Minutes after Joe Biden was finally, formally confirmed by Congress as the winner of the 2020 election, Donald Trump still refused to concede his overwhelming loss, but did stay in a statement early Thursday that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
…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!”
— Dan Scavino🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021
The statement was released on Twitter through White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, as Trump’s account was still suspended over tweets earlier in the day where he expressed support for violence engulfing the Capitol and appeared to incite further violence.
Early Wednesday, Trump’s spoke at the so-called “Save America” rally in Washington, D.C., where he stoked baseless claims of a “stolen” election and urged supporters to march on the Capitol, resulting in a riot by hundreds of those followers. Trump told attendees “we will never concede,” and told falsehoods about election fraud and election processes. He urged supporters not to “take it” and told them to march to the Capitol in order to provoke congressional Republicans into joining the effort to subvert American democracy.
His supporters complied, marching to the Capitol where, after breaking past police barriers — Outnumbered Capitol Police offered little resistance, and there is documentation of at least one officer openly fraternizing with the rioters — they stormed the building. Law enforcement officials said some brought explosive devices, and Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were forced to evacuate. The rioters occupied the building until just before 5 p.m. ET. Four people died in the violence, including one pro-Trump rioter who was shot by authorities.
After several hours, and only after President-elect Biden demanded that Trump do something, Trump tweeted a video in which he urged rioters to stop. However, he began the video by continuing to falsely claim he won the 2020 election by a “landslide,” repeated thoroughly baseless claims that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread voter fraud, and told rioters that he loved them and that they are “very special people.”
Twitter at first made the video post impossible to retweet, like or comment on, and added a label that said Trump’s “claim of election fraud is disputed” and the tweet carried “a risk of violence.” But in response to growing criticism, Twitter took the unprecedented step of suspending his account for 12 hours and threatening a permanent ban if Trump violates the company’s rules in the future. Facebook and Instagram also suspended Trump’s account, but they did not threaten a permanent ban.
Since then, there have been growing calls for Trump to either resign, or be forced out of office either by impeachment or by invoking the 25th Amendment.