Trump announces he won’t attend Joe Biden’s inauguration

Trump announces he won't attend Joe Biden's inauguration
UPI

Jan. 8 (UPI) — President Donald Trump said Friday he will break with tradition and not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump said in a tweet he won’t be in attendance on Jan. 20 when Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. president.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he wrote on Twitter after a 12-hour block on his account was removed by the social media platform.

He soon heard from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who encouraged him to attend.

“I am urging the president to reconsider his decision,” Scott said in a statement. “He is, of course, not constitutionally required to attend, and I can imagine losing an election is very hard, but I believe he should attend.

“I plan to attend and believe it is an important tradition that demonstrates the peaceful transfer of power to our people and to the world.”

Trump’s move to skip Biden’s inauguration is a first in modern U.S. political history.

Trump refused to accept Biden’s victory for weeks after the November election, issuing baseless claims of voter fraud and misconduct by election officials in states where he lost.

The president’s challenges to the election results reached a peak Wednesday when a mob of his supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory.

The melee left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

Trump finally acknowledged the end of his presidency Thursday amid widespread criticism of his actions and calls for him to removed from office as unfit.

A top House Democrat said Friday the chamber could take up articles of impeachment against the president as early as next week.

Only three other former presidents have declined to attend the inauguration of their successor — the last one being Andrew Johnson in 1869.

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend Biden’s inauguration, Politico reported.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama will be present for the ceremony, spokeswoman Katie Hill said in a tweet Friday. They will be joined by former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, and his wife, Rosalyn Carter, will not make the trip to Washington due to health and safety concerns.

The event will be an outdoor ceremony, scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a “virtual parade.” Biden’s inaugural committee has asked people to watch from home rather than traveling to Washington, D.C.

The committee said the day will also include community service events and “virtual celebrations that bring the country together.”

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