- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2021

President Trump formally conceded the presidential election Thursday night.

In his first comments on Congress certifying the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Mr. Trump said serving as president “has been the honor of my lifetime”

But he acknowledged that Congress has certified Mr. Biden’s victory and said, “a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.”

“My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power,” Mr. Trump said in a video address posted on his restored Twitter account. “This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

The outgoing president said that “we have just been through an intense election and emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”



His comments came a day after he told a massive crowd of supporters in Washington, which then stormed the U.S. Capitol, that he would “never concede” the election.

The crowd marched at Mr. Trump’s urging to the Capitol, where thousands fought with police, stormed the building and forced their way in to stop lawmakers from counting the Electoral College results. A woman was shot and killed by police in the melee, while three other people died from medical emergencies. Dozens were arrested.

Mr. Trump said the demonstrators “defiled the seat of American democracy.”

“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence lawlessness and mayhem,” Mr. Trump said. “You do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law — you will pay.”

Mr. Trump did not accept any responsibility for the episode, although his former attorney general has blamed him for inciting a mob.

“My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” Mr. Trump said. “My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy.”

He said he still thinks 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.”

The past year has been “a challenging time for our people,” the president said.

“A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy, and claimed countless lives,” Mr. Trump said. “Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family.”

He said the nation “must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family.”

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

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