President Trump in a video on Thursday condemned the mob that violently stormed the U.S. Capitol one day earlier, saying the rioters "defiled the seat of American democracy."
Why it matters via Axios' Alayna Treene: We're only seeing this concession after his fiercest allies have begun to abandon him
The big picture: Though Trump stressed the country should reform its election laws, he acknowledged a "new administration will be inaugurated on January 20," and said he will focus on a "seamless transition of power."
What they're saying: "The demonstrators who infiltrated the capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy," the president said in his first tweet since his account was locked by the social media company.
- "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.”
- “My campaign vigorously 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 ensure 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."
Of note: Though Trump claimed he “immediately” deployed the National Guard to secure the Capitol, multiple media outlets reported that the president hesitated to order the guard to support law enforcement in securing the building.
Our thought bubble,via Axios' Margaret Talev: Everything President Trump said tonight is what he should have been saying yesterday afternoon. Instead his rhetoric comes after it’s too late to protect lives or the Capitol, but as congressional Dems threaten a second impeachment, several of his own aides resign in protest and those staying in vow to hem him in.
- Treene notes that Trump says he is outraged by the violence, but the president initially told the rioters to march down Pennsylvania Ave. to the Capitol, and later said "We love you" after the mobs breached the Capitol walls.