Trump insists his political movement 'is only just beginning' in farewell address

19 January 2021, 21:13 | Updated: 20 January 2021, 00:36

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Donald Trump has insisted his political movement "is only just beginning" in his farewell address before handing over the presidency to Joe Biden.

The outgoing US leader delivered a video message to the nation ahead of leaving the Oval Office on Wednesday, during which he prayed for the new administration but failed to mention his successor by name.

Mr Trump said he "took on the tough battles, the hardest fights and the most difficult choices" during his presidency, " because that’s what you (the American people) elected me to do".

However, in light of ramped up security in Washington DC ahead of President-elect Biden's inauguration, he also condemned the siege of the US Capitol by his supporters on 6 January.

He said: "Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated."

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Donald Trump insisted his political movement is "only just beginning" in his farewell address
Donald Trump insisted his political movement is "only just beginning" in his farewell address. Picture: Right Side Broadcasting Network

During the defiant speech, Mr Trump suggested to his followers that he will soon return to the political spotlight.

The outgoing leader said: "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."

He also claimed to have built "the greatest economy in the history of the world", adding that his agenda "was not about left or right, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation".

Speaking about the USA's military presence on the world stage, the 45th president said his administration had overcome threats from Isis, Iran and China.

"We revitalised our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before," he added.

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Mr Trump said: "As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East... It is the dawn of a new Middle East and we are bringing our soldiers home.

"I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."

He then said his administration had helped to reassert "the sacred idea that, in America, the government answers to the people".

"We restored the idea that in America, no one is forgotten – because everyone matters and everyone has a voice," the outgoing US leader added.

"The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves – a loss of confidence in our national greatness," Mr Trump continued.

"No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history and heroes – for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality."

The 45th president added: "America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree."

"We are – and must always be – a land of hope, of light and of glory to all the world," Mr Trump said.

He concluded: "I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, and optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country, and for our children, the best is yet to come.

"Thank you and farewell. God bless you. God bless the United States of America."

His speech came shortly after Joe Biden delivered an emotional farewell address in Delaware, during which the president-elect struggled to hold back tears.

“When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart and the hearts of all the Bidens. We love you all,” the incoming US leader said.