Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday wished luck to the new administration of Joe Biden in a farewell address to the nation that focused mostly on highlighting what he views as his achievements during the past four years.
"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," Republican Trump said in a video message uploaded to YouTube on the eve of Democrat Biden's inauguration.
But the president, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence the November election was stolen, did not mention Biden's name once during the nearly 20-minute speech. He will skip the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, becoming the first outgoing president to do so in about 150 years.
The 74-year-old president bragged about achieving his mission to "make America great again," after coming to the White House as a political "outsider" who had never held public office.
"We achieved more than anyone thought possible," he said, citing his efforts to cut taxes, reduce "job-killing" regulation and withdraw from what he has viewed as terrible trade deals and international agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
He also claimed credit for the "medical miracle," in which U.S. companies developed vaccines for the novel coronavirus at record-breaking speed, and for achieving "the fastest economic recovery our country has ever seen" after the pandemic.
But his boasting about his administration's coronavirus record rang hollow as the country passed another grim milestone on Tuesday, with the total death toll from the virus surpassing 400,000, much higher than any other country in the world, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Touching on the deadly Capitol riot carried out by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, the president said "all Americans were horrified by the assault" and that violence should not be tolerated, but he did not acknowledge the role both Republicans and Democrats have said he played in instigating the attack.
Just last week, he was impeached for an unprecedented second time by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, facing the charge of "incitement of insurrection" in connection with the Capitol attack. He awaits a trial in the Senate at which it will be decided whether to convict him.
The trial will only take place after he leaves office, but a conviction could lead to Trump being barred from running for the presidency again.
Trump has been increasingly isolated in the final weeks of his term, with some Cabinet members resigning in the wake of the riot and his Twitter account, his main personal megaphone and direct line to his followers, permanently suspended due to the risk of "further incitement of violence."
In his most severe public rebuke of the outgoing president, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the mob that descended on the Capitol was "fed lies" and "provoked by the president and other powerful people" to storm the building to block Congress from certifying Biden's election win.
Although Trump's political future is unknown, he concluded his message by saying he was devoted to the "fight for America" in his four years in office, promising "the movement we started is only just beginning."