Biden says Trump should attend his inauguration for the sake of America's 'image'

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer
·2-min read

President-elect Joe Biden says he thinks it’s important for the sake of appearances that President Trump attend his inauguration — although as far as he’s concerned “it’s of no personal consequence.”

Trump, who is continuing to contest the results of the election, hasn’t said whether he intends to be there when Biden takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

In an interview that aired on Thursday night, Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the gesture would be “important in the sense that we are able to demonstrate, at the end of this chaos that he’s created, that there is peaceful transfer of power, with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands and moving on.”

The president-elect said he worries “about the image we’re presenting to the rest of the world.”

“Look where we are now in the world,” Biden said. “Look how we’re viewed. They’re wondering, ‘My Lord, these things happen in tinhorn dictatorships.’ This is not — it’s not the United States.”

Trump and his allies are refusing to concede the results of the election, which show Biden defeated the incumbent president in both the popular vote (81,029,173 votes to Trump’s 74,122,605) and the Electoral College (306 electoral votes to 232 — the same margin of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016).

After most presidential elections are called, the losing candidate concedes the race in a phone call to the winner, delivers a concession speech and agrees to participate in the ceremonial transfer of power on Inauguration Day — including a traditional meeting between the outgoing and incoming first families.

President Trump shakes hands with former Vice President Joe Biden as former President Barack Obama looks on at Trump's inauguration ceremony, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images)
President Trump shakes hands with former Vice President Joe Biden as former President Barack Obama looks on at Trump’s inauguration ceremony, in 2017. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On Inauguration Day in 2017, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcomed then-President-elect Trump and incoming first lady Melania Trump to the White House, and the Obamas were in attendance for Trump’s inauguration speech.

Trump, who during the campaign implied that Biden was both senile and a criminal, has made no such invitations. Reports have suggested he intends to launch his 2024 campaign with a rally at the same time.

His administration, after stalling for several weeks, reluctantly began cooperating with Biden’s transition team.

“The protocol of the transfer of power, I think, is important,” Biden said. “But it is totally his decision, and it’s — it’s of no personal consequence to me. But I do think it is for the country.”

Cover thumbnail: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images


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