Trump admits his term is ending but doesn't say Biden's name or formally concede election loss in White House farewell speech
- Trump in a 20-minute farewell video Tuesday acknowledged a new administration would take over.
- In the video, Trump wishes the new administration luck without ever mentioning Biden's name.
- "I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning," he added.
President Donald Trump acknowledged that a new administration would take office on Wednesday and wished it luck, but did not formally concede his election loss or say President-elect Joe Biden's name in a 20-minute farewell speech posted on the White House's YouTube channel.
"This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck - a very important word," Trump said at the beginning of his address on Tuesday.
Trump will break with tradition and not meet with Biden before the inauguration or attend his inauguration ceremony. Instead, Trump will hold a departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday morning before flying to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.
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The president thanked a number of his family members and top administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. The relationship between Trump and Pence has been strained after Trump attacked the vice president and pressured him to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pence does not have the power to do so.
The end of Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by the dark cloud of the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol, which threatened the lives of Pence and members of Congress. Five people were killed in the violence that broke out when a massive crowd of the president's supporters breached the building while a joint session of Congress was certifying Biden's win.
"All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated. Now more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor and forge our common destiny," Trump said of the violence he was impeached for inciting.
Trump ran the gamut of his administration's biggest highlights
Trump spent a chunk of the nearly 20-minute video highlighting his administration's major policy wins over the past four years.
Among those mentioned include tax cuts, new trade deals, the creation of a US Space Force, appointment of three Supreme Court justices, and the killings of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The outgoing president also praised the speedy development of a COVID-19 vaccine and the passage of trillions of dollars toward coronavirus relief, but Trump did not mention the country's death toll surpassing 400,000 on Tuesday, less than a year since the first case was reported in the US.
"We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all," he said.
He also touted America "reclaiming our sovereignty" by withdrawing from multiple international trade deals the administration viewed as unfair, saying: "We restored American strength at home and American leadership abroad. The world respects us again. Please don't lose that respect."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, had planned to travel to Europe the week after the Capitol insurrection but was forced to cancel his plans because officials from Luxembourg and the European Union were too "embarrassed" to meet with him, Reuters reported.
Luxembourg's foreign minister publicly tore into Trump, calling him "a criminal" and a "political pyromaniac" who "should be sent to criminal court" over the events at the Capitol.
Despite the local and global backlash, Trump on Tuesday suggested this wasn't the last time people would hear from him.
"As I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There's never been anything like it," the president said.
"I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come," he added.