By Ivan Pentchoukov
President Donald Trump said on Jan. 8 that he will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” the president wrote on Twitter.
Trump made the announcement one day after Congress certified Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. The president has not conceded the race but has said there will be a “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
Congress certified Biden as the winner early on Thursday morning after its joint session was halted by protesters who broke into the Capitol building. The joint session resumed hours later.
Some of the senators who had committed to objecting to the counting of slates of electors for Biden withdrew their signatures after the session reconvened. Only two out of as many as seven objections were ultimately considered and rejected.
Shortly after Twitter lifted a suspension on his profile, Trump sent a message to the supporters who voted for him, advising that they will have a “giant voice” going forward.
“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. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Trump wrote.
Biden said of President Trump’s decision not to attend his inauguration: “One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It’s a good thing him not showing up.” He said Vice President Pence is welcome to come to his inauguration.
Biden on Thursday blamed Trump for the breach of the capitol.
Biden said that those who massed on Capitol Hill intending to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was certifying his election victory “weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob—insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic.”
The protesters smashed windows to get into the capitol and roamed the halls once inside. A woman climbing through a broken inner door was shot and killed by law enforcement inside.
Trump and third parties pursued dozens of lawsuits in the aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, but the courts repeatedly rejected the challenges. The lawsuits argued that state authorities unconstitutionally altered election laws and removed safeguards on the integrity of the ballot. The Trump campaign filed lawsuits in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Some of the lawsuits are still pending before the Supreme Court.
The breach of the Capitol is intensifying scrutiny over security at the upcoming inauguration ceremony. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office from the Capitol’s West Front, one of the locations infiltrated by the protesters, who also scaled and occupied the scaffolding and bleachers in place for the ceremonies.
Zachary Stieber and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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