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In dueling New Year messages, Trump reflects while Biden looks ahead

EconomyJan 01, 2021 08:55AM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump drives a golf cart at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling 2/3

(This Dec. 31 story, refiles to correct spelling of Delaware town to Rehobeth Beach instead of Rehoboth Beach, paragraph 4))

By Jeff Mason and David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump in a New Year's Eve message reflected on his accomplishments in office, calling them "historic victories," while his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, struck an upbeat tone in looking ahead to 2021.

After weeks of vowing to win his fight to remain in office, Republican Trump said in a video posted on Twitter: "We have to be remembered for what's been done."

Trump, who has yet to formally concede his November election defeat to his Democratic rival, returned to Washington early from his Florida resort amid a fight with Congress over a defense bill and coronavirus aid checks.

Speaking from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Biden paid tribute to healthcare workers and encouraged people to get vaccinated in a brief appearance with his wife, Jill Biden, on the long-running ABC special "Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021."

"I'm absolutely, positively confident - confident - we're going to come back and we're going to come back even stronger than before," said Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20.

He repeated his call for vaccines to be distributed more quickly.

Trump, who had COVID-19 in October, frequently played down the severity of the pandemic and oversaw a response many health experts have criticized as disorganized, cavalier and sometimes ignored the science behind virus transmission.

But in his remarks he noted that the United States has produced a COVID-19 vaccine in record time and he had correctly predicted it would come before the year ended.

The United States has been one of the countries worst-hit by COVID-19 and leads the world in fatalities, with more than 340,000 deaths officially attributed to the virus.

Trump was originally scheduled to attend a New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

The White House has given no reason for why he returned to Washington early, but it coincides with Trump's fight with Congress over his veto of a major defense bill and his demand for increased COVID-19 stimulus checks, as well as a spike in tensions with Iran.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the chamber, dealt a likely death blow on Wednesday to Trump's bid to boost coronavirus aid to Americans, declining to schedule a swift vote on a bill to raise relief checks to $2,000 from the $600 included in a $892 billion relief package passed by Congress earlier this month.

TENSIONS WITH REPUBLICANS

Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress have largely stuck with him through four turbulent years, but he lashed out at them in recent days for not fully backing his unsupported claims of election fraud, rejecting his demand for bigger checks and for moving toward the veto override.

McConnell on Thursday again rejected a vote on a standalone bill that would increase the stimulus checks, calling it "socialism for rich people" and "a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it." The bill was passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Monday.

McConnell also said there should be nothing controversial about approving the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Trump vetoed because it does not repeal certain legal protections for tech companies.

"We’ve enacted an annual NDAA for 59 straight years and counting," McConnell said. "In the next few days – the easy way or the hard way – we’re going to do our job once again. This body will fulfill our responsibility to the men and women who protect our country."

The House voted to overturn Trump's veto on Monday. The Senate will convene again on Friday at Noon EST (1700 GMT) for a rare New Year's Day session in which lawmakers are expected to cast the first of two procedural votes aimed at overriding the veto. If that succeeds, the Senate is expected to hold a second procedural vote on Saturday followed by a final vote on passage.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has said he will object to Biden's victory when Congress convenes to officially tally the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, which could trigger a lengthy debate in the Senate but has no chance of overturning the results. CNN reported that some 140 Republicans in the House are expected to engage in similar tactics.

Some Republican senators had supported Trump's call for an increase in the stimulus payments, notably David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face runoff elections in Georgia Jan. 5 that will determine which party controls the Senate under Biden.

But Perdue's campaign suffered a setback on Thursday, saying the senator was quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

U.S.-Iran tensions, meanwhile, have again spiked.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday accused Washington of trying to fabricate a pretext for attacking his country and vowed Tehran would defend itself even though it does not seek war.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the Middle East on Wednesday in what U.S. officials said was a message of deterrence to Iran ahead of the first anniversary of a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020.

