Politics

As Calls For Removal Mount, Trump Says He Won't Go To Biden's Inauguration

President Trump’s refusal to attend his successor’s swearing in fits in with a long line of norms he has broken as both a candidate and as a leader.

U.S. President Donald Trump departs on the South Lawn of the White House, on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump departs on the South Lawn of the White House, on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, as Americans continue to reel from Wednesday’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol that the president helped incite. 

President Trump’s refusal to attend Biden’s swearing in fits in with a long line of norms he has broken as both a candidate and as an elected leader. The choice to skip his successor’s inauguration marks the first time an incumbent president will do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869. Trump’s legacy will be filled with examples of times he has declined to participate in American presidential traditions.

Biden responded to the president's plan on Friday: "One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing, him not showing up."

With less than two weeks left of Trump’s chaotic first term, calls for his removal have mounted. Democratic Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, or else they’ll be “prepared to” move to impeach the president. (Pence has not indicated that he will move forward with removing Trump. While impeachment isn’t likely to result in a Senate trial with such limited time remaining in Trump’s term, many Democrats want him to be the first president in history to have been impeached two times.)

Trump’s tweet on Friday followed a roughly one-minute video he posted Thursday night claiming he’ll transition power peacefully, yet still repeating the baseless claims of election fraud that helped motivate his supporters to commit an act of domestic terrorism in Washington, D.C. For two months after losing to Biden, Trump pushed baseless conspiracy theories about a rigged election, and he and his allies faced dozens of losses in court over lawsuits attempting to challenge the results.

After temporarily suspending President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts on Wednesday in the wake of the riot, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that it is banning Trump “indefinitely and for at least” until his presidential term is over on January 20. Trump also had a 12-hour lock on his Twitter account for posts inciting violence — and the threat of a permanent ban if his account if future tweets violate policy.

Others including former first lady Michelle Obama have called on tech companies to do their part to stop enabling Trump’s dangerous rhetoric by permanently banning him from social platforms. 

Johanna Silver contributed to this report.