In a video shared on social media Thursday evening, more than 24 hours after the riot at the Capitol occurred, Trump finally acknowledged that Biden would be taking over the presidency on Jan. 20. Under pressure, Mr Trump released a recorded statement late on Thursday condemning the storming of the US Capitol as a “heinous attack”.
Meanwhile, House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment next Monday accusing the outgoing president of incitement of insurrection. Nearly 160 House Democrats have signed on to the bill, which was drafted by congressmen Ted Lieu of California and David Bicolline of Rhode Island while they were sheltering in place during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol.
The White House responded in a statement: “A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously said her preference was for Mr Trump to be removed using the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice-president to step up if the president is unable to perform his duties owing to a mental or physical illness.
On Friday, Mrs Pelosi said she had spoken to the top US military official, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to prevent Mr Trump from accessing US nuclear codes. Separately, one of Mrs Pelosi's staff members revealed that a laptop had been stolen from her office during the mob invasion of Congress.
Analysis box by Anthony Further, North America reporter Trump's announcement that he will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration, breaking with a long American tradition, should not come as a huge surprise. He only recently, and reluctantly, acknowledged his presidential defeat, after months of unfounded allegations that a landslide electoral victory had been stolen from him.
The terse message, posted on Twitter, will undercut the president's call for “healing and reconciliation” made in the White House video he released last night. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, putting to rest any lingering questions about whether he would go.
At least one prominent Republican, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., publicly implored Trump to attend the inauguration after the tweet, saying that doing so is a critical part of the tradition of peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. NBC News reported last month that Trump was discussing the possibility of announcing a campaign to retake the White House in 2024 on Inauguration Day and skipping the swearing-in of his successor.
That statement Thursday was a remarkable about-face from the video he released Wednesday shortly after rioters stormed the Capitol following a Trump rally, disrupting Congress as it was formally affirming Biden's Electoral College victory. President Trump says he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden ’s inauguration, breaking from a longstanding tradition in American politics.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted on Friday morning. Trump ’s decision comes less than 24 hours after he called for an “orderly” transition of power between the two administrations on Thursday afternoon.
My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Trump said in the Thursday video.
Many people, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers, are calling for Trump ’s removal using the 25th Amendment after the attempted coup of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday. Five people have died since the siege on the Capitol, including one police officer who succumbed to his injuries on Thursday.
One woman was shot by police during the breach of the Capitol, and three more died from apparent medical emergencies, according to CNN. More than 50 officers were injured, and police made more than 60 arrests for gun possession, curfew violations and unlawful entry into the building.
In a video message released after the attack on Wednesday, Trump told the violent rioters to “go home. Congress confirmed Biden ’s victory after the attack on the Capitol, despite Trump ’s fierce and baseless claims that he had won and that there had been rampant voter fraud.
“It's a good thing he's not showing up,” Biden said Friday at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware. Richard Nixon left the White House after resigning and did not go to Gerald Ford’s swearing-in.
Asked if Pence should attend his inauguration, Biden said it's important to stick to historical precedence “as much as we can.” Biden's inauguration will be a scaled-down event because of the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
3:39Video shows extent of damage, disarray inside US Capitol building following riot Video shows extent of damage, disarray inside US Capitol building following riot Thursday, Trump finally acknowledged his election loss to Biden, coming as close as he ever has before to conceding.
Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power. Trump, who had repeatedly refused to concede the election, said in a statement immediately after the vote that there will be a smooth transition of power on Inauguration Day.
“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,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide. During the incursion on Wednesday, the nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building in one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power.
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden ’s victory. Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump ’s four years in office.
The support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails. Congress reconvened late Wednesday, with lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden ’s election, even if it took all night.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. The president gave his supporters a boost into action Wednesday morning at a rally outside the White House, where he urged them to march to the Capitol.
Tensions were already running high when lawmakers gathered early Wednesday afternoon for the constitutionally mandated counting of the Electoral College results. Trump spent the lead-up to the proceedings publicly hectoring Pence, who had a largely ceremonial role, to aid the effort to throw out the results.
Protesters had fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls, many without masks during the COVID-19 crisis. The woman who was killed was part of a crowd that was breaking down the doors to a barricaded room where armed officers stood on the other side, police said.
The mob’s storming of Congress prompted outrage, mostly from Democrats but from Republicans as well, as lawmakers accused Trump of fomenting the violence with his relentless falsehoods about election fraud. Several suggested that Trump be prosecuted for a crime or even removed under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which seemed unlikely two weeks from when his term expires.
Despite Trump ’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. Punctuating their resolve, both the House and Senate soundly rejected an objection to election results from Arizona, which had been raised by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Goal, R-Ariz., and another from Pennsylvania brought by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Zeke Miller, Kevin Freeing, Alan From, Matthew Day, Padmananda Rama, Ben Fox and Ashraf Khalil in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report. “ Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked previously certify,” he tweeted.
“I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol,” he uttered is his video message. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.
The video, one of several Trump has posted from the White House in recent weeks, was the latest effort to get hold of the fallout from the chaos that unfolded Wednesday when a mob attacked the Capitol and disrupted the counting of Electoral College votes. While Trump appeared to relent in his effort to overturn the election he hinted, at the end of the video, that he continued to see a future in politics.
The president's condemnation of the violence was a major departure from his comments just 24 hours earlier when he told supporters to “go home in peace” but also praised them for their defiance. Earlier Wednesday, Trump told supporters at the rally near the White House he would “never concede” while repeating baseless claims of election fraud.
But the political landscape has shifted significantly since then, with Democrats and even some of his former allies arguing Trump should be removed from office either through an invocation of the 25th Amendment or an impeachment. Michael Sherwin, the top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., on Thursday declined to rule out the possibility that Trump and others could face criminal charges for inciting the violence.
Trump in Thursday's video claimed credit for “immediately” deploying National Guard troops during the violence, but Maryland Gov. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller released a statement Wednesday saying he and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Miller spoke separately to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers before activating the D.C. National Guard.