Outgoing US President Donald Trump said Friday that he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he wrote on Twitter.
The decision appeared to backtrack on a message Trump gave a day earlier that he would work to ensure a “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power’” to his Democrat Party successor.
Reuters news agency cited a source in the Trump administration as saying that the outgoing president would likely leave the White House a day before the inauguration and head to his Florida resort.
The announcement came as some lawmakers in Congress debated whether to bring articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives for a vote after pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday.
The violence, saw his supporters occupied the building for several hours as lawmakers were tallying the electoral votes that certified Biden’s victory.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the prospect of impeachment with her leadership team Thursday night, hours after announcing the House was willing to act if Vice President Mike Pence and other officials did not invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.
Vice President Mike Pence is still expected to attend the swearing-in event.
Trump’s move had been widely expected, as for months he falsely claimed victory in the election and promulgated baseless claims of voter fraud.
His own administration said the election had been fairly run.
Trump will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson to skip his successor’s swearing-in. T
Traditionally, the incoming and outgoing presidents ride to the US Capitol together for the ceremony, as a symbol of the nation’s peaceful transition.
mm/nm (Reuters, AP)
US Capitol storming: Trump won’t attend Biden inauguration The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.