Outgoing President Donald Trump wished the new administration “luck” as he gave his farewell address today, but didn’t bother to mention his successor Joe Biden by name.
“This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous,” Trump said in his address.
"We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck – a very important word."
Trump also said the movement he started was “only the beginning”, suggesting he may still hold belief he has a future in politics
“Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” he said.
“There’s never been anything like it. The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day.”
Former Republican policy advisor Lanhee Chen said Trump’s message suggested he may still hold belief he has a future in politics.
“[Trump] is trying to set the stage for what he might do next... hinting at a future career or additional forays into American politics,” he told Channel Seven’s Sunrise.
In his address he also said “millions of hardworking patriots” had built the “greatest political movement” in US history.
Trump’s final days in office have been overshadowed by the fact he became the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Trump boasted about his fondest achievements while in office, and signed off saying he was optimistic about the country’s future.
Since losing the election, Trump has continued to say it was “stolen” from him, despite Biden winning both the Electoral College and popular vote.
Trump’s claims were refuted by several courts and key Republicans.
As Ben Riley-Smith, the US editor of The Daily Telegraph, pointed out on Twitter, Trump did not admit defeat in the address.
“Acknowledging a new admin will take over is different from admitting defeat – the former fits his 'steal' narrative, the latter would not,” he said.
Trump also does not admit election defeat in his farewell address.
(Acknowledging a new admin will take over is different from admitting defeat - the former fits his 'steal' narrative, the latter would not)
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 19, 2021
Along with not acknowledging Biden by name, Trump will not attend the inauguration, nor will he be meeting with him before the ceremony.
Completely omitting Biden’s name from the 20-minute-long address did not go unnoticed.
“Trump has no courage, he’s embarrassed to go,” one person remarked on Twitter.
“The true Trump comes through one more time. He can’t even say Joe Biden’s name.”
A fair few people thought by not naming Biden, Trump was being “petty”.
Trump urges to unity around “shared values”
Another name Trump did not mention, was the Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died during the riot at the Capitol.
Trump did speak of the January 6 insurrection during his farewell, which was carried out by his followers.
“All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol,” he said.
“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.
“Now more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancour, and forge our common destiny.”
Trump does not mention the name of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick in his 20-minute farewell remarks.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 19, 2021
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell explicitly placed blame on Trump for the riot at the Capitol, when he addressed the Senate on Tuesday (local time).
McConnell said Trump’s supporters were “fed lies”, while referring to them as “the mob”.
“They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like,” he said.
Trump speaks of Covid ‘accomplishments’ as 400,000 die
Trump campaigned on a pledge to "Make America Great Again".
He leaves office with nearly 400,000 people dead from the coronavirus, after downplaying the risk, and an economy struggling from the pandemic, and relationships strained with key US allies.
“We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all,” Trump said.
President-elect Biden will also face the daunting task of overseeing the nation's Covid-19 vaccine distribution and administration.
The US is trailing in its vaccination goal, with only 12.3 million shots administered out of more than 31 million distributed as of January 15.
With Reuters and The Associated Press
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