Advertisement

Trump acknowledges presidential transition; pressure for removal mounts

President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged that a new administration will take office this month amid growing calls that he be removed from office after his supporters stormed the Capitol building. Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
1 of 10 | President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged that a new administration will take office this month amid growing calls that he be removed from office after his supporters stormed the Capitol building. Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged that a new administration will take the White House this month amid growing calls for his Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.

In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday night, Trump said he was "outraged" by the violence in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as his supporters stormed the Capitol building. He recognized Congress' decision to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Advertisement

"A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power," he said.

Trump, however, said he would continue to pursue reforms of the U.S. election laws "to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections."

Advertisement

He also delivered a message to his supporters, saying "our incredible journey is only just beginning."

Trump's message came as Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called earlier Thursday for him to be immediately removed from office as pressure mounted on Republicans to support invoking the 25th Amendment.

Schumer, describing the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as an "insurrection against the United States," said in a statement that the president "should not hold office one day longer."

"The quickest and most effective way -- it can be done today -- to remove this president from office would be for [Vice President Mike Pence] to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment," he said.

"If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president."

Pelosi, in her weekly news conference from the Capitol, said she joins Schumer's call for invocation of the 25th Amendment.

"If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment," she said. "That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus."

Pelosi blamed Trump for inciting the violence which "will forever stain our nation's history."

Advertisement

"In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people."

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, which never has been invoked, states the president can be removed from power if the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members find him "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday issued a joint statement calling on Pence and Trump's Cabinet to invoke the amendment, while Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she was drawing up impeachment articles.

It remained unclear if Pence and Cabinet members were willing to make such a move. While there have been "some discussions" among Cabinet members and Trump's allies over invoking the 25th Amendment, it's unknown if Pence supports those discussions, ABC News reported.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned from the Cabinet Thursday afternoon, potentially complicating any efforts to pursue the 25th.

Trump made no public appearances Thursday as of about 7 p.m., but White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany gave a short statement to reporters about the Capitol insurrection.

Advertisement

"Those who violently besieged our Capitol are the opposite of everything that this administration stands for," she said. "The core value of our administration is the idea that all citizens have the right to live in safety, peace and freedom."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Thursday became the first Republican lawmaker to call for Trump's removal from office.

"Here's the truth. The president caused this," Kinzinger said in a video message. "The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily."

Conservative television commentator Meghan McCain, daughter of the late GOP Sen. John McCain and a longtime Trump critic, also urged Republicans to demand that the 25th Amendment be invoked.

"[Trump] is clearly a president who has turned into a mad king, and at this point, I'm calling on all Republicans and conservatives who still have clout -- we have to invoke the 25th Amendment," she said on The View.

"We cannot withstand this. Our country cannot go on like this."

Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election results

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines