President Trump on Friday said he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, a break with more than a century of tradition as he stews over his defeat.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted.
There had been no indication Trump planned to attend, as up until late Thursday night he had refused to even acknowledge he would no longer be in office on Jan. 20. Advisers expect Trump will travel to Florida instead, and he is reportedly considering doing so a day before the inauguration so he can use Air Force One.
Vice President Pence is expected to attend the event in some capacity, a source said Thursday, though his office maintained he had not been formally invited.
A spokesperson for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said that the outgoing president and vice president are never “formally invited” to the ceremonies. Sitting presidents have traditionally attended their successors’ inaugurations as a display of support for the peaceful transfer of power.
Former President Obama and then-Vice President Biden both attended Trump’s inauguration.
But Trump has spent the two months since Election Day refusing to accept defeat, instead stoking conspiracies about how the race was stolen from him. The situation came to a tipping point on Wednesday, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on Washington, D.C., to protest the certification of electoral votes in Congress that would affirm Biden as the winner.