by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 7, 2020) — At approximately 7:30 PM EST, President Donald Trump issued a statement from the White House condemning the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and announcing that he intends to leave office on January 20.
As of Wednesday, he had said, “I don’t concede.”
Once loved by the media as the flamboyant and outspoken host of “The Apprentice,” as president Trump was reviled by the mainstream press and nearly universally blamed for Wednesday’s violence which reportedly ended in five deaths, numerous injuries and scores of arrests.
Earlier on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a brief statement from the podium in the briefing room stating that the Trump administration is now focusing on a “smooth transition” to the next administration.
Trump’s announcement came on the heels of a report that the perpetrators of mass vote-switching in the early hours of November 4, 2020 from Trump to Biden are known and beginning to face justice in Italy, where the crime allegedly took place. A press release at NationsinAction.org makes the claims, and a related media report states, “According to US investigative sources working here in Italy since 18 November 2020, it was the US Embassy in Rome who coordinated the data manipulation of votes cast for president Trump to Joe Biden, with the technical complicity of Leonardo SpA, a company that is 31% owned by the Italian Government and generates more than half of its multi billion USD annual revenue from its US-based subsidiary.”
“According to individuals who carried out the data switch operation under the direction of US intelligence officials in the American Embassy, they utilized one of Leonardo’s advanced military spec (cyber warfare) satellites to transmit manipulated votes back to Frankfurt servers and on to the United States…” the article continues.
In his remarks, Trump called for “healing” and said his challenges to the reported results of Democrat Joe Biden’s “win” were made for the purpose of securing “the integrity of the vote.” “I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections,” he said.
Acknowledging the certification of the electoral votes over which his vice president, Mike Pence, presided, 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. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Several weeks ago, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe cast doubt on whether or not there would be a Biden administration after host Maria Bartiromo asked about a report from Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret) that there was “foreign interference” in the election.
While Trump’s video statement appears in his Twitter feed, on Wednesday Trump’s video call for “calm” as the U.S. Capitol was breached was censored by Twitter and Facebook. However, on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he would ban Trump “‘for at least the next two weeks” from both Facebook, which has been known to censor opinions it dislikes, and Instagram, its subsidiary, “until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
As president, Trump was accused of “colluding” with Russia but later cleared; impeached but not removed from office over a phone call with the newly-elected Ukrainian president; Volodomyr Zelenskyy, increasingly censored on social media, and the subject of unceasing verbal attacks and threats which at times became quite graphic.
Zuckerberg reportedly gave more than $400 million to little-known organizations to influence the election by means of payments to election workers to establish barriers to shut out observers, establishing ballot drop-boxes in targeted neighborhoods, and reportedly influencing election judges, the Amistad Project reported.
Like many others, Zuckerberg accused Trump of issuing remarks that “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government” when he issued a call for “calm” Wednesday while repeating his belief that the election was stolen.
Zuckerberg froze Trump’s account on Wednesday.
Since the attack on the Capitol, Democrats in Congress have called upon Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, now 13 days away from occurring, according to Trump’s Thursday statement. Former Attorney General William Barr, Sen. Lindsey Graham and others condemned Trump’s recent actions. On Wednesday Graham and most of his Senate colleagues approved the electoral votes from the states, hundreds of thousands of which were said to have been cast in violation of state election laws, according to recent statements from state legislators themselves.
At a hearing last month on election irregularities chaired by Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, Sen. Rand Paul declared the election “stolen in many ways” while Judge Kenneth Starr, who served as a special prosecutor in the aftermath of the Clinton Whitewater affair, appeared to wonder why the U.S. Supreme Court had not taken up one of the challenges to the states’ certifications in the face of violations of their own election laws and given the precedent of Bush v. Gore in 2000.
Pence took the position that even as president of the Senate and presiding officer over the electoral vote count, he did not have the authority to reject slates of electors which may have been tainted. The possibility that he would send questionable slates back to the state legislators for investigation, as Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had suggested while addressing Trump supporters at a rally Wednesday morning, was apparently not a consideration for Pence or was perhaps foreclosed by the Capitol violence.
During the campaign and while the coronavirus pandemic persisted, Trump garnered audiences in the tens of thousands, while Biden’s crowds were sparse when on occasion he left the basement of his Delaware home to travel. Biden has been credibly accused of participating in a scheme to enrich his family in dealings with the Communist Chinese, Ukrainians and others, and Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has said Biden “belongs in prison” based on the contents of a laptop computer which had belonged to Biden’s son Hunter and is reportedly in the possession of the FBI.
“I want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning,” Trump concluded his remarks. “To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime, and to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”