U.S President Donald Trump conceded publicly for the first time Thursday that he will not serve a second term, stopping short of congratulating President-elect Joe Biden but acknowledging a transfer of power is now underway.
Trump tweeted for the first time after the 12-hour lock on his account was removed. In the video tweet, he acknowledged a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20 and said he is committed to a smooth and orderly transition.
"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20," Trump said in the video, which was taped at the White House. "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation."
Trump shared a video message that was as close to a concession speech as the public has heard from him.
Trump said he had pursued “every legal avenue to contest the election results” with the sole purpose of ensuring the integrity of the election. While he said he believes election laws must be reformed, he recognized Congress had certified the results and that there would be a transition of power.
Trump also condemned the rioters who stormed on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as lawmakers finalized the tally representing Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. “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,” Trump says in the video.