President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, breaking tradition and becoming only the fourth U.S. president to snub a successor's swearing-in ceremony.
"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," he tweeted.
The news comes days after the president stoked a violent siege on Capitol Hill from his supporters, which has resulted in five deaths thus far.
Although the presidential election was called in favor of Joe Biden in November, Trump has consistently refused to concede, a move that culminated in the riots in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol and derailed the proceedings to confirm Biden's election win. On Thursday, Trump finally acknowledged that "a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th."
As BBC points out, the last time a U.S. president did not attend the inauguration of their successor was in 1869, when outgoing president Andrew Johnson refused to travel to the ceremony in the same carriage as President-elect Ulysses Grant.
In 2017, Barack and Michelle Obama attended Trump's inauguration, an experience the former first lady described as a "very emotional" day.
"And then we had to meet the Trumps. That day was very emotional. And then to sit at that inauguration and to look around at a crowd that was not reflective of the country, and I had to sit in that audience as one of the handfuls of people of color. All that I had to hold on to over those last eight years, and it was a lot emotionally," she told Gayle King during an Essence Festival interview in 2019.
"By the time I got on the plane, it was a release of 8 years of trying to have to show up," she said.
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