The President had been refusing to concede since Joe Biden was declared as the President-elect.
Donald Trump has finally agreed to concede what has been a very controversial US election. In a video released on Twitter on Thursday evening, January 7, the President accepted the smooth and formal transition of power as he said, "A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation."
According to CBS News, the video comes following the violent protests on the U.S. Capitol by rioters on Wednesday, January 6. Republican leaders and Cabinet officials told CNN that Trump should be removed from office. While four of them said that the 25th Amendment should be invoked, two said that the President should be impeached. "He has to be impeached and removed," said a currently elected Republican official.
The invoking of the 25th Amendment would result in Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet voting in favor of removing Trump from the office due to his inability to "discharge the powers and duties of his office." Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican member of Congress became the first one to ask for Trump's removal. "It's time to invoke the 25th Amendment and end this nightmare," he said in a video shared on Twitter.
It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked. My statement: pic.twitter.com/yVyQrYcjuD— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 7, 2021
Before Trump asked the rioters to "go home" he told them, "We love you. You're very special," as per CNN. But in the speech Trump made on Thursday, he said that he was "outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem" that took place in the U.S. Capitol. He then claimed that he "immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders." However, according to the New York Times, it was Vice President Mike Pence who gave the orders to the National Guard.
He continued that 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. And to those who broke the law, you will pay."
Adding that "tempers must be cooled and calm restored," the President said that when he filed lawsuits in order to challenge the election results, his 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 eligibility of all voters, and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections."
The President says that his focus has now shifted to other important matters. "Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20," he said. "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power," Discussing how defeating the coronavirus would "require all of us working together," he added, "serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime."
He concluded his speech by saying, "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. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America."