Did Donald Trump Concede? President's Statement Sparks Debate

President Donald Trump issued a statement early on Thursday saying there would be a transition of power on January 20 following the final phase of the presidential election.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over a joint session of Congress that ratified the election results at around 3.45 a.m. ET on Thursday morning following the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump protesters.

However, the president's choice of words has raised questions about whether he has actually conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump has refused to concede since November 3.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino shared Trump's statement on Twitter. The president is not currently able to send tweets from his account.

"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," the statement said.

"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

...fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

— Dan Scavino🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021

Many social media users were quick to suggest that Trump's statement stopped short of conceding that Biden had defeated him, while others claimed it was as close to a formal concession as the president would offer.

"Trump agrees to an orderly transition of power in a written statement (he's banned in a Twitter time out) that sounds like it was written by someone else. He still doesn't concede he lost," tweeted NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce White Vance.

"The statement is not a concession and maintains his baseless claims of election fraud," said Politico Congress reporter Kyle Cheney. "But it's the first intentional acknowledgement of the reality that he will not be president in two weeks."

Other Twitter users appeared to see the statement as a concession, with CNN analyst Jessica Huseman writing: "This is what it's come to: Trump tweeting out his concession through an aide because he's not allowed to tweet right now."

Without further clarification from the president, it's likely to remain unclear whether this was a formal concession or not.

"It must be noted this statement promising an orderly transition comes amid semi-serious discussions of the 25th amendment and talk of mass resignations," said CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

President Donald Trump Greets the Crowd
President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Trump has now issued a statement saying there will be an orderly transition of power on January 20. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images