Sunday, January 24, 2021

When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and will Trump attend?

When is Joe Biden sworn in as US president, and will Trump attend?

Will Donald Trump be there?

Mr Trump has done nothing to make the path to Inauguration Day simple for Mr Biden, and has confirmed via Twitter that he will not be attending Mr Biden’s inauguration. Trump’s Twitter account was later permanently suspended. 

He tweeted on Jan 8: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the inauguration on January 20th.”

As a result, Mr Trump will be breaking a decades-long tradition. He will be the first president in more than 150 years – and just the fourth in US history – to miss the event. Usually, the person departing the White House would welcome their predecessor to the Oval Office and attend the swearing-in ceremony. 

Both Mr Biden and Barack Obama attended Mr Trump’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2017. The president’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was also present, as were former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. 

Mr Trump was reportedly considering travelling to his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland to avoid Mr Biden being sworn into office. But Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said Mr Trump would not be allowed to visit Scotland to play golf during Mr Biden’s inauguration. 

The First Minister stressed it is illegal to travel in or out of the country without a valid reason and said: “Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose.”

However, Prestwick Airport has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft previously used by Mr Trump on Jan 19, according to the Sunday Post.

What will Joe Biden say?

Every president since George Washington has delivered the Inaugural Address. Mr Trump spoke for 16 minutes during his vow to break the “established order” and “make America great again”.

For Mr Biden, the focus is likely to be on the cornerstones of his policies: the pandemic, the economy, climate change and health care.

It also seems likely he will touch upon the issue of uniting Americans again – whether they voted for him or not. This issue has already been a key theme of his commentary so far.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Mr Biden said in a statement. “It’s time for America to unite.”

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