Trump released a hostage video of himself.
Trump promised a smooth transition in a video message posted on Twitter Thursday night, saying that his supporters had pursued post-election challenges in good faith, but “now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”
Trump’s comments are the closest he has come to acknowledging his loss, and they follow escalating calls for his removal, coming hours after the nation’s top congressional Democrats demanded he be removed from office for his role in the deadly sacking of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Too late; Congressional leaders are ramping up calls for either the 25th Amendment, impeachment, or resignation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on officials to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment, warning that they are prepared to begin impeachment proceedings if the Cabinet and vice president do not act.
Though that extraordinary step is unlikely to succeed, it is a sign that a growing number of Democrats and Republicans now believe Trump is too dangerous to remain president.
Trump “invited an armed insurrection against the United States of America,” Pelosi told reporters a day after a pro-Trump mob incited by the president stormed the Capitol, vandalizing the building and forcing lawmakers to evacuate. One woman was fatally shot and three people died of other causes.
Over the course of the day, a growing chorus of officials — including current Cabinet secretaries and Trump allies — strongly chastised the president, who stayed out of sight until his evening message, in which he denounced the mob attack, adding “to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
Reading off a script in a flat voice, Trump claimed he immediately deployed the National Guard to help secure the building and expel the intruders. Other officials have disputed that account. Trump also claimed his attempts to overturn the election results were simply his efforts to “ensure the integrity of the vote.”
“Now, Congress has certified the results,” he said. “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
I still hold to my belief that nothing will happen to actually end Trump’s regime before January 20, but with the proverbial rats leaving the sinking ship — so far two members of the Cabinet — Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos have resigned — at the least the hue and cry will clamp down on anything he might attempt while leaving the building, like start a war or pardon himself. Not that either Ms. Chao or Ms. DeVos deserve anything more than a golf clap for for finally finding the courage to stand up now when his behavior has been outrageous and an assault on the Constitution since they were sworn in.
A lot can happen in twelve days.