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Trump says he will not attend Biden's inauguration, breaking with long-standing precedent

Trump
Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 15:28:12-05

Outgoing President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that he will not be attending president-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington on Jan. 20.

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," Trump tweeted Friday.

Traditionally, outgoing Presidents host presidents-elect at the White House prior to formally ceding power at the inauguration ceremony. President Barack Obama hosted President Donald Trump prior to his inauguration in 2017.

At a press conference later on Friday, Biden said he agrees with Trump's decision.

"Only thing we've ever agreed on," Biden told reporters when asked for his reaction to Trump's decision not to attend the inauguration.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that outgoing Vice President Mike Pence does plan to attend Biden's inauguration, though plans have not yet been finalized.

Biden said Pence is still welcome to attend.

Trump's announcement comes amid violence and high tensions during the current transition of power. On Wednesday, thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, briefly delaying the Electoral College vote tally that rubber-stamped Biden's win in the 2020 election. Five people died during the riots.

During the riots, Trump chose not to condemn those storming the Capitol, instead saying that he "loves them." While he did encourage them to "go home," he also told them to remember the day forever.

The messages prompted several social media platforms to temporarily suspend Trump's accounts.

On Thursday, Trump formally acknowledged that he will leave office on Jan. 20, and urged his supporters to maintain peace through the remainder of the transition.