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President Trump posted a video to Twitter on Thursday emphasizing that he will ensure a smooth transition of power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden.
“I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol,” Trump began in the video message. “Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and Federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is, and must always be a nation of law and order.”
His message follows the riots that took place on Wednesday at U.S. Capitol Hill, where large groups of pro-Trump supporters smashed windows and broke into offices in an attempt to thwart a peaceful transition of power to the Democratic administration.
Twitter temporarily froze Trump’s account hours after his supporters stormed the Capitol building. After 12 hours, the account was re-activated.
Trump went on to say, “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country and to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
Trump continued his speech by saying, “We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued eery legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. And so doing i was fighting to defend American democracy. “
Trump said that he strongly believes that we must “reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections.” He then acknowledged the incoming Biden administration: “Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
He noted that the year 2020 was a “challenging” time for people, with a “menacing” pandemic that “upended the lives of our citizens and isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy and claimed countless lives.” In order to move forward will “require all of us working together,” Trump added. “We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family.”
Trump ended his speech by expressing how serving as the President of the United States has been “the honor of my lifetime.” “And to all my wonderful supporters I know that you are disappointed. But I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning. Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.”
On Friday, Trump returned to Twitter to say that he planned to skip Biden’s inauguration.
View the whole video below.
Jan. 8, 8 a.m. Updated to include Trump’s Friday tweet.
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