Will Donald Trump attend Joe Biden's swearing-in? Nixon was the last to miss successor's inauguration in 1974
The outgoing president customarily attends the inauguration ceremony, and there are only five former presidents who have chosen not to do so
With former Vice President Joe Biden winning the 2020 presidential elections on Saturday, November 7, speculations about whether President Donald Trump, who has vehemently opposed a prospective Biden presidency, will be attending the president-elect's swearing-in ceremony or not. The outgoing president customarily attends the inauguration ceremony, and there are only five former presidents who have chosen not to do so, and it appears Trump could be the sixth considering a series of lawsuits he has filed against states over their ballot-counting process this election.
The presidents who did not witness their successors' inauguration include John Adams after the election of 1800. Adams reportedly chose to not remain in Washington D.C. to witness then-President-elect Thomas Jefferson's swearing-in ceremony. John Quincy Adams, in 1829, was also unwilling to attending successor Andrew Jackson's accession to the White House. Following suit, Andrew Johnson, in 1969, did not attend Ulysses S Grant's inauguration and chose to conduct a cabinet meeting instead. In the 1900s, Woodrow Wilson did not attend Warren G Harding's 1921 inauguration and neither did Richard Nixon attend Gerald Ford's 1974 inauguration. Nixon left Washington, D.C. even before his resignation came into effect. No predecessor, in recent history spanning over seven decades, however, has excused themselves from their successor's swearing-in ceremony.
Trump, on Saturday, responded to Biden's election win, in a statement, saying that the election was "far from over." The Republican, who doesn't appear in a mood to concede, issued a statement, saying: "We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over."
The Trump campaign has already filed lawsuits in three states over their election results and the incumbent has consistently repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent mail-in ballots in this election. The cases could be heard by a higher court and potentially move to the Supreme Court. States, from November 10, will begin to verify their vote tallies and after that recounts could be suggested by the Trump campaign.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn into office on January 20, 2021. The ceremony will take place at the west front lawn of the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. As per tradition, Harris will be sworn in first and then Biden.
The former vice president, who clinched victory in the 2020 presidential elections on Saturday, November 7, by winning Pennsylvania, released a statement on Twitter within minutes after a win, thanking America for choosing him. The Democrat leader added that he will be a president for all Americans, including those who did not vote for him. "America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me," Biden, set to become the 46th president of the United States, tweeted.