Trump touts record of ‘no new wars’, standing up to China in farewell address

Donald Trump stands before the wall at the border with Mexico in Alamo, Texas, on January 13, 2021.
Donald Trump stands before the wall at the border with Mexico in Alamo, Texas, on January 13, 2021. © AFP

US President Donald Trump said in a farewell address Tuesday, his last full day in office, that he was the first president in many years to have left office without starting a war.

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“I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars,” Trump said, according to excerpts from the address that the White House released shortly before its broadcast on Tuesday.

The outgoing Republican president also touted his toughness against China, saying he had brought unprecedented international pressure on the communist US rival.

“We revitalised our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before,” he said in the speech.

Trump further highlighted efforts to normalize relations in the Middle East, the development of coronavirus vaccinations and the creation of a new Space Force. And he tried to defend the endless controversies that have consumed the last four years as justified.

“As President, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families,” he said. “I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult. I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do.”

Trump urged prayers for the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden but still declined to acknowledge his Democratic successor by name.

“This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous,” he said.

Many of Trump’s supporters continue to believe the election was stolen from him, even though a long list of judges, Republican state officials and even Trump’s own government have said there is no evidence to support that claim.

Trump also made clear that he has no plans of going quietly into the night, telling his supporters that, as he prepares “to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it.”

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Trump is set to leave Washington early Wednesday morning and has been planning a grand farewell event at nearby Joint Base Andrews.

Once there, he will board Air Force One for a final time, flying to Florida and becoming the first outgoing president in more than a century to skip the inauguration of his successor.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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