WILMINGTON, Del. – President-elect Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s decision to not attend his inauguration a “good thing” at a press conference on Friday to announce the completion of his Cabinet.
Mr. Trump’s poor, much-criticized handling of Wednesday’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol was the final straw for the President-elect, who has previously said the President is not fit to hold office.
This is one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on,” Biden said. It’s a good thing, him not showing up.”
Mr. Trump announced Friday morning he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration later this month, going against the tradition of the American presidency on what will be his final day in office.
With his decision, Mr. Trump will be just the fifth President ever and the first U.S. president in modern political history to not appear for his successor’s swearing-in ceremony. Only John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869 did not attend the inauguration.
Former President Richard Nixon did not attend President Gerald Ford after he resigned in 1974 under threat of impeachment.
“He exceeded even my worst notions about him,” Biden said. “He’s been an embarrassment to the country.”
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the inauguration. Former President President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush are expected to be in attendance as well.
“The vice president is welcome to come, [I would] be honored to have him there and to move forward in the transition,” Biden said.
President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, is also expected to attend as well as resident Bill Clinton. Former President Jimmy Carter announced Tuesday he will not be attending due to helath concerns.
Since Wednesday’s riot, both Democratic lawmakers, several former federal officials, some governors and at least one Republican House member have all called for Mr. Trump to be removed from office.