• Trump threatened to punish Capitol rioters
  • The president promised a smooth transition of power
  • His statement comes as lawmakers urge Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment

President Donald Trump released a video on his Twitter account Thursday evening in which he threatened to punish pro-Trump supporters who joined the riot at the U.S. Capitol a day earlier.

At the beginning of the video, Trump condemned the rioters who barged into the Capitol complex while lawmakers were in the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” Trump said.

“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay,” he added.

The president also acknowledged the incoming Biden administration and promised a peaceful transition of power.

“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Trump said.

The president’s statement comes as lawmakers push Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office following Wednesday’s insurrection. Many believe that his efforts to overturn the election results led to the riot that killed four people and injured dozens.

Early Wednesday morning, Trump attended the “Save America” rally at the Ellipse near the White House. During the event, the president falsely claimed that the election was “stolen by Democrats” and encouraged his supporters to walk to the Capitol and protest the outcome.

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical Democrats,” Trump said during the rally. “We will never give up. We will never concede. We will not take it anymore.”

“We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Ave. ... and we’re going to the Capitol,” Trump said. “We’re going to try and give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re to try and give them kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country.”

Trump supporters carrying the president’s campaign flags breached the U.S. Capitol complex, forcing journalists, lawmakers and staffers inside the building to take cover. The riot led to the death of one woman, who was fatally shot by police, and three men, who died of medical emergencies.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol AFP / ROBERTO SCHMIDT