After a consensus that he would address the media, and rumors that he had fled the country, Mubarak surprised everybody by appearing on T.V. after midnight in Cairo. He gave an approximately 20 minute speech saying that the protests were only possible because of the expanding freedoms that he had granted to the Egyptian people in the past years, he said that the protesters had a right to assembly, but had deteriorated into rioters and arsonists, and that it was necessary for the future of his nation to maintain law and order. He would maintain law and order but he also said he would take steps to relieve the poor in Egypt. Then he shocked again, by concluding his speech with this:
“I have requested the government to step down today. And I will designate a new government as of tomorrow to shoulder new duties and to account for priorities of the upcoming era. I will not be lax or tolerant with them.”
That is, Mubarak is firing his cabinet, and possibly the rest of the government, but will not step down himself.