Donald Trump’s farewell: We did what we came to do

US President Donald Trump has made his farewell address before leaving office, saying: “We did what we came to do – and so much more.”

In a video posted on YouTube, he said he took on “the tough battles, the hardest fights… because that’s what you elected me to do”.

Mr Trump has still not fully accepted the result of last November’s election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mr Biden will be sworn in as president on Wednesday. 

The last two weeks of Mr Trump’s term have been dominated by the fallout from the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, when a mob of his supporters stormed Congress, seeking to overturn the election result. 

“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated,” Mr Trump said in his video, in which he did not acknowledge his successor by name.

What else did Trump say?

Mr Trump himself has been impeached for “incitement of insurrection” over the attack and will face trial in the Senate after he leaves office. If convicted, he could be barred from standing for public office.

He is the first president in US history to be impeached twice. At his first trial, he was cleared on charges relating to dealings with Ukraine by the majority from his own Republican Party. 

The politically motivated violence has overshadowed the growing toll from the coronavirus pandemic, in which more than 400,000 Americans have died and 24 million have been infected.

In his message, Mr Trump said his administration built “the greatest economy in the history of the world”. 

US stock markets have rebounded from the coronavirus pandemic, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index up 42% in 2020, and the wider S&P 500 up 15%.

However, the rest of the economy is facing more of a struggle. Employers cut jobs in December, ending a string of job gains. Retail sales have dropped in recent months, while jobless claims rise.

He leaves office with an approval rating of 34%, a record low for a departing president.

“Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation,” he said. 

How is Biden preparing for office?

Mr Biden and his wife Jill Biden left their home state of Delaware on Tuesday to return to Washington, where the incoming president served as a senator for 36 years before becoming vice-president to Barack Obama from 2008 to 2016. 

“When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart,” he said in an emotional farewell speech. https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.36.7/iframe.htmlmedia caption”When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart”

On Wednesday, he will go to the White House and then the Capitol for his inauguration at 12:00 (17:00 GMT). 

This will be an inauguration like no other: Washington is under heavy security after the Capitol riots, with thousands of reserve soldiers from the National Guard deployed and metal fences around the White House. 

Only a limited number of people will be allowed on to the National Mall to witness his swearing in, in contrast to the hundreds of thousands who usually attend. 

Among those staying away will be Mr Trump. He flies to Florida on Wednesday morning – the first president to skip his successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.