Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to halt the Congressional certification of the electoral votes on Wednesday, a riot which left 4 people dead. Congress reconvened and, in a late-night announcement, declared Biden the official winner of the November election.
Read DonaldTrump's full speech below: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.
President Donald Trump acknowledged on Thursday that a “new administration” was set to enter the White House as President-elect Joe Biden is expected to be inaugurated on January 20. Tasos Katopodis/Getty have just been through an intense election and emotions are high. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results.
My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family.
The tightly scripted remarks were almost certainly prompted by the parade of resignations from his administration that followed his supporters’ siege of the Capitol to disrupt the transition proceedings on Wednesday. Watching news reports that members of his cabinet were discussing using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment for the first time to remove a president from office might have affected him.
Vanity Fair has reported that lawyer Pat Cipollone, who represented Trump through his impeachment trial, was advising Wednesday of the danger of being prosecuted for treason. He said, contrary to reports that he resisted deploying the National Guard (and his acting defense secretary’s statement on who was consulted), that he sent them in “immediately.” He stuck to his script in the remarks, a script clearly written to distance him from the mob scene he himself had inspired, and to demonstrate a commitment to handing over power to Joe Biden without stirring up further chaos.
As the attack was ongoing, the Republican chose to make matters worse by issuing a video from the White House, professing his “love” for the rioters, calling them “very special people,” and telling them how just their cause was. About 24 hours later, Trump reversed course, issuing a new video in which he effectively conceded the race he lost two months ago.
What's more, in the new video, Trump condemned the insurrectionist mob as “heinous,” and claimed to be “outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” which is the opposite of what he told the public a day earlier. As a rule, this is soon followed by a fresh round of scandalous sincerity, in which Trump contradicts the script.
There were plenty of pundits reflecting late yesterday on Trump's shift in “tone,” but make no mistake: this new video is about strategy, not sincerity. After facing intense criticism for inciting his supporters and justifying the siege, Trump now says he is “outraged” by it: “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol has defiled the seat of American democracy.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment on Thursday and threatened to begin impeachment proceedings if he declines to do so. On Monday’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” Fallon’s editing team devised a clever way to force Trump to deliver a concession speech after losing the election to former Vice President Joe Biden earlier this month.
The president so far has refused to accept the results, falsely claiming that the outcome was influenced by fraud, without any evidence, and filing lawsuits disputing the election process in multiple states. “Even though Trump ’s lawsuits keep getting tossed out, it’s clear the president’s not planning to concede anytime soon,” Fallon said Monday.
Cue a heavily edited montage strategically excerpting nuggets of truth and other out-of-context remarks from previous Trump speeches. “My fellow Americans, a short time ago, Joe Biden beat me in the election,” three different Trumps begin the video, relay-style.
The Greatest dream in the world is that Joe Biden wins because the winner of this vote was decided by a fair and open election. At press time, President-elect Biden has amassed 290 electoral votes after winning the key battleground states of Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
“That might be as close to a concession speech as we’re going to get, folks,” Fallon joked on “The Tonight Show.” “But it was short-lived, because he went on to say, ‘I concede NOTHING,’ and ‘I WON THE ELECTION.’” “As the pandemic gets worse, President Trump is making it even tougher for President-elect Biden to deal with the crisis,” Fallon said.
Saturday Night Live/Screenshot by CNET Maya Rudolph and Jim Carry, who've been playing Harris and Biden across several episodes during the presidential race, recreated the pair's victory speeches in Delaware. He then sat behind a piano and sang a slowed-down version of The Village People's Macho Man, a song that's featured at Trump rallies.
The latest episode of SNL aired around 12 hours after major news networks called the election outcome. SNL have been sending up all aspects of the race, including the infamous fly that landed on Mike Pence's head during the vice presidential debate with Harris in October.