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Biden invites Pence to replace 'incompetent' Trump at inauguration

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo taken on October 10, 2020 shows US Vice President Mike Pence speaking at a rally in The Villages, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

US President-elect Joe Biden has welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to attend the inauguration ceremony after "incompetent" President Donald Trump decided to skip it.

Biden said on Friday that it was good that Trump was not coming to the inauguration ceremony scheduled on January 20. 

"I was told on the way over here that he indicated he wasn't going to show up at the inauguration: One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on," Biden said of Trump. "It's a good thing, him not showing up."

Biden described Trump as one of the most incompetent leaders in US history.

"He's exceeded even my worst notions about him," the president-elect said. "He is one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America."

Trump wrote on Friday that he was not attending the ceremony later this month.

To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021

Biden, who spoke from Wilmington, Delaware, added that he would welcome the outgoing Veep to attend his swearing-in ceremony.

"I think it's important that as much as we can stick to what have been the historic precedents and circumstances of how an administration changes should be maintained" Biden said. "So if Mike — the vice president is welcome to come. I'd be honored to have him there and to move forward in the transition."

Earlier in the day, Pence spokesman Devin O'Malley said the vice president and second lady Karen Pence had not decided whether they will attend the ceremony marking the formal transition of the presidency.

Media reports said Pence, who defied Trump earlier this week by refusing to interfere in the electoral ballots count that certified Biden's victory,  has signaled his willingness to attend Biden's inauguration, an administration source said, but added that Pence had yet to receive a formal invitation from the President-elect.

However, it remained unclear whether Pence would attend Biden's inauguration ceremony.

Moreover, it also remained unclear when Trump intended to hand over the White House to Biden.

Media reports said Trump had informed his advisers that he wanted to signal his exit by via a media interview, which they presumed might undercut any conciliatory notes. However, the first family has discussed scheduling its White House exit move on Jan. 19, the day before Biden's inauguration.

Ex-President Barack Obama, who had acknowledged Trump’s victory immediately after his win, and oversaw a detailed transition plan that was ignored by the incoming president, attended Trump’s inaugural.

However, former First Lady, Michelle Obama, described Trump's inauguration ceremony, particularly his speech, as one of her most excruciating experiences.

Only three presidents have skipped their successor’s inauguration ceremonies in US history.

John Adams in 1801, his son John Quincy Adams in 1829 , and Andrew Johnson in  1869.

Johnson, a Democrat, was replaced in favor of Republican Ulysses S. Grant. 

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