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After a dark day for America, President Donald Trump announced that there would be an “orderly transition on January 20th.”
In the early hours of Thursday morning, the outgoing president indicated he planned to leave office when his term ends on Jan. 20, the acknowledgement coming hours after Congress reconvened, following the Capitol Hill attack from a pro-Trump mob, to conclude the electoral vote count and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump, who has been widely criticized for inciting Wednesday’s violent and illegal attack — which sent lawmakers, including his own Vice President Mike Pence, running for cover and eventually evacuating the U.S. Capitol amid the congressional proceedings; and resulting in four deaths — released a statement via social media director Dan Scavino, since his own Twitter handle had been temporarily disabled by the social media platform for continuing to spread false and baseless claims about the election amid Wednesday’s mayhem. (Twitter, along with Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, eventually removed his message; later on Thursday morning, Facebook took the step to extend their ban for the remainder of his presidency, noting that the risks of allowing his presence on the platform are “simply too great.”)
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” read Trump’s Thursday statement — which still included false claims about the election — posted to Twitter. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
The congressional tally was halted for six hours due to the Capitol attack. Trump, who was widely reportedly to be isolated and disengaged while watching the days events unfold, and his inaction sparked a wave of resignations, including Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff. A number of White House aides were discussing a potential mass resignation in coming days, according to the Associated Press.
Trump’s Thursday statement of defeat came amid circulating reports that some of his Cabinet members had begun informal talks about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. On Thursday morning, presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined a growing list of lawmakers calling for Trump’s removal by asking Pence to invoke the 25th. “This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said in a statement.
Jan. 7, 8 a.m. Updated to include Facebook’s extended ban on Trump.
9:15 a.m. Updated to include Schumer’s statement.
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