In dueling New Year messages, Trump reflects while Biden looks ahead
 

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Comments (18)
stanley shalala
stanley shalala Jan 02, 2021 4:47AM ET
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Trump is a SC*M. Trump' fans are losers, also SC*M.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Jan 01, 2021 3:01PM ET
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MTIA!! make Trump irrelevant again
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Jan 01, 2021 3:05AM ET
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discovering-out of mafioso Donny and his clan - the most noticable event in 2020
Christine Streeter
Christine Streeter Dec 31, 2020 11:58PM ET
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Good lord the nonesense being spewed by the trolls on thus string is amazing...amazingly ingnirant
Christine Streeter
Christine Streeter Dec 31, 2020 11:58PM ET
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*ignorant
YC Teng
YC Teng Dec 31, 2020 10:47PM ET
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It's a circus out there...
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Dec 31, 2020 10:47PM ET
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and the orange boy family are ringleaders
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Dec 31, 2020 10:22PM ET
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Donaldo in 2017 his first year added the LEAST number of jobs since 2012 and his federal budget deficit was 77% WORSE than Obama's, less jobs added at a higher cost... well done Donaldo
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Dec 31, 2020 8:26PM ET
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Idxxt! And shame un the USA for bringing this rasxxt dxmbxss to the stage! We are all lucky the fxxl doesn’t understand what a pandemic is. Otherwise we will have 4 more years of this nonsense.
Red Riley
Red Riley Dec 31, 2020 7:13PM ET
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comedy channel
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Dec 31, 2020 6:55PM ET
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hope orange boy fall hard into a deep dark depression
Emil Rosini
Emil Rosini Dec 31, 2020 6:35PM ET
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Trumpo, typical product of a very unhealthy social environment, " NYC "
Jason Mitmesser
Jason Mitmesser Dec 31, 2020 6:35PM ET
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What?
Yelen Shim
Yelen Shim Dec 31, 2020 6:14PM ET
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He will be remembered as worst presidents of all time. The psedo-dictator who destroyed more than what he built. Good riddance.
Jason Mitmesser
Jason Mitmesser Dec 31, 2020 6:14PM ET
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Are you talking about Obama?
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 31, 2020 5:59PM ET
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How many covid deaths already?  Yah we won't forget don't worry Trump and neither will history...you can bet on that.
king michael
king michael Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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The whole world will remember and laugh what an all time liar and loser has done to to America, add over $14 trillion national debt, caused the largest social divide in US history, created the largest unemployment in US history .....
Christine Streeter
Christine Streeter Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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obumer created the largest social,divide in this countryas a diversion to his abysmal foreign policy agenda...worst POS this country has ever seen.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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No. That would be the Great Divider. Barry or your Lord... OBAMA
Jason Mitmesser
Jason Mitmesser Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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Are you talking about Barry suetoro?
Clinton Powell
Clinton Powell Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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Christine Streeter And worst POTUS he was too!!See what I did there
Tru Gfu
Tru Gfu Dec 31, 2020 3:52PM ET
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we will remember what you have done and not done while too busy golfing and the damage of your words too.
Me comment
Me comment Dec 31, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Yup trump will only be remembered for the 340,000+ death he caused from his inaction on the virus and his refusal to accept the landslide defeat in his reelection bid.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Dec 31, 2020 3:47PM ET
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yeah. Not CHINA. 🤡
Jason Mitmesser
Jason Mitmesser Dec 31, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Virus is just the cold. And when you trust dr’s, put breathing machine on - you get phnemonia - die. Cause of death “corona virus” should have stayed home, ate garlic, ginger, cloves, liquid silver, vitamin c. You probably woukd believe EVERYTHING afolf ***said if you were alive in germany then. WAKE UP.
Abd Ullah
Abd Ullah Dec 31, 2020 3:23PM ET
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🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑
peter neal
peter neal Dec 31, 2020 2:40PM ET
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The Iranians would have to crazy to aggravate Trump. But I bet they do.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Dec 31, 2020 2:40PM ET
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They will wait for the weak one. Beijing Biden.
Me comment
Me comment Dec 31, 2020 1:17PM ET
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The residents around Maralogo don't want him there anyway so good riddance
Jason Mitmesser
Jason Mitmesser Dec 31, 2020 1:17PM ET
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Oh yea? So you live there too, and went around asking to get the facts?
 
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