DONALD Trump finally accepted his fate just before 4am Thursday after Vice President Mike Pence ended his desperate campaign to overturn the election – still not properly conceding and instead boasting it was the ‘end of the greatest first term in history’ in a tweet from an aide’s cellphone.
The VP brought the gavel down on the Trump coup at 3:41 a.m. Thursday morning and certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win – despite the attempt of scores of Republicans and a violent MAGA mob to overturn it.
After Pence defied his boss to settle the 2020 election once and for all, Trump finally said there would be an ‘orderly transition’ – a hallmark of American democracy he has repeatedly called into question – but still claimed falsely that the election was stolen despite all 50 states, a series of judges and now the U.S. Congress dismissing challenges to the result.
Banned from twitter, the message was sent by Dan Scavino, his golf caddy-turned social media guru.
‘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 20,’ Trump said in a statement that aides posted on Twitter after the president’s account was locked for stirring up violence.
‘I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted,’ Trump said. ‘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.’
Pence made the final announcement after a nearly 15-hour saga that saw rioting supporters of President Trump mob the U.S. Capitol Building in a day of carnage and shame that left four dead, saw pipe bombs, long guns and Molotov cocktails discovered in the Capitol grounds – and left America’s image as the beacon of democracy reeling.
The MAGA mob – which included white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and Q Anon followers – interrupted the certification of results as they smashed through police barricades, stormed into the halls of the Capitol and even sat in the Senate chamber.
They looted offices, vandalized statues and confronted police as they rampaged through the Capitol, carrying Confederate flags, in hours of anarchy which shocked the world and which Biden called an ‘insurrection’.
As the world watched in disbelief, many were shocked at how easily the invaders had breached the hallways of American democracy – contrasting the lax security with the heavy-handed crackdowns ordered by Trump at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
Even as intruders desecrated the Capitol, Trump was said to be reluctant to deploy the National Guard, with reports saying that he ‘rebuffed and resisted’ the request before Pence and others finally made it happen.
Lawmakers were rushed off the floor of the House and Senate – and brought back at 8pm under armed guard while outside the mob defied a curfew in D.C. The president who had whipped them into fury tweeted: ‘You are special. You are loved.’
One woman – 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit – was shot dead inside the building, with three others dead from unspecified ‘medical emergencies’ during the carnage. Washington police chief Robert Contee said 14 officers were injured, one of them pulled into a crowd and assaulted, while 52 people were arrested.
The siege brought an hours-long halt to what is usually the solemn democratic ritual of putting a final seal on the election result. When lawmakers eventually returned to their chambers, the Republicans trying to resist Biden’s victory found that their numbers had dwindled, and all of their objections were voted down.
The spectacle of a violent gang rampaging through the legislature trying to overturn an election result prompted outrage and anguish from America’s fellow democracies, with Britain’s Boris Johnson condemning the ‘disgraceful scenes’ and Germany’s Angela Merkel saying she was ‘furious and saddened’ by the chaos.
It was also seized on by America’s authoritarian rivals to mock the state of US democracy, with Iran calling it ‘fragile and vulnerable’ and Russia saying that the election system ‘does not meet modern democratic standards’.
Former president Barack Obama described the riot as a ‘moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation’, while his predecessor George W. Bush said that ‘this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic’.
Congress’ overwhelming rejection of attempts to overturn the vote and Pence’s role in it will surely further enrage Trump, who wanted his VP to unilaterally overrule Biden’s win – and he was left further isolated by the resignation of multiple White House aides including former press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, social secretary Rickie Niceta and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews also quit, with more resignations expected from aides disgusted with Trump’s conduct.
The president was banished from Twitter for 12 hours Wednesday due to violating the company’s rules meaning he could not vent on his favorite medium.
The ban was due to expire at 5am Thursday morning, but there was no immediate word on whether Trump’s access had been restored.
(SOURCE: Daily Mail)