WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump acknowledged his defeat in the Nov. 3 election and announced 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.
Trump’s acknowledgment came after a day of chaos on Capitol Hill as protesters entered the Capitol building. Members of Congress were forced into hiding, some offices were ransacked, and the formal congressional tally halted 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 his social media director.
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!”
The statement was the first time Trump formally acknowledged his loss after spending the last two months refusing to concede and highlighting instances voter fraud.
Authorities said four people died during the violence, including one woman who was shot by an officer outside the House chamber.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers.
“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!”
Trump’s statement could not be posted on his Twitter or Facebook feeds because both accounts had been blocked from posting.
“I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now,” he said in a video posted more than 90 minutes after lawmakers were evacuated from the House and Senate chambers. “We can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff and a former White House press secretary, submitted her resignation Wednesday. Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, White House social secretary Rickie Niceta and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews also resigned, according to officials. More departures were expected in the coming days, officials said.
Other aides indicated they planned to stay to help smooth the transition to the Biden administration.