With 13 days left in his term, President Donald Trump finally bent to reality on Thursday amid growing talk of trying to force him out early, acknowledging he’ll peacefully leave after Congress affirmed his defeat.
Trump led off a video from the White House by condemning the violence carried out in his name a day earlier at the Capitol. Then, for the first time, he admitted that his presidency would soon end — though he declined to mention President-elect Joe Biden by name or explicitly state that he had lost.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country,” he said. “And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”