On Friday, Trump tweeted that he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
What We Know:
- Trump’s well-anticipated decision to skip his successor’s ceremony makes him the first president to do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869. However, it comes as no surprise. In a tweet on Friday, before being banned, he confirmed the assumptions of many. “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he said. This announcement arrived a day after he finally acknowledged his loss in the presidential race. Following the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, he released a video finally promising an “orderly transition.”
- Previously, Biden felt Trump’s presence at his ceremony would be a pleasant display of a peaceful transition to the world. However, the future President’s feelings seemed to have changed as he now agrees with Trump’s choice not to attend.
“It’s a good thing, him not showing up,” he told reporters. “He has exceeded even my worst notions about him. He has been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed us around the world. Not worthy, not worthy to hold that office.”
- He also added Trump’s absence is one of the only things they ever agreed on, yet still extends a warm welcome to current VP Mike Pence and would be “honored to have him there.”
- As rocky as the transfer from Trump’s administration to Biden’s has been, Johnson’s transition to his successor Ulysses S. Grant was no walk in the park. The two men loathed each other. Grant refused to ride in the same carriage as Johnson from the White House to the Capitol. It was decided they would ride separately, yet Johnson would not leave the White House when the time came. He insisted he could finish his work there, thus escaping Grant’s inauguration.
- Johnson and Trump share another common factor as well, impeachment. Johnson was the first President ever to be impeached, and Trump became the third around this time last year. Contrastly, while the race between Biden and Trump was close and unpredictable, Johnson was so unpopular as the nation’s leader that a second term was never in question. Grant won the election with ease.
Even though Trump will not be present, former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all have plans to attend Biden’s ceremony.