Donald Trump’s one-term presidency came to an end on Wednesday morning, and in an unsurprising move, he rounded out his four years with a farewell speech that was more rambling and unremarkable than anything else.
Although Trump’s aides prepared a speech for him that featured “more gracious language about a peaceful transition,” he opted for an unscripted one that reflected just how disconnected Trump is from the chaotic and destructive reality he created during his presidency. Still referring to Covid-19 as the “China virus,” Trump praised his administration’s efforts in fighting against the Coronavirus, saying that the U.S. “outperformed other countries economically because of our incredible economy and the economy that we built. Without the foundations and footings, it wouldn’t have worked out this way.” This comes as new data has been shared that the U.S. has topped 400,000 deaths from Covid, with almost one-fourth of those deaths reported in the last five weeks.
Elsewhere in his speech, Trump also assured his supporters that the economy will record “incredible numbers,” and went on to take early credit for any success that may come with Joe Biden’s administration.
“We put [the incoming administration] in a position like it’s never been before, despite the worst plague to hit since… I guess you’d say 1917,” he said.
As for the Capitol riot that recently took place, Trump only referenced it once, saying: “All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.”
Trump finished out his speech by telling supporters “Have a good life, we will see you soon,” before boarding the presidential plane one last time as the Village People’s “YMCA” soundtracked his exit.
That Trump’s farewell address was unremarkable isn’t surprising. It actually serves as a fitting end to his destructive legacy as president. A man whose incompetence, frail ego, and enabling of white supremacy made for one of the most chaotic and fraught presidencies the country has ever endured. That he believes he’s leaving the United States better than it was prior to becoming president follows in line with Trump’s distorted view of himself — someone who led this country like it was his own reality TV show, acting like an NBC star rather than a leader.
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