Administration

Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be attending 44th Kennedy Center Honors this month, marking the return of a sitting president to the prestigious arts ceremony after former President Trump declined to attend the event after several honorees criticized him. 

The Bidens will attend the Kennedy Center Honors with Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, The Washington Post reported. It will also mark Biden's first fully in-person honors during his term as president.

Trump and former first lady Melania Trump announced in August 2017 that they would not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors in order to avoid what they described as a "political distraction."

"Each year, the Kennedy Center honors the careers and achievements of artists who have helped shape cultural life in the United States with a weekend that includes celebrations and events," they said in a statement at the time. "The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year's activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction."

The Trumps ultimately did not attend any of the Kennedy Center Honors while they were in the White House.

Along with attending the ceremony, the Bidens will also bring back the tradition of hosting a reception at the White House, according to the Post.

The 2020 Kennedy Center Honors were postponed until May 2021 due to the pandemic. When the socially distanced, hybrid event took place, the Bidens held a reception at the White House but did not attend any of the in-person events.

For the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors, Bette Midler, Lorne Michaels, Joni Mitchell, Berry Gordy and Justino Díaz will be presented with the prestigious award for their contributions to American culture.

The ceremony will air on CBS on Dec. 22.

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