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Trump Won't Attend Inauguration; Congress Pushes Ahead With Capitol Ceremony

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President Trump, pictured Wednesday, said Friday he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
Brendan Smialowski, AFP via Getty Images

President Trump, pictured Wednesday, said Friday he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

When President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, one traditional element illustrating the peaceful transfer of power will be missing: outgoing President Trump.

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump said, "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."

After weeks of falsely claiming that he had won the November election, Trump had not been expected to attend Biden's swearing-in.

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, meanwhile, announced Friday that they will attend the ceremony.

The congressional committee that plans the ceremony says the swearing-in will take place on the Capitol's West Front as planned, despite the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. The rioters had overrun the platform constructed for the event as well as the rest of the Capitol building.

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In a statement, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said that Wednesday "was a sad and solemn day for our country. The outrageous attack on the Capitol, however, will not stop us from affirming to Americans — and the world — that our democracy endures. Our committee's bipartisan, bicameral membership remains committed to working with our many partners to execute ceremonies that are safe and showcase our determined democracy."

In the wake of the insurrection, security for the inaugural is expected to be extremely tight. A large fence has already been placed around the perimeter of the Capitol grounds. There will be few guests, and the incoming Biden administration has already urged people not to come to Washington for the event, in large part because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Secret Service, which is the lead agency among those working to secure the event, issued a statement that it has been "working tirelessly" for well over a year "to anticipate and prepare for all possible contingencies at every level to ensure a safe and secure Inauguration Day."

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