Washington, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- On the eve of his departure from the White House, the United States’ outgoing president Donald Trump on Tuesday made his farewell speech as the 45th leader of the country and distanced himself from the assault on the Capitol by radical supporters.
Removed from the spotlight in the past week and banned from his main communication channel, Twitter, Trump took a 19-minute, 47-second video tour of the four years of his mandate and presented himself as a president of unity despite having exacerbated the divisions in the country.
“As I conclude my term as the 45th president of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do – and so much more,” he said at the beginning of his speech, in which he appeared surrounded by four country flags.
Since the assault on the Capitol by hundreds of his radical followers on Jan. 6, in which five people were killed, Trump has mostly stayed out of the public eye and has spent most of his time confined in the White House.
In his speech Tuesday, he made mention of the attack on the headquarters of the US Congress and stressed that, although it must not be forgotten that Americans will always have their disagreements, this is a nation of “incredible, decent, faithful, and peace-loving citizens” who desire the progress of the country.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump is the first US president that the Lower House has impeached twice. On this latest occasion, he has been charged with inciting insurrection by encouraging his followers to storm the Capitol.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, is expected to hand over impeachment indictments against Trump this week for the start of the process in the Senate.
The assault on Congress took place when both houses were meeting to count the Electoral College votes and certify the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election on Nov. 3.
Despite having repeatedly and without evidence claimed there was electoral fraud and that Biden’s victory was not legitimate, Trump urged unity in his farewell speech.
“Now more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor, and forge our common destiny,” said Trump, who presented himself as “the only true outsider” of politics who ran for president to scale “new summits.”
As in previous days, Trump’s agenda for Tuesday, which is his penultimate day as president, said simply that he “will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”
Unlike his predecessors Barack Obama (2009-2017) and George W. Bush (2001-2009), who held meetings with the media in their last days in office to discuss their presidencies, Trump has stayed away from the spotlight.
As has been tradition in the US, it is expected that sometime before midday Wednesday, when he will cease to be president, Trump will issue scores of judicial pardons and commutations of sentence.
Several media outlets have reported that the list of pardons could include up to 100 names, and could include rapper Lil Wayne, who pleaded guilty last year to carrying a firearm while traveling on a private jet to Florida, and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was charged last summer with fraud.
Trump is scheduled to leave the White House early Wednesday morning, before the inauguration of Biden, with whom he will not meet prior to the ceremony.
He is expected to travel to Florida on Wednesday to go to his golf club at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, where he will see out the end of his presidency. EFE-EPA