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Trump announces he'll skip inauguration, Biden said he'd be 'honored' to have Pence there

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump confirmed Friday what has been suspected for weeks: He will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the inauguration on January 20th,” he announced on Twitter.

Trump’s decision to skip Biden’s swearing-in ceremony comes after weeks of his refusing to acknowledge that Biden defeated him in the Nov. 3 election.

Trump finally acknowledged his loss in a video on Thursday, saying a new administration will take office Jan. 20.

Biden made it clear that he won't miss Trump. He called Trump's decision to boycott his inaugural "one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on."

"It's a good thing he's not showing up," Biden said Friday at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump isn't the first outgoing president to skip his successor's inauguration. John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson did not attend the inaugurals of the men who succeeded them. Richard Nixon left the White House after resigning and did not go to Gerald Ford’s swearing-in.

After reports Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence was expected to attend the inauguration, spokesman Devin O’Malley tweeted: "You can’t attend something you haven’t received an invitation to."

But a spokeswoman for Biden’s inaugural committee said Pence is “of course invited to attend the Inaugural.” She said the president and vice president traditionally do not receive formal invitations. Attendance is coordinated at a staff level “and that is taking place,” the spokeswoman said.

Pence and his wife “have yet to make a decision regarding their attendance,” O’Malley said Friday.

Asked if Pence should attend his inauguration, Biden said it's important to stick to historical precedence "as much as we can."

"The vice president is welcome to come," Biden said, adding he'd "be honored to have him there."

Biden's inauguration will be a scaled-down event because of the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Tickets to the swearing-in ceremony will be limited. The traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue will be replaced by a virtual parade that will be televised.

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