Trump mulling extravagant White House exit to upstage Biden inauguration: report
President Trump is reportedly considering an elaborate departure from the White House to counterprogram President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, according to Axios, which cited sources familiar with the talks of the Trump event.
The reported discussions follow reports that the president plans to announce a 2024 presidential bid during the Biden inauguration.
The tentative plan would involve Trump departing on Marine One before flying to his primary residence of Florida for a 2024 campaign rally, the publication said.
But a White House spokesperson denied the claims.
“Anonymous sources who claim to know what the President is or is not considering have no idea,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told Axios. “When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20 he will let you know.”
Biden’s inauguration itself is likely to be very different from past ceremonies.
The United States is seeing a dramatic and deadly rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, which has led to dire predictions from public health officials.
Huge crowds of people attending an inauguration for the new president are unlikely in such a situation, to say the least. Biden’s inauguration could resemble the Democratic National Convention in August, which was largely held virtually.
Trump seems unlikely to attend Biden’s inauguration, attendance that is typical for the outgoing president.
Last week, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Biden said it was not important to him personally that Trump attend but said it was “important in a sense that we are able to demonstrate at the end of this chaos that he’s created that there is a peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands and moving on.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), one of the president’s most vocal Senate allies, has also refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory but said last week that “if Biden winds up winning, yeah, I think” Trump should attend the inauguration.
“I just think it’s good for the country. It’d be good for him,” Graham added.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment on the report.