Trump insists his 'movement' is 'just beginning' in farewell address to nation
As the smoke clears from this month's pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol, the president reminded his supporters that their movement is “just beginning” in a farewell speech to the nation.
“Now, as I 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 in his farewell talk.
He also wished the Biden administration luck.
“This week we inaugurate a new administration, and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and want them to have luck, a very important word,” he said in his speech from the White House, even as his skips the symbolic transfer of power at the inauguration.
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The speech didn't address the new president by name, nor does it acknowledge or apologize for Mr Trump's role in riling up a group of supporters just before they stormed the Capitol. (Even the Republican outgoing Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell recently said “the mob was fed lies” and “ they were provoked by the president. ”)
Instead, the president, who told supporters “ you'll never take back our country with weakness ” in a speech just before the attack, while top surrogates like Rudy Giuliani called for a “ trial by combat ” over the election, painted the events more abstractly.
“All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol,” he said. “Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.”
Mr Trump also thanked vice president Mike Pence and his family, despite reported tensions between the two men after Mr Pence declined the president's wishes to halt a ceremonial certification of the election results the day of the Capitol riot. (Mr Pence is reportedly attending the Biden inauguration , as is the common tradition, instead of Mr Trump's unprecedented personal send-off ceremony the same day.)
The president, who spent months railing against the election with baseless conspiracy theories and insisting he won before conceding in January, and years before that launching brutal partisan attacks, appears to be rewriting his record to emphasize a bipartisan spirit that rarely if ever materialized while he held the White House.
“Now more than ever we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor and forge our common destiny,” he told Americans.