President Donald Trump on Thursday condemned his supporters who violently stormed the Capitol a day earlier, saying they “do not represent our country” in a statement that also called for a “seamless transition of power.”
“America is and must always be a nation of law and order, the demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump said.
“To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law. You will pay.”
The statement, though filled with numerous falsehoods, marks a stark shift for Trump, who only yesterday was slow to call for the rioters to disperse and told them “we love you.” He has faced growing calls from lawmakers for his impeachment.
Over the last four years, he has rarely criticized acts of violence or racism by supporters. Trump also offered a rare reflection on the damage that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused Americans.
Trump also acknowledged his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
“Now, Congress has certified the results and the new administration will be inaugurated on January, 20, my focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” he said.
Dartunorro Clark is a political reporter for NBC News.