President Donald Trump released a video on Thursday saying he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power and condemning his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attack just the day before.
But Trump reportedly came to regret putting out the message and said privately that he would not heed bipartisan calls to resign. The New York Times (via Business Insider) reported that Trump had a more defiant tone after releasing the message, saying that he planned to stay in office and had plans to remain a powerful force in American politics.
In the message, he acknowledged that Joe Biden would be sworn in as president, but he did not acknowledge the legitimacy of Biden’s victory after months of claiming it was won through fraud.
“In the video Trump reportedly now regrets, he did not repeat the unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud that he has spread since losing the election,” the report noted.
Trump has faced significant fallout, with even many allies condemning his role in the attack on the Capitol. Just before the siege took place, Trump spoke to a rally of supporters, repeating his unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him and imploring the group to march to the Capitol, telling them he would be with them. Trump instead returned to the White House, where he reportedly watched with excitement as his supporters surrounded the building and forced their way inside.
Later that day, he released a taped response, telling the attackers to go home but continuing to falsely insist that a victory was stolen from him. Trump faced criticism for this video, in which he spoke to the attackers in effusive terms.
“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace,” he said, via Reason.
“We love you. You’re very special. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil but go home and go home in peace.”
In his remaining days in office, Trump will face a hasty effort to remove him from the White House. Democrats have announced plans to move forward with what would be a second impeachment, though it appears unlikely to play out in time. As The Inquisitr reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a memo to Republicans outlining the procedure for impeachment, showing a timeline that would take them to beyond Biden’s inauguration.