President Donald Trump says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Mr Trump said in a statement tweeted by his social media director Dan Scavino: “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 added: “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.”
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:
“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. I have always said we would continue our…
— Dan Scavino🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021
Mr Trump has spent the past two months refusing to concede the election and making baseless allegations of mass voter fraud that have been rejected by dozens of courts and Republican officials, including his former attorney-general.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the formal session that ended early on Thursday morning with tallying the electoral college vote.
After debate the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Mr Biden receiving 306 votes and Mr Trump 232.
Vice President Pence, in declaring the final vote totals behind Mr Biden’s victory, said this “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States”.
Mr Trump, who had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest against lawmakers’ actions, expressed empathy for the mob that violently forced its way inside, clashed with police and forced lawmakers into hiding.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump wrote in a message that was later deleted by Twitter.
He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
In an earlier video he had praised the protesters as “special” people and said he understood their pain.
Twitter later locked his account for the first time as it demanded he remove the tweets and threatened “permanent suspension”.