PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Trump concedes: what did he say in his concession speech?

In a White House address Trump finally accepted that President-elect Joe Biden will be taking office on 20 January, but pleged to continue the MAGA movement.

Trump vows to continue "our journey" in concession speech
ERIK S. LESSER EFE

After months of denial and delusion, President Donald Trump has finally accepted the result of the 2020 president election and pledged to help facilitate a smooth transition of power. After a day of chaos in the Capitol the President posted a video on Twitter in which he doubled down on his baseless claims that electoral reform is needed, before grudgingly accepting that there will be a new administration later this month.

Since defeat in 3 November election Trump has spread completed unfounded conspiracy theories about the election result; refused to cooperate with the incoming administration and attacked the democratic process with a series of ridiculous lawsuits. The reluctant acceptance of his defeat came after a pro-Trump mob, who he had personally called upon to take a stand, staged an insurrection in the Capitol on Wednesday.

What did Trump say in his concession video?

As with every other element of his presidency, Trump’s concession speech was far from routine. He began the 160-second video by decrying the violence in Washington that had seen five Americans lose their lives, including one police officer. “I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem” before falsely claiming that he had immediately deployed the National Guard, something that state officials contest.

During the video he directly contradicted his rhetoric of the previous day, when he told the assembled ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the White House that they needed to show more “strength” to “fight” the election result.

After months of denial he finally conceded that a new president would soon be taking office and promised to assist the transition, saying: “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.

This was a stark contrast to his speech the previous day, when he told the crowd of Trump supporters: “We will never give up. We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.”

Trump calls for healing but hints at future plans

During his four years in office the President has looked to paint the Democrats as the enemy and has caused enormous division in the American political landscape. As his post-election prospects became increasingly bleak he had even began to turn on long-term loyalists like his Attorney General William Barr; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and, most shockingly, Vice President Mike Pence.

But having accepted defeat Trump struck a new, even presidential tone in which he called for the country to be reunited after years of division. He said: “This moment calls for healing and reconciliation”, before adding that bringing an end to the coronavirus pandemic “will require all of us working together”.

But Trump did make clear that he does not believe that his political career is over, and pledged to continue the Make America Great Again movement. Despite losing fairly comfortably in the 2020 election, Trump still drew over 70 million votes and his support has remained largely loyal despite his post-election conduct and embarrassing legal defeats.

He ended the address by telling his supporters: “Our incredible journey is just beginning”. He has previously suggested that he would like to run again in 2024, but it remains to be seen how much damage the violence of the previous days has done to the MAGA movement nationwide.