President Trump released a 19-minute farewell message to the nation via video on Tuesday afternoon celebrating his administration’s achievements and vowing that the populist movement he started is “only just beginning.”
The taped remarks, delivered on Trump’s last full day as president ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration at noon Wednesday, celebrate American achievement and strength.
They also wish Biden luck.
“My fellow Americans, four years ago we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again for all Americans,” Trump began.
“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,” he continued, thanking his supporters for electing him in 2016, describing it as “an honor beyond description.”
The commander-in-chief highlighted some of his biggest achievements, including the Abraham Accords peace deals in the Middle East and his economic legacy.
“We restored American strength at home — and American leadership abroad. We built the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he said.
“We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.”
“I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars,” Trump said.
Trump also wished the incoming Biden administration success and called on Americans to unify around their shared values.
“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,” he said.
Trump will skip the ceremonial swearing in of Biden on Wednesday and will depart the White House at 8 a.m.
The president acknowledged that Biden will replace him as the rightful president and disavowed the violent siege of the US Capitol earlier this month which led to him being impeached for a second time.
“We are a truly magnificent nation. All Amerians were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It will never be tolerated,” he said, calling on Americans to rise above the political rancour.
The president thanked his wife and family for their support, and also expressed his gratitude to Vice President Mike Pence.
He issued an appeal to Americans to feel proud of the nation’s position on the world stage and struck a personal tone saying he ran for president to give back to a country which had given so much to him.
“The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves — a loss of confidence in our national greatness,” Trump said. “We are — and must always be — a land of hope, of light and of glory to all the world.”
Signing off the address, which is expected to be his final speech from the White House as president, the New York-born former real estate developer told his supporters that his presence would still be felt in the nation’s capital.
“Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning.”
His goodbye address followed a similar message from first lady Melania Trump who urged Americans to choose “love over hatred” and “peace over violence.”