President Donald Trump Thursday night acknowledged that a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20 and he will focus on “ensuring smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
The president’s comments in a video released Thursday night on Twitter, comes a day after a crowd of pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election. After the building was secured, Congress confirmed the results. President-elect Joe Biden will succeed President Trump on January 20.
Full text of Trump’s statement:
I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. 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. America is and must always be a nation of law and order. 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.
We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My 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 the faith and confidence in all future elections.
Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.
2020 has been a challenging time for our people. A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy and claimed countless lives. Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family. We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family.
To the citizens of our country, serving as your president have been the honor of my lifetime. 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.
Trump on Friday said he will not attend the inauguration.
Earlier Thursday, U.S. Sens. Boozman and Cotton and U.S. Rep. Westerman released statements on what occurred Wednesday at the Capitol.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas):
“The events that transpired in Washington were not only shocking and unlawful, but represent a dark moment in our country’s history that we must reckon with today and in the days to come.
“The Constitution gives every American the right to peaceably assemble and protest. It does not condone or provide for opportunities to sow chaos or provoke insurrection. Sadly, many of the demonstrators in the nation’s capital yesterday failed to live up to this obligation, and an alarming number willfully participated in an attack on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to thwart the constitutional responsibilities of Congress. ‘The People’s House’ is the place where the will of our citizenry is rightfully expressed through its elected representatives –– not a forum for mob rule and anarchy. The perpetrators of this despicable attack should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. It is also incumbent on every American to soberly recognize that the divisions in our society have reached a place beyond troubling, and we must prayerfully and diligently work to mend those divides so that what occurred yesterday is never repeated, or worse.
“This assault is not the final word, however. Congress was not intimidated or cowed. We eventually reconvened and ultimately certified the vote of the Electoral College, performing our prescribed constitutional duty. Amid the mayhem, there were countless acts of heroism and compassion on behalf of law enforcement, first responders, Members of Congress, our support staff and others. As we always do in times of uncertainty and trouble, Americans helped each other, prayed for one another and demonstrated that what united our ancestors over two centuries ago can still bring us together today.
“We all, as Americans, deserved better than what we experienced –– a disturbing, demoralizing and entirely avoidable episode. We must pray for healing, and we must pledge to demand better from each other. This incident cannot define us, but it must persuade us that choosing a different and better course –– one that lives up to the high ideals which have reliably sustained the United States and inspired our exceptional story –– is the only path forward.”
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas):
“Last summer, as insurrection gripped the streets, I called to send in the troops if necessary to restore order. Today, insurrectionists occupied our Capitol. Fortunately, the Capitol Police and other law-enforcement agencies restored order without the need for federal troops. But the principle remains the same: no quarter for insurrectionists. Those who attacked the Capitol today should face the full extent of federal law.
It’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence. And the senators and representatives who fanned the flames by encouraging the president and leading their supporters to believe that their objections could reverse the election results should withdraw those objections. In any event, the Congress will complete its constitutional responsibilities tonight.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas):
While members of Congress were peaceably and constitutionally debating the electoral votes yesterday, rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in death, destruction and a national disgrace. This is unacceptable, and I condemn these actions in the strongest terms.
The Constitution explicitly outlines that federal elections are state legislatures’ responsibility, giving Congress a final check with a provision to object to electors. I’ve said all along that we should let our court system work, and I supported a variety of legal challenges to investigate election fraud allegations. However, I did not object to the final count of electors.
Last night’s failed votes in Congress did nothing to change the outcome of the Nov. 3 election, nor could they have changed it had they passed. As much as we may not like the results of an election, resorting to mob rule is wholly un-American. We can – we must – be better than this.
Through some of our country’s darkest days, we’ve maintained a peaceful transition of power. This year should be no different. We cannot flirt with undoing the very foundation of our Constitution and pretend that it will all work out in the end.
My oath was not to defend a party or a person, it was to defend the Constitution of the United States. I will never stop fighting for the Constitution and conservative ideals in Congress, and I know many of you feel as though your voice isn’t being heard. It is, but changes must be done through the appropriate channels. Now, more than ever, we need to demonstrate strong leadership and work to restore trust in our election process through independent audits, oversight and more.
This much is clear: what happened yesterday on many different levels must never happen again.
Westerman represents Arkansas’, District 4, which includes most of Southeast Arkansas.
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas)
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, the lone member of Arkansas’ delegation to object to the certification election results, also condemned the actions by those who stormed the Capitol.
On Tuesday, the day before the melee at the Capitol, he Tweeted:
“Tomorrow, I will be voting in support of the objections being raised about results in some states where significant doubts remain about the process of awarding Electoral Votes. Failing to address this now, as it happens, could have ramifications on future elections.”
Condemning those who breached the Capitol, he Tweeted:
“The actions by those who are lawlessly and forcefully entering the Capitol are disgraceful and reprehensible. I condemn those whose actions are endangering the Capitol Hill Police, other LEO personnel, Members, staff, and employees of the Capitol.”
Crawford represents Arkansas’, District 1 which includes a portion of Southeast Arkansas.