Trump couldn't mention Biden in farewell speech


Belmont Lay | January 20, 2021, 06:47 PM

Donald Trump delivered a nearly 20-minute video message on his last full day at the White House that failed to name Joe Biden or acknowledge his election victory and its legitimacy.

Address anticipated after Twitter suspension

The outgoing U.S. president spoke from a lectern against a backdrop of four national flags.

His address, highly anticipated by come quarters, comes after his Twitter account got turned off indefinitely, rendering him platform-less.

The “mission accomplished” speech saw Trump rattle off a list of achievements, which allowed him to mention his signature phrases, “America first” and “Make America great again”.

“We did what we came here to do – and so much more,” Trump said.

Addressed siege

He also acknowledged the four years of divisiveness in the country but did not reveal any regret.

Instead, he pivoted to taking credit for it.

“I did not seek the easiest course,” he said. “I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism."

“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus. This, I hope, will be our greatest legacy: together, we put the American people back in charge of our country.”

In response to the siege on the Capitol, the president said: “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. Now, more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor, and forge our common destiny.”

No mention of Biden

Trump's campaign-like speech was also notable as he could not bring himself to mention Biden’s name.

He only went as far as saying: “This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous."

"We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck – a very important word.”

Trump takes credit for vaccine creation

Even as the death toll in the U.S. exceeded 400,000 people, the highest in the world, Trump took credit for the production of two vaccines at record speed.

Trump offered: “We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all.”

“Another administration would have taken three, four, five, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine,” he claimed.

“We did in nine months.”

Trump on China

On the international front, Trump pointed to his tough stance on China.

He said: “We revitalised our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.”

He added: “I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars.”

Trump's legacy

Trump is the first American president in history to be impeached twice.

His first impeachment was triggered as a result of pressuring Ukraine for political favours.

His second impeachment came just before he ended his first term for inciting a violent mob to sack the Capitol and to prevent Biden’s win being certified.

Trump's immediate plan

Trump is expected to leave the White House for the last time early on Wednesday morning.

He will hold a send-off event at the Joint Base Andrews airfield near Washington.

His vice-president, Mike Pence, will not be present.

Pence will instead attend Biden’s inauguration, which may be interpreted as a slight.

Trump will then head to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Political statement

Trump's approach to his departure has become a political statement.

He has not held a farewell press conference.

He also has not welcomed Biden to the White House.

He will become the first president in a century and a half to not attend his successor’s inauguration.

It is also not known if he will write a note for Biden in the Oval Office as past presidents have done.