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Trump's farewell address touts legacy, doesn't acknowledge Biden

This article is more than 12 months old

He wishes luck to next administration without mentioning President-elect Biden

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump, in a farewell address released on Tuesday, touted his legacy and wished luck to the new administration of President Joe Biden but without acknowledging his successor by name.

Mr Trump has refused to offer a full concession to Democrat Biden, who won the Nov 3 election with 306 Electoral College votes to Mr Trump's 232.

Mr Biden was scheduled to be inaugurated at noon yesterday (1am today, Singapore time) and Mr Trump is not meeting with Mr Biden beforehand or attending the swearing-in as is customary in the handover of power to the White House.

Mr Trump instead plans to fly to Florida.

"This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous," the Republican President said.

"We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck - a very important word."

Mr Trump leaves office with more than 400,000 people dead from Covid-19 - the most in the world - a struggling economy, and strained relationships with key US allies.

"The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness," he said.

For months, Mr Trump said without evidence that the election was rigged against him and applied pressure on state officials to overturn the results.

At a rally near the White House on Jan 6, he encouraged followers to march on Congress. This led to an attack on the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying Mr Biden's win.

Mr Trump has been holed up at the White House for the final weeks of his term, reeling after the riot that led to five deaths, including a police officer.

The House of Representatives impeached Mr Trump on a charge of incitement, making him the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

In the farewell, without specifically mentioning Twitter's decision to suspend his @realDonaldTrump account, Mr Trump made reference to his complaint that free speech had been muzzled.

"Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions," Mr Trump said.

The 74-year-old sought to highlight aspects of his presidency in which he took pride.

"We did what we came here to do and so much more," he said.

"I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices - because that's what you elected me to do."

Mr Trump noted the Middle East lauded his foreign policy agenda.

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

"I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."

Separately, Mr Trump pardoned 73 people, including former aide Steve Bannon and other allies. Mr Bannon was his campaign manager during the 2016 election, before becoming a senior adviser. He left the White House acrimoniously in 2017 .- REUTERS, AFP