United States President Donald Trump conceded election defeat on January 7 and promised orderly transition on January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn-in as the 46th US President.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
Biden, 78, and California Senator Kamala Harris, 56, are scheduled to be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the country on January 20. The inauguration is expected to be a low-key affair amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, Trump had refused to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect and was trying to legally challenge the November 2020 presidential election result. Biden and Harris had won a record number of popular votes, more than 80 million and secured as many as 306 Electoral College votes.
Trump’s statement came minutes after the US Congress certified Biden securing the requisite Electoral College votes. While today’s exercise was supposed to be a mere formality as Biden had secured more than 270 Electoral College votes – required to clinch the presidency – the session was keenly watched because of Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the November 2020 election result and blocking a peaceful transfer of power.
Today’s Congress session was marred by pro-Trump rioters storming the US Capitol building which forced the joint session of the Congress to be adjourned for a brief period. The violence inside the Capitol building led to the death of four people.
Over 50 individuals were subsequently arrested.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the entire Capitol complex were placed under a lockdown. Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations.
Leaders from around the world condemned the storming of the US Capitol building, expressing shock at the chaos unfolding in a country they once relied upon for global leadership.