Just hours after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, Donald Trump released a statement that acknowledged Congress's certification of the electoral college vote. The statement came early on the morning of Jan. 7 and capped 24 hours of news that saw the president encourage his supporters to disrupt the certification process in Congress. Now, many want to know what Trump's statement actually said.
Did Donald Trump concede the election?
Although Trump's statement acknowledged that Congress had certified the results and promised an orderly transition of power, he did not concede defeat. "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20," Trump said in the statement, which was released through Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino's Twitter account.
"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted," the statement continued. "While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again."
Instead of conceding, Trump once again baselessly asserted that the election had been decided unjustly.
Trump's statement came after a wave of resignations.
The promise of a peaceful transition of power was far from assured through much of the day on Jan. 6, as insurrectionists, acting in part based on the president's encouragement, stormed the Capitol and forced both chambers of Congress into an emergency recess.
Following the disruption, Trump faced a wave of resignations for the role many in his administration feel he played in the violence, which left at least one woman dead.
According to reporting on CNN, Trump released his statement promising an orderly transition of power in part to stop this wave of resignations, which included the First Lady's chief of staff, the White House social secretary, the deputy press secretary, and the deputy national security advisor. There has also been reporting suggesting that some cabinet officials are discussing invoking the 25th amendment, which would allow them to remove Trump from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Trump's statement was meant to signal that the days leading up to Biden's inauguration should proceed without any additional incidents. Even so, it came almost two months after Biden's victory was clear and after violence had already broken out in the nation's capital.
Earlier in the day, Trump addressed the supporters who would eventually halt proceedings in Congress. "We're going to walk down to the Capitol. And we're gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering, so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong," he told the assembled crowd.
Trump released a video later in the day encouraging his followers to "go home," but the video also reinforced the notion that the election had been stolen. The president has yet to condemn the violence that occurred in the halls of the Capitol on Jan. 6.