Donald Trump has finally condemned the mayhem caused by his supporters in the US Capitol, saying they do not represent America, as the beleaguered president vowed to ensure a “smooth, orderly and seamless” transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
In a new video message, a day after he urged the crowds to head for the Capitol, where they forced their way inside, Trump said America is, and must always be a nation of law and order.
“Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the national guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders,” Trump said in the recorded video posted on YouTube on Thursday and released by the White House.
The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy, he said.
“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 emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled, and calm restored,” he said.
Delivered in monotone and read from a teleprompter, Trump’s remarks bore little resemblance to those on Wednesday, in which he told his rioting supporters, “We love you.”
In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday and clashed with police, resulting in four deaths and interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the November 3 election.
Trump, who is facing pressure from members of his Republican Party and a pontential impeachment, also accepted the result of the election and pledged a smooth transition of power to Biden.
Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20. Amidst the chaos and violence, US Congress on Thursday early morning verified the Electoral College victory of Biden and Harris.
“Now, Congress has certified the results a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” Trump said. “We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote and so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy,” said the outgoing president.