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Republican inaugural ceremonies chairman: I hope the president attends

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPadilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (R-Mo.), who serves as the inaugural ceremonies chairman, said Sunday that he hopes President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE attends the event.

Blunt, who heads the bicameral panel tasked with planning the inauguration, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he hopes Trump attends the ceremony if President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE is sworn in, which the senator said is “likely.”  

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“I hope the president is there on inaugural day, and [we’re] continuing to work to see what we can do to have the president there and have Vice President Biden there likely sworn in on that day,” Blunt said.

The Missouri Republican told CNN’s Dana BashDana BashKhashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' Senate Democrat: Saudi relationship being 'recalibrated' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE that he has not attempted to push the president to attend. Instead he said he has urged Trump’s staff to “look at the transition now, look at the opportunity in Georgia to help us win these Senate seats, look at what the president can do if the president is leaving the White House.”

“I think there’s a big role for President Trump, and I hope he embraces that and looks at how you move to whatever comes next for him, assuming that this election works out the way it appears it will,” he said. 

Blunt did not specifically recognize Biden as the president-elect but acknowledged that Senate Republicans are “certainly moving forward as if that’s what’s going to happen on” Inauguration Day. 

"The president-elect technically has to be elected president by the electors. That happens in the middle of December,” he said. 

“But we’re working with the Biden administration, the likely administration, on both the transition and the inauguration as if we’re moving forward,” he added. 

Bash pushed Blunt, citing that he said “likely administration” and asking, “Is it safe to say you do consider Joe Biden the president-elect?”

“Well, the president-elect will be the president-elect when the electors vote for him,” he responded.