In a video shared on social media Thursday evening, more than 24 hours after the riot at the Capitol occurred, Trump finally acknowledged that Biden would be taking over the presidency on Jan. 20. Trump, who has not appeared in public since a violent mob of his supporters besieged the Capitol on Wednesday to try to halt the transfer of power, will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson not to attend his successor's inauguration.
Howell teaches political science at the University of Chicago and is the author of the recent book “Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy.” But Trump's absence represents one final act of defiance of the norms and traditions of Washington that he has flouted for four years.
Historian Douglas Brinkley said that while attending the inauguration “would be a wonderful olive branch to the country if Trump would do it, and it might be his chance at one magnanimous act on his way out of office, he is unable to do that.” While Trump stays away, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives will be there to stand witness to the rite of democracy.
The only other living president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, who has spent the pandemic largely at home in Georgia, will not attend but has extended “best wishes” to Biden. Trump's tweet that he would boycott the inauguration came as he holed up in the White House with a dwindling coterie of aides and as momentum grew on Capitol Hill to subject him to impeachment for a second time.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video, after issuing an earlier written statement that offered the same message. Rather than offering condolences for the police officer who died from injuries sustained during the riot, Trump commended the “great American Patriots” who had voted for him.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone has repeatedly warned Trump that he could be deemed responsible for inciting Wednesday's violence. Aides said the president's video was intended, in part, to try to ward off potential legal trouble and to slow the mass exodus of staffers who have announced their early departures in response to the violence.
Wednesday's violent insurgency erupted after Trump spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally where he told his supporters the election had been stolen and urged them to fight. Silenced on some of his favorite internet lines of communication, Trump has watched the resignations of several top aides, including two Cabinet secretaries and a long list of administration officials. Those who remained on the job continued to weigh their own futures and struggled with how best to contain the impulses of a president deemed too dangerous to control his own social media accounts but who remains commander in chief of the world's greatest military.
On Capitol Hill, there was growing discussion of impeaching him a second time, even as talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to oust him from the Oval Office waned. She said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike.
Staff-level discussions on the matter took place across multiple departments and even in parts of the White House, according to two people briefed on the talks. Associated Press writers Jonathan Bemire in New York, Alan From and Kevin Freeing contributed to this report.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on Wednesday in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. The rioters breach the security perimeter and penetrate the U.S. Capitol.
Pro- Trump rioters destroy network video gear as hundreds of others breach the security perimeter and penetrate the U.S. Capitol. During the riots, one woman was fatally shot by Capitol Police and three others died due to medical emergencies.
Police also recovered two pipe bombs, one at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and one from the Republican National committee headquarters. A cooler on Capitol grounds was recovered that contained Molotov cocktails.
A man holds a noose as Pro- Trump supporters riot at the U.S. Capitol. A man holds a Confederate flag as Pro- Trump rioters breach the security perimeter and penetrate the U.S. Capitol.
Pro- Trump rioters clash with law enforcement officers at the U.S. Capitol. The protests disrupted the joint session of Congress to certify the election results and put the Capitol on lockdown.
Proud Boys and other right-wing groups were among those who participated in the rallies that grew into a storming of the Capitol. The National Guard and law enforcement agencies were brought in to secure the Capitol.
The Capitol riot followed a speech by Trump in which he falsely claimed the election was stolen from him. The protesters broke through a police line to get inside the Capitol.
Protesters enter the Capitol building during the joint session of Congress. Law enforcement officers point their weapons as protesters attempt to break into the House Chamber.
Trump supporters climb on scaffolding as they protest the election results in front of the U.S. Capitol. A U.S. Capitol police officer shoots pepper spray at a protester attempting to enter the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify the election results.
Trump supporters breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote count that would certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner. Thousands of Trump supporters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The U.S. Park Police said permits for the rally had been approved and amended by organizers to increase the capacity from 5,000 to 30,000 people. Trump also condemned Republicans who have not backed his attempts to overturn the election results.
Trump supporters march toward the U.S. Capitol to protest the Electoral College vote count. Under federal law, January 6 is the date Electoral College votes determining the next president are counted in a joint session of Congress.
A demonstrator wears an American flag around his head as he joins hundreds gathering and praying in protest. A Trump supporter prays in protest against the Electoral College vote count.
U.S. Capitol Police exit the building with extra gear ahead of the gatherings to protest against the Electoral College vote count. Thousands of the president's supporters had packed the National Mall by mid-morning Wednesday, gathering between the Washington Monument and the Ellipse.
At least a dozen House Republicans and some senators have said they plan to object to the vote count. Vice President Mike Pence has said he will not interfere with the certification of President-elect JoeBiden's win.
Demonstrators gather and pray holding a cross at a protest against the Electoral College vote to certify President-elect JoeBiden's victory in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Trump supporters rally near the Capitol ahead of Congress's upcoming Electoral College election vote certification on Tuesday.
Trump, his supporters and some Republicans in Congress are citing baseless claims of widespread fraud in an effort to challenge Biden's victory. Various groups of Trump supporters announced more rallies this week in support of Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.
Conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones, greets supporters of Trump at the rally. D.C. police issued warnings to not bring firearms to the city while they concentrate on protecting houses of worship that express support for Black Lives Matter.
Harry's Bar and the Hotel Harrington, a popular location for the pro- Trump group the Proud Boys, is closed in anticipation of the rallies. Trump tweeted support of the protesters, saying the presidential election had been “stolen” from him.
Supporters in matching hats rally ahead of Congress' upcoming Electoral College election vote certification. UPDATE, 1/8/21, 3:33pm ET: President-elect Joe Biden said at a January 8 press conference that it’s a “good thing” Donald Trump isn’t coming to his inauguration.
Trump ’s announcement comes amid news that over 200 members of Congress want to have him removed from office following the January 6 siege on Capitol Hill in his name. Author ARI Berman tweeted, Trump should watch the inauguration from his jail cell.” Same goes for artist Tony Polanski, who reiterated that point… just a little more colorfully: Donald Trump won’t be attending Biden ’s inauguration because hopefully at that time that mother**KER will be in jail.” Film critic Joe from Joe Movie Thinks quote-tweeted Trump ’s message with a GIF of a door getting shut into a man’s face.
Trump never used the word “concede” or admitted that he lost, but promised a “peaceful” transition of power on January 20. In his “concession” speech, Trump reiterated what he’s been saying for months: the election was rigged against him, votes had been stolen, and Biden ’s win was illegitimate.
Lawmakers had returned to the Capitol after being evacuated earlier when insurgents carrying zip ties and smashing windows attempted to burst into the chambers. Pence was in the building when angry Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol while a joint session of Congress was in the middle of certifying Biden ’s election win.
Prior to the vote, Pence publicly refuted Trump ’s claim that the vice president can overturn election results in Congress. Former president Jimmy Carter has announced he wouldn’t be there, the first inauguration the 96-year-old will miss since he himself was sworn into office in 1977.
GDP calls for right-wing group Proud Boys to be banned, labelled as terrorists Donald Trump concedes in video condemning rioters at U.S. Capitol Trump ’s announcement follows a tumultuous week that saw a violent pro- Trump mob invade the Capitol building in Washington as Congress worked to certify president-elect Joe Biden ’s win.