President Donald Trump announced Friday he will skip the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he wrote on his recently-reinstated Twitter account.
The outgoing president regained access to his preferred social media platform Thursday after being suspended Wednesday afternoon. His 12-hour suspension came after he tweeted a video of himself discouraging the violence caused by the group of his supporters that stormed the Capitol to protest against Biden’s electoral win. In the video, he repeated his baseless claims that the election he lost was somehow fraudulent.
In skipping the event, he will break a longstanding tradition. Trump will be the first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson to bail on the inauguration of his successor. Inaugurations are typically attended by members of both parties as a sign of unity. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton attended Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 after he defeated her in the election. President Obama and then-Vice President Biden were also in attendance.
Trump spent two months refusing to concede the election and holding up the transition process. His legal team had dozens of associated lawsuits smacked down by courts at various levels throughout the country as he instructed his supporters to descend on the nation’s capital to protest Wednesday’s certification of Biden’s win.
At his urging, some of the amassed demonstrators turned their attention to the Capitol Wednesday, breaching it and sending the lawmakers and journalists inside into lockdown. The joint session of Congress convened to confirm the election results was forced to postpone the debates and votes. Five people present at the Capitol have died, including one police officer.