Donald Trump made his first remarks on Thursday night (via teleprompter) after inciting his supporters to violence and riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Trump’s speech comes as more than 200 lawmakers called for his removal from office, whether it be by invocation of the 25th Amendment or by impeachment.
Said Trump: “I’d like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. 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. America is and must always be a nation of law and order.”
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump continued. “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. We have just been through an intense election, and the emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”
“We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” Trump said. “My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American Democracy. I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and the eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections. Now Congress has certified the results. And a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20.”
“My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” Trump added. “This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. 2020 has been a challenging time for our people. A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy and claimed countless lives. 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. We 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,” Trump claimed. “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.”