President Donald Trump said he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Friday. A break from tradition and a peaceful transition of power that has been part of the U.S. establishment for over 150 years.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted.
Trump had not publicly announced his plans for the Inauguration before Friday’s abrupt tweet. The President is expected to travel home to Florida before Jan. 20, so he can use Air Force One. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the ceremony, and as of now, will be there in place of Trump to represent the outgoing administration.
Trump has spent the past two months challenging the results of the 2020 election in court battles and refusing to accept defeat. The President’s efforts came to a tipping point on Wednesday, when thousands of his supporters descended on U.S. Capitol to riot in protest of a “rigged” election. A violent clash that left five people dead including a Capitol Police officer.
The events have triggered overwhelming calls by both Democrats and Republicans for Trump to be removed from office. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) have called on Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Pelosi said she’s considering impeachment, if Pence doesn’t respond. A process that isn’t likely to be passed by the Republican controlled Senate.
Trump posted a video on Twitter late Thursday night to address the “heinous attack” on the U.S. Capitol. He also conceded the election by saying, “A new administration will be inaugurated January 20th,” Trump said. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”