Trump Just Made A Stunning Announcement About Biden's Inauguration

President Trump's final days in office have been eventful, to put it mildly. Following November's presidential election, he launched a slew of lawsuits that failed to prove his charges of widespread voter fraud (per The Washington Post). Undaunted, he called Georgia's secretary of state on the eve of the state's runoff senatorial election (in a recording obtained by the Post) and demanded that he "find" enough votes to turn the tide in his favor.

When that, too, failed, the president led a Save America Rally on the White House grounds, timed to the convening of Congress as they prepared to certify Joe Biden as the 46th president. His speech, which included such phrases as "We will never give up. We will never concede" and "[Y]ou'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength" (per Rev transcript) is widely acknowledged as inspiring his supporters to riot at the U.S. Capitol. The unprecedented act resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol police officer who was a former war veteran (per NY Post).

Although Trump at first called the participants "very special" and said, "We love you," he appeared to reverse course the next day as he said, "To those who engaged in acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country." He then went on to concede the election at last, saying, "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power." (per NBC News). His most recent statements, however, indicate that the president is still not yet ready to take defeat gracefully.

Trump will skip the ceremony, and still feels he was wronged

Late in the morning of January 8, President Trump tweeted simply, "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th." Although the announcement was not unexpected, it will still mark the first time a departing president has opted out of attending his successor's swearing-in since 1869 (per CNN). The ceremony traditionally includes the outgoing and incoming commanders in chief meeting at the White House before riding in the same vehicle to the Capitol, CNN adds. However, there will be at least one other prominent Republican at Biden's inaugural: Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura.

While Trump's decision may partly have been made over security concerns over the Capitol riot, it may also reflect his continuing opinion that he should have been the one taking the oath of office on January 20. Half an hour before his announcement, he also tweeted: "The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"

Reactions to the president's declaration included Bette Midler, who said, "WHO CARES? After what you have put us through, we all hope to never clap eyes on you again, you traitorous, seditious, appalling...loser." Bill O'Reilly said it was the "correct call," but added that Trump should still offer congratulatory wishes. Patton Oswalt quipped, "Will you still have a merch table?"