- President Donald Trump said he would skip President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
- “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump said in a tweet on Friday.
- Trump is the first departing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s inauguration.
- The president provoked a violent insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday, as he continued to push for the election result to be overturned.
- Biden told reporters that he agreed with Trump’s decision to skip the inauguration, saying: “It’s a good thing — him not showing up.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, he announced in a tweet on Friday morning.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump said.
Trump is set to join a short list of outgoing presidents who skipped the inaugurations of their successors: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson. He’s the first departing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s inauguration.
Later on Friday, Biden said he agreed with Trump’s decision to skip his inauguration, but added that Vice President Mike Pence was still welcome to come. “One of the few things he and I ever agreed on,” Biden said of Trump announcing he would not be present on January 20. “It’s a good thing — him not showing up,” he added.
On Thursday, a day after he provoked a coup attempt at the US Capitol, the president said there would be an “orderly transition” to the Biden administration.
“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,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump has repeatedly and baselessly claimed he lost the 2020 election to Biden because of mass voter fraud. In a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, Trump for the first time directly said a new administration would take over.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” Trump said. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Trump in the video decried the “heinous attack” on the Capitol by his supporters.
Hours before the riot, in an incendiary speech filled with lies, Trump falsely told his supporters that Biden would be an “illegitimate” president and urged them to march on the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the Electoral College vote.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said.
“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he added. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
Subsequently, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, destroying property and assaulting police officers. The violent insurrection left five people dead, including a police officer.
Congressional lawmakers from both parties have pushed to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, and calls for his impeachment have grown.
The Capitol siege sparked concerns among congressional lawmakers and others that there would be further unrest in Washington, DC, on the day of Biden’s inauguration.
“We do have an inauguration that is coming up, and I have concerns about the safety of the participants in the inauguration,” Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii told the radio station WAMU’s “1A” program on Thursday.
The Secret Service and other federal agencies are coordinating security for the inauguration, and 6,200 National Guard troops are set to be deployed to the capital this weekend. The troops will remain there for at least 30 days, ensuring they’ll be present to provide support to law enforcement on Inauguration Day.
“The safety and security of all those participating in the 59th Presidential Inauguration is of the utmost importance,” the Secret Service said in a statement Thursday. “For well over a year, the U.S. Secret Service, along with our [National Special Security Event] partners, has been working tirelessly to anticipate and prepare for all possible contingencies at every level to ensure a safe and secure Inauguration Day.”
Three former presidents — Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush — are planning to attend Biden’s inauguration, per CNN. Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, America’s oldest living president, announced earlier this week that he would not be attending the ceremony.