US election: Donald Trump breaks silence, acknowledges Joe Biden’s victory

President Donald Trump has broke his silence in the wake of the Capitol riots, with a video posted to his Twitter account.

Trump said he was “outraged by the violence” which occurred yesterday in Washington DC, calling it a “heinous attack”.

“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.

“I immediately deployed the national guard and the federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders,” he said in a video posted to Twitter after his 12-hour ban lapsed.

He said the protesters 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.”

He called America a nation which is and will always be a country of “law and order”.

A day after the riots at the Capitol, Trump said he is now focused on “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition to power”.

“My campaign pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results.”

Trump said all his legal battles against the election results – all of which he lost – were his fight “to defend American democracy”.

“My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy.”

Trump said he continued to believe the US should carry out election reform, but since Congress has now certified the results of the 2020 election, “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20”.

Trump acknowledged Biden’s victory and the fact that a new administration will be sworn into the White House on January 20th.

“My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

In the speech, Trump reflected on the challenges of 2020 and called for unity: “Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together.”

Trump signed off with: “To the citizens of our country, serving you as your president has been the honour of my lifetime. And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed but I also want you to know our incredible journey is only just beginning.”

Over 100 US lawmakers – almost exclusively Democrats – have called for Trump’s removal, either by using the 25th amendment or through impeachment.

They include Presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called on Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

“What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the President,” Schumer said today.

“This president should not hold office one day longer.

“If the vice-president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

The New York Times is reporting that Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency.

Two people with knowledge of the discussions said that in “several” conversations since the election, Trump told advisers that he is considering giving himself a pardon.

It was not clear whether he had broached the topic since he incited his supporters to march on the Capitol.

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