US President Donald Trump has conceded the 2020 presidential election and condemned violent actions that unfolded at the US Capitol the day prior in a video address on Thursday night
Trump’s address marked the very first since his Twitter locked his account for 12 hours over what the social media platform considered a violation of its policy rules. The remarks came less than two hours after White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a press briefing in which she voiced the first official condemnation from the White House of the violent riots.
“Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” Trump said in the video address. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.”
“And to those who broke the law, you will pay,” he added, before noting that “we must get on with the business of America.”
“Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” he continued. “This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Recalling the many legal challenges submitted across several US states in a bid to contest the results of the US election, Trump remarked that his “only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote.” He stressed that his intentions were “to defend American democracy.”
“We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family,” he said, before adding to his “wonderful supporters” that their “incredible journey is only just beginning.”