Tue. Mar 2nd, 2021

“Now Congress has certified the results, a new administration will be inaugurated on January 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 released a statement earlier in the day acknowledging Biden would be the next president but this was the first time he had recognised this fact on camera.

The message represented a dramatic shift from the previous day when he addressed supporters near the White House, saying: “We will never concede […] You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

Since the assault on the Capitol, Trump has faced fierce condemnation from Republicans, as well as Democrats, for encouraging his supporters to fight to overturn Biden’s victory.

In the video Trump said: “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.”

Trump said that while many Americans felt angry about the election “tempers must be cooled and calm restored”.

“We must get on with the business of America,” he said.

Pulling back from his previous claims of systematic election fraud, Trump said only that he believed election laws should be reformed to give Americans more trust in the accuracy of the results.


Earlier in the day, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Trump to be removed under the 25th amendment – which allows his cabinet to appoint Vice-President Mike Pence to fill his place.

If Trump isn’t removed, Pelosi said the House may move forward with a second impeachment accusing Trump of inciting violence.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also called for Trump to be removed from office.

Two members of Trump’s cabinet – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao – resigned from the cabinet following the riots.

In her letter of resignation to Trump, DeVos said: “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

In a speech, President-elect Joe Biden said the rioters were “domestic terrorists”.

“They weren’t protesters, don’t dare call them protesters,” Biden said.

“They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. And I wish we could say we couldn’t see it coming, but that’s not true. We could see it coming.”

Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, a leading figure in the development of Trump’s China policy, resigned abruptly on the day of the riot, a senior administration official told Reuters.


That was followed by Ryan Tully, the senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, another senior official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat Governor of Michigan who was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot by violent extremists, said Trump’s recognition he had not won a second term came far too late.

“It’s about damn time,” she told MSBNC. “If he’d done this earlier, lives would have been saved.”

In an editorial on Friday (AEDT) The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and is extremely influential on the US political right, called for Trump to quit.

“If Mr Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign,” the paper’s editorial board said.

“This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr Pence.

“And it would give Mr Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate.”

Earlier on Friday Facebook and Instagram suspended Trump’s accounts “at least” until Biden’s inauguration if not indefinitely.

“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote.

Trump Biden 2020

Understand the election result and its aftermath with expert analysis from US correspondent Matthew Knott. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald‘s newsletter here, The Age‘s here, Brisbane Timeshere and WAtoday‘s here


An earlier version of this story stated that a Capitol police offer had died after the riots. The Capitol police released a statement saying that, contrary to media reports, no officers had died.

Most Viewed in World


Source link