US President Donald Trump, in a video message posted on Thursday night, condemned the riot by his supporters at the US Capitol and said he would prepare for the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
In a video message aiming to calm tensions after his supporters stormed the US Capitol as Biden's election victory was being certified by lawmakers Wednesday, Trump voiced his dismay at the clashes that left one woman shot dead at the seat of US government.
“Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem,” Trump said on the attack on Wednesday that shocked the United States and the world.
He added, as he did in a statement posted early Thursday, that he would focus on a smooth transition.
"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power," he said.
“This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” he added. Trump, referring to his relentless, acrimonious and unproven claims that he had been denied re-election because of fraud said his only goal was to “insure the integrity of the vote.”
“We have just been through an intense election and temper are high, but now tempers must be cooled,” the president said, adding that “those who broke the law -- you will pay.”
Earlier, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a brief statement that she read to reporters that the president condemned the riot that occurred as both houses of Congress were certifying Biden’s victory in the Electoral College vote.
Security forces fired tear gas in a four-hour operation to clear the Capitol. Police said a woman, reportedly a Trump partisan from southern California, was shot and killed and three others died in the area in circumstances that were unclear.
Trump's response to the violence, taking to social media to repeat false claims he had made about election fraud in his speech, sparked outrage and suspensions from all the major platforms.
But he struck a more conciliatory tone in Thursday's 160-second video, describing his sole term in office as "the honour of my lifetime."
He offered an unequivocal denunciation of Wednesday's violence, saying "tempers must be cooled and calm restored."
"The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country," he said. "And to those who broke the law, you will pay."
However, the Republican leader tampered that condemnation with praise for his backers.
"And to all my wonderful supporters I know you are disappointed but I also want you to know our incredible journey is only just beginning," he added.