During his first joint post-election interview alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that he believes it is “important” that President Donald Trump attend next month’s inauguration but that it doesn’t personally matter to him.
“I think it would be important only in one sense,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Important in the 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.”
Expressing concern about the “image we’re presenting to the rest of the world” as Trump continues to deny his own election loss, Biden went on to say “the protocol of the transfer of power, I think, is important” before adding that “it is totally [Trump’s] decision” to attend his swearing-in. “It has no personal consequence to me,” the president-elect continued. “But I do think it is for the country.”
While some Republicans and aides have urged the president to appear at Biden’s inauguration despite his steadfast refusal to concede as he peddles increasingly unhinged election conspiracies, the president has privately gamed out a plot to hold a competing event announcing his own 2024 run while Biden is being sworn in.