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Outgoing President Donald Trump has released a statement promising an orderly transition of power, while still perpetuating baseless claims after a mob of his supporters terrorised the US Capitol.
Trump’s Twitter account has been suspended, but the statement was released by his social media director, Dan Scavino, about 4am (local time) on Thursday as Vice President Mike Pence announced Congress had certified Joe Biden’s election as president.
“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,” the tweet said.
“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.”
After being violently interrupted by the Trump supporters on Wednesday, local time, Congress confirmed Joe Biden’s win.
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:
“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. I have always said we would continue our...
— Dan Scavino🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021
Since the election, where he lost both the electoral college and the popular vote, Trump has refused to concede, instead he has made several baseless claims about widespread voter fraud.
Several courts rejected Trump’s lawsuits, as did Republican officials, including his former attorney general.
The violence seen at the Capitol on Wednesday was incited by Trump.
“After this, we’re going to walk down — and I’ll be there with you — we’re going to walk down, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol,” Trump said to his supporters during a speech before the blatant attack on democracy ensued.
“We’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.”
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said the ordeal was an “attempted coup d’état”, which was incited by the president.
“We are in an unprecedented moment when a president who is willing to conspire with mobs to bring down his own government,” he told The Associated Press.
“This is totally against the idea of democracy for which the nation has stood for over two centuries.”
On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden said the mob which descended on the Capitol should not be referred to as protesters, but rather “a riotous mob - insurrectionists, domestic terrorists”.
Trump believes Pence ‘stabbed him in the back’
Vice President Mike Pence presided over Congress as it confirmed Biden’s win. He was once Trump’s most loyal lieutenant.
While Pence has spent the last four years standing by the president, he defied Trump’s wishes to dispute the election results.
As Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, the US president lashed out at Pence, who he had promised the mob would “come through for us”, on Twitter.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump tweeted.
A former senior administration offical who was aware of the president’s private conversations said Trump was upset with “the Pence betrayal”, The Washington Post reported.
“All day, it was a theme of, ‘I made this guy, I saved him from a political death, and here he stabbed me in the back,’” the official said.
Following the riot, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma confirmed to Tulsa World Pence was also furious.
“I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” the senator said.
“I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
While Trump did not condemn the actions of the terrorists, instead saying they were “special”, Pence did tweet the destruction “Must Stop and it Must Stop Now”.
The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 6, 2021
Calls for Trump to be removed
Lawmakers from both parties are now openly discussing the removal of Trump, though he will be exiting the White House regardless on January 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if he wasn’t removed, the House may move forward with a second impeachment.
Pelosi told a news conference she is waiting for a decision from Vice President Mike Pence and other Cabinet officials.
She challenged several of them by name, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“Do they stand by these actions?” Pelosi asked.
“Are they ready to say that for the next 13 days this dangerous man can do further harm to our country?”
It’s not just Democrats who are calling for either impeachment or the 25th Amendment to be invoked, Republicans are also claiming Trump is simply unfit to be president.
Republican Adam Kinzinger said on Twitter, Trump “must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily”.
It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked. My statement: pic.twitter.com/yVyQrYcjuD
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 7, 2021
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said while he doesn’t regret his support for the president, Trump needs to accept his role in what unfolded at the Capitol.
On Thursday, Graham said Trump “needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution”.
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