President Donald Trump said there will be “an orderly transition on January 20th” minutes after Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election in a joint session early Thursday morning.
Trump railed against the 2020 election as “fraudulent” as recently as Wednesday afternoon, even as pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Trump said in November that he would “certainly” leave office if the Electoral College certified a Biden win. His statement, published in the early hours of Thursday morning, is Trump’s first formal acknowledgement that Biden will assume office January 20th.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition of power on January 20th,” Trump said in the statement. “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 is only the beginning of our fight to make America great again.” (RELATED: Editorial Board: Patriots Do Not Storm Their Nation’s Capitol)
President Trump agrees to an orderly transition of power Jan 20th but fails to accept defeat or congratulate his duly elected successor. He also fails to accept responsibility or acknowledge his part in the violence of this day. pic.twitter.com/VvactrsNmV
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) January 7, 2021
Trump had urged Vice President Mike Pence for weeks to “decertify” key electoral college votes to overturn Biden’s win. Pence, however, has no such authority and broke with the president when presiding over the counting of the Electoral College votes.
Democrats and many Republicans have argued that he incited the pro-Trump mob that laid siege to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
The attack caused a wave of resignations within the administration, and Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is drafting articles of impeachment. Reports suggest members of Trump’s own Cabinet have discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.