US President Donald Trump has made his farewell address before leaving office, saying: “We did what we came to do – and so much more.” He said he took on “the tough battles, the hardest fights because that’s what you elected me to do”.
The inauguration of Joe Biden as the incoming President will take place early Thursday morning Thailand time and will not be attended by Mr Trump who is understood to be heading for his Florida retreat.
The last two weeks of Mr Trump’s term have been dominated by the fallout from the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, when a mob of his supporters stormed Congress, seeking to overturn the election result. The politically motivated violence has overshadowed the growing toll from the coronavirus pandemic, in which more than 400,000 Americans have died and 24 million have been infected.
“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated,” said Mr Trump who has been impeached for “incitement of insurrection” over the attack. He will face trial in the Senate after he leaves office and if convicted, he could be barred from standing for public office. He is the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
In his message, Mr Trump said his administration built “the greatest economy in the history of the world”. “Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation,” Mr Trump said.
He leaves office with an approval rating of 34%, a record low for a departing president.
On the eve of his inauguration, Mr Biden led a national tribute to the 400,000 Americans who have died of Covid-19.
At sundown on Tuesday, 400 lights were illuminated in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to honour those who have lost their lives to the disease.