After two months of desperate efforts not to concede defeat in the U.S presidential election, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he is committing to smooth transition on January 20.
In a statement published on his spokesperson’s Twitter account, the billionaire-turned president said the greatest first term in presidential history comes to the end.
Meanwhile social media majors Facebook and Twitter temporarily blocked Trump’s accounts on their platforms after his supporters clashed with police in the Capitol Hill.
Here is the full text of the statement by Trump on the Electoral Certification, posted on his spokesperson Dan Scavino’s Twitter wall:
“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 .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!”
Trump’s first open statement indicating that he is ready to leave the White House comes after his followers’ violent attempt to block the Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory and more than 60 legal cases by Trump’s campaign team challenging the November result failed.
Late Wednesday, a joint session of Congress certified the election victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, clearing the final hurdle for the Democrat leaders to become the next president and vice-president of the United States, respectively.
The confirmation after counting the Electoral College votes was only a formality, but unexpected developments delayed the process earlier in the day.
As members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives convened, dozens of Trump-supporters stormed the Capitol and disrupted the proceedings. Four people, including one woman shot by police, died in the rampage.
Chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump resigned Wednesday afternoon with immediate effect.
The Congress reconvened at around 8 pm after the building was cleared. Republicans introduced motions raising objections to the electoral votes in Pennsylvania and Arizona, but both the chambers voted them out without debate.
The session certified the original vote tally – Biden’s 306 votes to Trump’s 232.
World leaders and former officials who have worked closely with Donald Trump condemned the storming of Congress.
Biden said he is shocked and saddened that “our nation, so long a beacon of light, hope, and democracy has come to such a dark moment”. “To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, and to threaten the safety of duly elected officials is not protest. It is insurrection, the President-elect said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr Trump,” former Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement.
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly tweeted that the United States “needs to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land”. He said candidates’ character, morals, ethical record, and integrity should be examined more closely.
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