US President Donald Trump has made his farewell address before leaving office, saying: “We did what we came to do – and so much more.”
In a video posted on YouTube, he said he took on “the tough battles, the hardest fights… because that’s what you elected me to do”.
Mr Trump has still not fully accepted the result of last November’s election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
Mr Biden will be sworn in as president on Wednesday.
On the eve of his inauguration, Mr Biden led a national tribute to the 400,000 Americans who have died of Covid-19.
At sundown on Tuesday, 400 lights were illuminated in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to honour those who have lost their lives to the disease.
The last two weeks of Mr Trump’s term have been dominated by the fallout from the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, when a mob of his supporters stormed Congress, seeking to overturn the election result.
“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated,” Mr Trump said in his video, in which he did not acknowledge his successor by name.
Donald Trump, in his 20-minute pre-recorded farewell speech, said his administration did what it came to do and more.
One can debate the significance of his accomplishments – whether 400 miles (640km) of rebuilt border wall, tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks, confirmed judges, trade wars and modest Mid-East diplomatic agreements amount to much in the way of substantive achievement.
But at least in one way, his boast is certainly true. Trump ran for president in 2016 to shake up the existing political order. He campaigned as an outsider giving voice to those who distrusted the establishment and felt the system no longer worked for them.
“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do,” he said.
The unrest and resentment that Trump rode to the White House crested and crashed on the US Capitol two weeks ago, leaving behind wreckage – literal and metaphorical – that will take time and effort to clear.
After four years of shattered norms and traditions, of turning expectations of presidential behaviour on their head, Trump leaves US government changed – fundamentally and, perhaps, irreversibly.
That, at least, was a promise made and a promise kept. – BBC