Doug Mills | NYTimes | Getty Images
Trump is not the first outgoing president to skip the inauguration of his successor. Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson did not attend the inauguration of the incoming president, according to the White House Historical Association.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump wrote in a tweet, the third message from his account since blocked from Twitter for 12 hours on Wednesday.
Biden’s victory was projected by all major news outlets in mid-November and confirmed by Electoral College votes in mid-December. The Republican president has falsely insisted he won in a “landslide,” asserting his reelection was stolen through massive electoral fraud.
His refusal to accept the election results culminated in a deadly riot on Wednesday, when swarms of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and derailed congressional proceedings to tally electors’ votes and confirm Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 election.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend Biden’s inauguration if he is invited, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Trump’s decision to not attend Biden’s inauguration comes one day after he conceded the presidential election.
In a nearly three-minute video posted on Thursday, Trump, without mentioning Biden by name acknowledged that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th.”
“My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” the president said, in his first address to the nation following the riot that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
“Now tempers must be cooled, and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America,” Trump said of the pandemonium that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump, during a rally outside the White House on Wednesday, had encouraged thousands of supporters to march to the Capitol to protest what historically have been ceremonial proceedings.
As protesters besieged the Capitol, Trump, who had returned to the White House after his speech told supporters in a tweeted video “you have to go home now.” The president stopped short of condemning the violence.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum | Getty Images
On the heels of the violence that gripped Washington, Pentagon and local Washington, D.C., officials played multiple rounds of the blame game over why National Guard troops were not immediately available to support U.S. Capitol Police.
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, who has jurisdiction over the D.C. Guard, said Thursday that prior to the riot, law enforcement and Defense officials had received contradictory information.
“There were estimates of 80,000 there were estimates around 20 to 25. So getting back to just the pure intelligence, it “was all over the board,” McCarthy said when asked about preparations for crowd control.
“It was very hard to make that determination of what you’re dealing with,” he told reporters, adding that the Defense Department relied on law enforcement threat assessments.