A day after finally accepting reality and conceding defeat, President Donald Trump announced Friday he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted.
The last time a president refused to attend his successor’s inauguration was in 1869 when Andrew Johnson declined to watch his nemesis Ulysses S. Grant get sworn in, according to historian Thomas Balcerski. Before that, only John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams had skipped their successors’ inaugurations.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, said on Twitter that Trump’s refusal to attend the ceremonial event “makes clear he has no respect for the will of voters, has no commitment to the peaceful transfer of power, and that he is unfit and unwilling to keep his oath to support and defend our Constitution.”
While Biden had previously said it was important Trump attend, he told reporters he had since changed his mind due to Trump’s behavior.
“One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on,” Biden said of Trump skipping the inauguration.
During his concession speech on Thursday, delivered only after multiple people died after a mob of his insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Trump had said he would work to ensure a “smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power” to Biden — although he refused to mention him by name.
After he spoke, US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died from injuries he sustained during the mob riot.
An aide to Vice President Mike Pence told NPR on Friday he is yet to make a decision on whether to attend, but multiple reports have suggested he will do so.