Trump ends as he started — with lies and racism

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Trump told the sparse crowd some of his favorite lies from the past four years.

Donald Trump on Wednesday ended his term the same way his campaign began: delivering a lie-filled, racist speech to a sparse crowd.

In an address to a small gathering at Joint Base Andrews before flying to Florida, Trump told some of his favorite lies from the past four years, including that he oversaw the greatest economy in history (false) and that he deserves credit for the Veterans' Choice health care law (also false).

"If you look at what happened until February a year ago, the numbers were at a level nobody had seen before," Trump said in an off-the-cuff speech, ignoring an address that had been written for him. "And we really got hit. And we built it again, the stock market is actually substantially higher. So you could say that we built it twice, you will see incredible numbers coming in."

He also used a racist term for the coronavirus, which he did nothing to get under control, a failure that contributed in part to his landslide defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

"We have done a lot. And there are still things to do. The first thing we have to do is pay our respects and our love to the incredible people and families who suffered so gravely from the China virus," Trump said, using a term that has stoked violence against Asian Americans

As a rule, outgoing presidents don't give speeches on inauguration days, instead attending the swearing-in of their successors.

But in a sore-loser move, Trump refused to attend President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in, and instead tried to make the day about himself with the send-off event.

Trump had wanted to give his farewell speech in front of an adoring crowd. But he struggled to get people to attend, sending invites out far and wide to current and former aides and supporters who declined them.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.