White House before descending on the Capitol.