President Trump has finally conceded publicly, some hours after the Capitol riots that saw hundreds of his supporters storming Washington DC to try and stop Congress’ confirmation of Joe Biden as President-elect.
In a broadcast, on Thursday he said he will not serve a second term, and acknowledged that there will be a transfer of power to the new elected President.
His speech is also coming after reports that some members of Congress are holding a secret meeting to push him out of power, after the capitol riots, even when he only has just 13 days left in his term as President.
Trump, in the video, condemned the Capitol riots which he had earlier praised, after inciting it, before his social media accounts were suspended. Then, for the first time on camera, he admitted his presidency would soon end though he declined to mention President-elect Joe Biden by name or explicitly state he had lost.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
According to CNN, a White House adviser in discussions with senior officials said Trump recorded the video only because his presidency is threatened by looming resignations and potential impeachment.
“I think that video was done only because almost all his senior staff was about to resign, and impeachment is imminent,” the adviser said.
“That message and tone should have been relayed election night … not after people died,” the adviser added.
In the video, released more than 24 hours after Capitol riots, Trump called for “healing and reconciliation” and said the country must move forward.
But he also misstated his role in activating the National Guard to combat his supporters who stormed the Capitol, who only a day earlier he had called “very special.”
Delivered in monotone and read from a teleprompter, Trump’s remarks bore little resemblance to those in the Wednesday spot, in which he told his rioting supporters, “We love you.”
That video, had been taped in the Rose Garden, was more ad-libbed and did not accomplish what many of his advisers had hoped, which was to tamp down the violence and accusations the President had incited it.
Thursday’s video was more staid, taped indoors and appeared heavily edited. Trump demonstrated little emotion as he admitted his time as president was nearing its end.
“Serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime,” he said flatly. “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.”
Those factors seemed to contribute to a starkly different approach from Trump, who in the Thursday video condemned the protests in far stronger terms than he did on Wednesday.
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” he said. “To those that engage in the acts of violence and disruption, you do not represent our country. To those that broke the law, you will pay.”
Still, he did not address his own role in fomenting the unrest and continued to make claims, however vague, that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud.