President Donald Trump has for the first time said that there will be a new administration in two weeks, functionally conceding the election he lost months ago but only after his supporters staged a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol.
"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power," Trump said in a video tweeted Thursday night.
The video was Trump's first tweet since his Twitter account was suspended following his actions surrounding Wednesday's rioting at the Capitol.
After weeks of lying about the election being stolen from him, Trump did not explicitly say he lost, nor did he mention Biden by name.
Trump still began the video with a lie about what occurred, saying he had "immediately" summoned the National Guard to help end the riot, when in reality their deployment was delayed. The acting secretary of defense has also said he consulted with Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, prior to the deployment.
The riot, which followed a Trump rally in which he urged his supporters to show force at the Capitol ahead of the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory, left multiple people dead.
The violence halted the certification by Congress of the Electoral College results, although that eventually went ahead and concluded early Thursday morning. Trump staffers subsequently released a written statement from him saying there would be an orderly transition of power.
In the video, the first appearance by Trump since the unrest, he still cast doubt on the election results, which every state certified and have not been found to have any significant irregularities.
"My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results," he said. "My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy. I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections."
Trump also attempted to distance himself from the violence at the Capitol, despite only 24 hours earlier praising the insurrectionists in another video he tweeted, in which he called them "very special" and said "we love you" while asking them to go home.
"To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country," Trump said in the Thursday video. "And to those who broke the law, you will pay. We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled, and calm restored."
Trump supporters who helped plan the riot openly online for weeks said that they believed they were doing so at the president's urging, after he had spent weeks pushing conspiracies about the election.
The president now faces the potential of impeachment before his term ends in two weeks, with Democratic leaders in Congress demanding that Trump leave office or be removed after his actions on Wednesday. Some Republicans, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have called for Trump's Cabinet to use the Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove him and make Pence the acting president.
Trump, who has teased the possibility of running for president again in 2024, addressed his supporters to let them know he's not going away: "I want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning."