Donald Trump Joins Small List of Presidents Who Skipped Their Successor's Inauguration

Karen Mizoguchi
·3 min read

President Donald Trump will make history on January 20, simply by not participating in a time-honored process.

On Friday, Trump, 74, tweeted that he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony later this month.

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," wrote the president, who is expected to instead retreat to his resort, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Later on Friday, Biden gave a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, and said Trump not showing up to the inauguration "is one of the few things we agree on." Biden also said the president "exceeded my worst notions about him" following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, when asked about Vice President Mike Pence possibly attending the swearing-in ceremony, Biden said: "The vice president is welcome to come, we'd be honored to have him there and move forward with the transition."

It is a tradition for the outgoing president to welcome the incoming commander-in-chief to the White House the morning of Inauguration Day before riding together to the U.S. Capitol building. In January 2017, Trump was accompanied by former President Barack Obama when traveling to his own inauguration.

Trump joins a very short list of past presidents who opted not to attend their successor's swearing-in.

In 1974, impeached leader Richard Nixon — who remains the only president to resign from office — left the White House before then-Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in.

John Adams skipped the 1801 inauguration, and John Quincy Adams did not attend the 1829 inauguration. And in 1869, while the nation was celebrating the swearing-in of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson — the first American president to be impeached — famously remained at the White House to sign legislation.

RELATED: Hours After Telling Followers Who Rioted They're Un-American, Trump Calls Supporters 'Patriots'

On Friday, less than 48 hours after a violent mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in an attempted insurrection, the president called his followers "patriots."

"The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future," Trump tweeted ahead of his inauguration announcement. "They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"

His "patriots" tweet was shared hours after he released a pre-recorded video decrying the violence in the Capitol and telling the rioters: "You do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay."

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The violence led to the deaths of some of Trump's own supporters and an officer with the United States Capitol Police, who sustained injuries "while physically engaging with protesters" at the riots.

In the wake of the rioting he incited at the Capitol, many officials have been calling for the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be invoked to strip the president of his power with less than two weeks left in his first term.

Discussions about the 25th Amendment between Cabinet members reportedly began on Wednesday after Trump failed for hours to condemn the violent mob ransacking the Capitol or to tell them to go home. By Thursday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had joined the chorus of voices demanding that Trump be removed from office.

In 2019, the House of Representatives previously voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his Ukraine scandal. He became the third president in United States history to face removal from office by the Senate, although he was ultimately acquitted.