Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump defended his record in office in his farewell address. In a video address Tuesday, the Republican claimed numerous domestic, economic and foreign policy successes: “We’ve restored American strength at home – and American leadership abroad.” At the same time, Trump called for prayers for the administration of his successor, Joe Biden, without once mentioning the Democrat by name.
“Together with millions of hard-working patriots across the country, we have built the greatest political movement in the history of this country,” Trump said in the nearly 20-minute speech recorded at the White House. “We have also built the greatest economy in the history of the world.”
The U.S. is once again “respected” in the world, Trump, whose term ends at noon Wednesday, asserted. “I’m particularly proud to be the first U.S. president in decades who has not started new wars.”
The most controversial U.S. president in recent decades also hailed his fight against the Corona pandemic as a major success – on the day the number of Corona deaths in the U.S. passed the 400,000 threshold. Trump specifically highlighted the rapid development of vaccines.
In his speech, the outgoing president called on U.S. citizens to “pray” for the success of his successor Biden’s administration: “This week, we usher a new administration into office and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous.”
The right-wing populist has not clearly conceded defeat in the Nov. 3 presidential election until now, nor has he congratulated Biden on his victory. Rather, Trump had spent weeks denouncing alleged voter fraud without any evidence and trying to overturn the election outcome.
On Jan. 6, radical Trump supporters then stormed the U.S. Congress to prevent the final confirmation of Biden’s election victory. Trump had previously called on his supporters to march on the Capitol in an inflammatory speech and is therefore held partly responsible for the violence. The U.S. House of Representatives initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump a week ago for “inciting a riot.”
In his farewell speech, Trump condemned the Capitol storming. “Political violence is an attack on everything we value as Americans. It can never be tolerated.” Addressing his supporters, Trump continued, “The movement we started is just the beginning.”
Trump will not attend Biden’s swearing-in Wednesday, but will fly to his Mar-a-Lago estate in the state of Florida before the ceremony. He is the first president in more than 150 years to stay away from his successor’s inauguration.
Source: AFP and orf.at /picture: pixabay.com
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