President Donald Trump has conceded defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
In a video message posted Thursday to his official Twitter account, Trump condemned the violence and riots at the U.S. Capitol and committed to a peaceful and orderly transition of power.
Trump described his supporters' attack on the Capitol as "heinous" and said that he was "outraged" by the violence. The commander-in-chief said that he deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to quell the riot, noting that those who engage in violent acts "do not represent our country."
Those who broke the law "will pay," he added, calling on all Americans to remain calm.
Trump then pointed out that his campaign "vigorously pursued every legal avenue" to overturn the results of the election. He said that his only goal was to "defend American democracy," calling for reforms in election laws.
"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power," he continued, noting that the U.S. Congress has certified Democrat Joe Biden's victory.
"To the citizens of our country: Serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime."Trump addressed his supporters, saying that he realizes they are disappointed. However, he noted that his decision to concede and leave office does not mark the end of his project, but only the beginning.
Trump also addressed the ongoing crises that have paralyzed the United States and the rest of the world, namely the coronavirus pandemic.
"This moment calls for healing and reconciliation," he said, describing the past year as one of the most challenging in history and issuing a call for unity.
"Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on Earth will require all of us working together."Trump has spent the past two months contesting the electoral process and blaming Biden's victory on unprecedented, widespread voter fraud. Courts across the nation, including the Supreme Court, rejected his campaign's lawsuits.
The commander-in-chief has also put pressure on Republican officials and lawmakers to overturn the results of the race. Some of them participated in the doomed effort, which culminated on Wednesday when a large group of pro-Trump protesters violently invaded the Capitol building.
As the riots progressed, Trump posted a video message to his supporters, telling them to disperse and go home. The video was later removed from Twitter and other social media platforms, which characterized Trump's repeated claims of a "stolen" presidential race as an incitement to violence.