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“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

President Donald Trump said there would be an “orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count early Thursday certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory hours after he appeared to excuse the violent occupation of the US Capitol by his supporters.

Trump acknowledged defeat in the Nov. 3 election for the first time, after a day of chaos and destruction on Capitol Hill perpetrated in his name by supporters that halted business in Congress for more than six hours.

“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 posted to Twitter by aides. His personal account was locked by the social media company for posting messages that appeared to justify the assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy.

Trump added, “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 on Wednesday had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers’ actions, expressed empathy for the mob, which violently forced its way inside, clashed with police and forced lawmakers into hiding.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump wrote in a message that was later deleted by Twitter. He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

In an earlier video he had praised the protesters as “special” people and said he understood their pain. Twitter later locked his account for the first time as it demanded he remove the tweets and threatened “permanent suspension.”

Trump’s response to the violence underscored his monthslong obsession with trying to overturn the results of the election, spending the final days of his presidency angrily stewing and lashing out at Republicans for perceived disloyalty.

Trump spent much of Wednesday afternoon watching the insurrection on television from his private dining room off the Oval Office. But aside from sparing appeals for calm issued at the insistence of his staff, he was largely disengaged as the nation’s capital descended into unprecedented scenes of chaos as a mob of thousands tried to halt the peaceful transition of power.

Instead, a White House official said, most of Trump’s attention was consumed by his ire at Vice President Mike Pence, who said he would not overturn the will of voters in the congressional electoral count. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

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