President Trump has just released a statement committing to “an orderly transition on January 20th” but repeating his unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
“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 20th,” he said, in a comment published on his spokesperson’s Twitter account. Twitter has temporarily blocked the president from using his own account, reports BBC.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. 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!” he added.
More than 60 legal cases by Trump’s campaign team challenging the November result have failed.
Former White House officials condemn Trump
Earlier today, two former officials who have worked closely with Donald Trump joined political leaders in condemning the storming of Congress. Former Defence Secretary James Mattis directly accused Trump of stoking the violence.
“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr Trump,” he said in a statement. He also said Trump had been “enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”
Mattis resigned from his position in 2018 after disagreeing with president over the war in Syria. He also sharply criticised Trump’s response in July to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff John Kelly posted on Twitter that the US “needs to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land”. He said candidates’ character, morals, ethical record, and integrity should be examined more closely.
He singled out President-elect Joe Biden’s remarks to the nation about the violence on the Capitol as “presidential”. The retired general resigned from the White House in 2018 and, like Mattis, has since publicly criticised Trump.