Trump, in farewell message hails his ‘America First’ platform
US President Donald Trump has released a farewell video, hyping what he described as the success of his “America First” platform and telling his supporters that “the movement we started is only just beginning”.
Trump, who will leave office on Wednesday but will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, acknowledged in the nearly 20-minute video that a new administration would be sworn in this week.
“We extend our best wishes,” he said. “And we also want them to have luck. A very important word.
“Now, as we prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” he said.
Trump, who has maintained that November’s presidential election was “stolen” from him amid widespread voter fraud, described himself on Tuesday as “the only true outsider ever to win the presidency”.
He only acknowledged he would not serve a second term as president on January 7, a day after his supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden’s victory. The incident left five dead.
Trump has still not explicitly acknowledged that he lost to Biden.
In the video released on Tuesday, Trump condemned the violence on Capitol Hill, saying “all Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol”.
“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.”
Last week, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for “incitement to insurrection” in relation to the riot.
Trump will face a trial in the Senate on the article of impeachment, which will require a two-thirds majority for conviction in the chamber, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.
A guilty vote could also lead to Trump being barred from holding future federal office.
On Tuesday, Trump also thanked his family, his cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence, whom he had specifically pressured in his attempts to overturn the election results.
Trump’s address served as a bookend to his inaugural speech in 2017, where he laid out his vision of leadership based on the concept of “America First”.
Trump also hailed the pre-pandemic US economy and the rate of development of a COVID-19 vaccine under his administration’s Operation Warp Speed, as well as his crackdown on undocumented immigrants and normalisation deals between Israel and Arab states.
Trump is the first president in more than 150 years who will not attend his successor’s inauguration.