Wednesday, January 20, 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 the likelihood he will attend the ceremony appears increasingly doubtful. 

If Mr Trump declines to attend on Jan 20, he will break a decades-long tradition. 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. 

On the subject of Trump’s attendance, Mr Blunt, who is the chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies shared that he is “confident” he will see “both Vice President Biden and President Trump on the stage on Inaugural Day”. He then went on to highlight how that would be a “powerful message, no matter which and that will be a powerful message, no matter which one of them is sworn in.”

Mr Trump is 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 has said Donald Trump would not be allowed to visit Scotland to play golf during Joe 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.”

The White House has repeatedly refused to say what the outgoing president will do when Mr Biden is inaugurated on Jan 20, prompting speculation about whether Mr Trump will attend the ceremony.

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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