It’s been a long couple of days for the country, but President Trump only had to wait 12 hours before returning to his social network of choice.
In an uncharacteristically scripted three-ish minute speech, the president denounced the “heinous attack” on the Capitol. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump said, warning the individuals involved that they will “pay.”
The previous day, Trumped directed a crowd of his supporters to march toward Congress. That event turned into a violent riot that disrupted lawmakers’ efforts to certify election results, wrought havoc within the building and left at least four people dead. As the chaos unfolded, Trump encouraged the rioters in a video posted to Twitter, telling them they were “special” and “we love you.”
After yesterday’s video, Twitter locked Trump’s account and required him to delete a handful of tweets before having his access restored. Facebook later froze the president’s account for the remainder of his time in office. Trump appears to be aware that he’s finally on very thin ice with Twitter — the company said it may suspend his account permanently if he breaks the rules again.
Noting that he had explored “every legal avenue” to stay in power, Trump appeared to throw in the towel on undemocratic crusade to overturn the will of American voters. Of course it’s completely possible and probably likely that he’ll reverse course, sow more dangerous election-related misinformation and resume his quest to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
In the new video Trump concedes for the first time, claiming that he will willingly leave office on January 20. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” Trump said.