On Thursday, Trump delivered a video statement admitting his presidency would soon end — though he declined to mention Biden by name or explicitly state he had lost.
Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden on 20 January, after a violent mob of the president’s loyalists stormed the Capitol in an effort to overturn the result of the November election in an attack that left five people dead.
His decision, which came as little surprise and was welcomed by the president-elect, nevertheless breaks with a longstanding tradition of presidents attending their successor’s inauguration ceremonies in a symbolic demonstration of the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump led off a video from the White House Thursday by condemning the violence carried out in his name a day earlier at the Capitol. Then, for the first time on camera, he admitted his presidency would soon end — though he declined to mention Biden by name or explicitly state he had lost.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Biden said Trump’s absence at the ceremony would be a “good thing”, telling reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday that the decision not to attend was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on”.
“He exceeded even my worst notions about him,” Biden said. “He’s been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed us around the world. He’s not worthy to hold that office.”
Vice President Mike Pence was expected to attend the inauguration. Pence spokesman Devin Malley said “Vice President Pence and the Second Lady have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that “the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.” She called him “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office. This is urgent, an emergency of the highest magnitude.”
Neither option to remove Trump seemed likely, with little time left in his term to draft the Cabinet members needed to invoke the amendment or to organize the hearings and trial mandated for an impeachment.
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Last Updated Jan 9, 2021, 11:52 AM IST