President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Friday morning that he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
In a short tweet with no explanation for his decision, Trump said, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
The tweet was Trump’s second written message after his return to Twitter following a brief ban over messages the platform said violated its policies.
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Trump’s first Friday morning tweet said.
On Thursday night, Trump had released a video condemning the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, an act he called a “heinous attack,” that drew his outrage and condemnation.
“The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,” Trump said. “To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
In an apparent concession, Trump vowed to work toward an orderly transition of power, and encouraged supporters to unite.
“To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime. And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly planning to attend the inauguration, Politico reported, citing sources close to Pence. One source said Pence’s attendance “was a much more difficult decision days ago, but less difficult now.”
Biden’s inauguration committee has announced plans for a scaled down ceremony with virtual events in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
One of the planned events is a virtual parade that will “celebrate America’s heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country as we begin a new American era.”
Biden will be receiving a socially-distanced military escort from 15th Street to the White House in a brief appearance “providing the American people and world with historic images of the President-elect proceeding to the White House without attracting large crowds and gatherings,” the committee said.