WASHINGTON. — President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is due to take place today in a ceremony President Donald Trump has said he won’t attend, making him the first president since 1869 to buck the tradition.
Trump has largely vanished from public life in the final days of his presidency.
Since some of his supporters staged a deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, the president has not made a single public appearance.
His aides have described him as angry and isolated in the White House, with CNN reporting late last week that aides had decided to limit his appearances before the media in case he veered from scripted comments about the riot.
The attack, and Trump’s response, saw him isolated from many in the Republican Party and in his own Cabinet. Numerous top officials have resigned since the riot, leaving him largely alone in the White House.
The swearing-in of Biden will see the biggest security presence of any inauguration in US history. For days, thousands of National Guard troops have been pouring into the capital, and by today’s ceremony, up to 25 000 troops will be in place to guard against security threats.
The nation’s capital will look much different than it did in the days leading up to the attack on the US Capitol building earlier this month.
The area around the Capitol has been blocked off by barricades, and the National Mall is already closed to the public across its entire length — from the Capitol down to the Lincoln Memorial, two miles away.
“We cannot allow a recurrence of the chaos and illegal activity that the United States and the world witnessed last week,” said Matt Miller, head of the US Secret Service’s Washington field office.
The House impeached Trump for a historic second time over his role inciting the Capitol mob last week, and he now faces an impeachment trial in the Senate. Republican Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota told Insider last week that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, had told GOP senators that they could vote however they wanted during the coming impeachment trial. — Business Insider.