President Donald Trump admitted that soon he will not be president, ending a months-long effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Trump’s admission, however, only comes after a riotous mob of his supporters — egged on by him — stormed into the Capitol to stage an insurrection, threatening the safety of everyone inside and leaving four people dead.
“Congress has certified the results, and a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday night. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
In the video, which was his first tweet since Twitter suspended his account Wednesday because he was inciting violence, Trump robotically read from a teleprompter.
Trump also addressed the mob at the Capitol and tried to separate himself from them — the same people he told a day before, “We love you. You’re very special.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
Trump went on to claim that he “immediately” deployed the National Guard to protect the Capitol, but that decision was delayed by the administration, according to Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland.
Trump also continued to lend credence to his allegations of voter fraud in the election by justifying his legal actions attempting to throw out votes and saying that the U.S. needs to “reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections.”
“My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” Trump said. “My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. And so doing I was fighting to defend American democracy.”
Trump concluded by saying that his time in office was “the honor of a lifetime.” But don’t expect this former president to quietly disappear into retirement. “And 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,” he said.
This story has been updated.