Before 'Transition' Pledge, Threats of Mass Resignations

Multiple reports say White House aides were angry with the president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2021 9:25 AM CST
What Fueled Trump's 'Transition' Statement
In this Jan. 4 photo, President Trump arrives to speak in Dalton, Ga.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Various outlets are adding some context to President Trump's pledge of an "orderly transition." The president had to issue the statement Thursday morning through social media director Dan Scavino because of Twitter's block on his own account. Details:

  • Full statement: "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 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. 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."
  • Internal tension: Axios reports that the statement "was the product of hours of efforts by aides trying to get him to grapple with reality." The same post adds that some aides had given up trying to communicate with the president, deeming him "mentally unreachable." CNN reports that the president agreed to the statement "after being advised of the dismay and disgust among many of his aides," while the AP says aides were planning a "mass resignation."

  • Not said: Trump did not concede, nor did he congratulate Joe Biden, notes the Washington Post. The newspaper notes that hours earlier, Trump promised that he would "never concede." Politico points out Trump also did not mention the riots that consumed DC.
  • Notable: The Politico piece calls the statement "one of the rare moments in which he bowed to those urging him to publicly acknowledge that he will no longer be president after January 20th." The AP sees it as the first time Trump has "formally acknowledged" his loss. It also marked a break with his base by signaling to supporters that the possibility of overturning the election is gone.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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