US NEWS

Why is Trump not attending Biden’s inauguration?

After an extremely turbulent final two weeks in office, even by Trump’s standards, the fact remains that he won’t be going to the inauguration. Here’s why.

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Why is Trump not attending Biden’s inauguration?
MANDEL NGAN AFP

On 6 January an embittered mob stormed the US Capitol building and in the two days that followed, two things happened. First, Donald Trump - who has been blamed for stoking the mob with falsehoods and rhetoric that drove his supporters to that extraordinary riot - finally conceded that he had lost the election to Joe Biden. And the next day – to little surprise by this point – he announced that he would not be attending the Democrat’s inauguration.

The fallout from the violent storming of US government was huge. First there were a flurry of resignations in the GOP, led by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, then deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham and White House social secretary Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta.

Trump became the first president in history to be impeached twice, and more recently top Republican Senator Mitch McConnell placed blame for the riot firmly at Trump’s door. “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

Even outgoing Vice President Mike Pence has defected, opting to attend Biden’s inauguration on 20 January instead of Trump’s farewell ceremony. 

To sum up, in the twelve days since 6 January’s deadly insurrection much has changed in Washington, but Trump’s mind is not one of them

Why is Donald Trump not attending Biden’s inauguration?

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted. It was his third tweet since his Twitter account was unblocked following a ban for inciting the violent riot at the Capitol. It has since been suspended again.

Perhaps Trump’s reason for not attending the swearing-in of his successor is a too-little-too-late attempt to distance himself from the pandemonium and deadly violence that has been laid at his door, amid concerns that inauguration day could see attempts at similar demonstrations in his name.

Or maybe it’s more narcissistic than that, like a spoiled sportsman who refuses to shakes hands on losing a match, Donald Trump will not be going to Joe Biden’s welcome party because he just can’t face the fact that he lost.

What did Joe Biden say about Trump not attending 20 Jan inauguration?

Biden, said in a press conference he agreed Trump should not attend the inauguration.

“I was told on the way over here that he indicated he wasn’t going to show up at the inauguration: One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on,” Biden said

Is Trump the first president to miss the inauguration of their successor?

No, Donald Trump will not be the first outgoing president to skip the inauguration of his successor. The others were Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson, according to the White House Historical Association.

What security has been mounted ahead of Biden’s inauguration?

Much of Washington has been cordoned off with high fences set up and check points around the city. The US Secret Service called in 25,000 national guard members to be deployed around the city, two and a half times the number that is normally deployed for an inauguration. They will support the rest of the law enforcement agencies in the city. No unauthorized vehicles will be allowed within a “Red Zone” and traffic will be highly limited within “Green Zones.”