President Trump gave a lengthy recitation of his administration’s achievements and decried “political censorship” and “blacklisting” in a farewell address posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter in the wake of his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. His personal account on YouTube has also been suspended, though Trump is still able to post videos on the official White House account.
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The president has since complained that he was being censored. In the farewell video, posted on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump argued that sustaining a “shared national identity” and heritage is essential to continued national greatness.
“Only if we forget who we are, and how we got here, could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America,” Trump said. “In America, we don’t insist on absolute conformity or enforce rigid orthodoxies and punitive speech codes. We just don’t do that. America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree. That’s not who we are.”
Trump has previously called for the firing of NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem. He has also regularly called for firings of journalists, including Jennifer Griffin of Fox News and Katy Tur and Chuck Todd of NBC. In addition, he has used the levers of power to try to harm Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, owns the Washington Post, which Trump has regularly criticized. His administration also sought to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN, and then suggested that supporters boycott AT&T to punish CNN for its coverage.
In the address, Trump did not refer to Biden by name. But he did acknowledge that a “new administration” would take over at noon on Wednesday, and said that he would “pray for its success.”
“We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word,” he said.
Trump also said the greatest danger the country faces is a “loss of confidence” in its own greatness.
“We promoted a culture where our laws would be upheld, our heroes honored, our history preserved, and law-abiding citizens are never taken for granted,” Trump said. “What has always allowed America to prevail and triumph over the great challenges of the past has been an unyielding and unashamed conviction in the nobility of our country and its unique purpose in history.”
Trump leaves office facing an unprecedented second impeachment for inciting the mob to attack the Capitol building.
In the video, Trump also again criticized the violence at the Capitol, saying that Americans were “horrified” by it.
“Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans,” he said. “It can never be tolerated.”
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