President Donald Trump has officially announced that he will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump wrote after being reinstated on Twitter after a brief ban. Currently, the announcement has been liked over 500,000 times.
The statement comes after much speculation about the president’s plans after a contentious and unpredictable post-election season, with Trump only agreeing to a peaceful transition this week after a protest at the Capitol Building became violent and resulted in five deaths.
Joe Biden agrees with Trump’s decision not to attend.
“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. “It’s a good thing, him not showing up.”
Biden continued, “He’s exceeded even my worst notions about him. He is one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America.”
In a sign of bipartisanship, Biden has extended an invitation to Vice President Mike Pence, who publicly broke rank with the president and certified the Electoral College vote earlier this week despite enormous pressure from the president and his supporters.
“I think it’s important that as much as we can stick to what have been the historic precedents and circumstances of how an administration changes should be maintained,” Biden said. “So if Mike—the vice president is welcome to come. I’d be honored to have him there and to move forward in the transition.”
The vice president and second lady have yet to make a decision about whether or not they will attend.
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida has urged the president to reconsider, stating, “He is, of course, not constitutionally required to attend and I can imagine losing an election is very hard, but I believe he should attend.”
Historically, the current and newly elected president attend the inauguration, as a symbolic transition of power. Former presidents and first ladies also attend if they are able. This year, President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton will attend with their wives. The only living president who will not attend is Jimmy Carter and his wife, who are 96 and 93, respectively. It marks the first time he will not attend an inauguration since he was sworn in as president in 1977.
The White House Historical Association has reported that only three presidents have not attended the inauguration of their successors, including John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson. Both Adamses were only elected for one term, and Johnson was also impeached.
There is little doubt that this post-election season will remain one of the most discussed in American history, but despite questions over the election results, democracy still moves forward.
Photo from SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS