Donald Trump announced Friday he won’t be going to Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20th, while his remaining aides and allies have described him as a ‘total monster’ and ‘mad King George’ as his presidency ends in chaos.
Trump isolated himself from his staff and the Republican Party, holed up in the Oval Office with a bunker mentality as aides pleaded with him to send a message of healing to the country in the aftermath of the MAGA mob storming Capitol Hill.
He returned to Twitter Thursday night – after the social media network locked his account – with a call for ‘peace’ and ‘unity’ although no acknowledgment of his own role in whipping up the mob who stormed the Capitol, leaving a dead police officer and four dead of their own in their wake.
But on Friday morning, the peacemaking ended: he launched an tweet partly in all capitals to thank his supporters, calling them ‘great American Patriots.’
‘The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!,’ he wrote.
And he announced, in a break with historical tradition, that he will snub his successor on Inauguration Day.
‘To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,’ he declared.
The last president not to attend his successor’s swearing-in was President Andrew Johnson in 1869 – who had also been impeached. Both John Adams and John Quincy Adams snubbed their successors too.
Shortly after Trump announced the snub, Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton announced they would attend. George W Bush and wife Laura had already confirmed they would attend. Jimmy Carter, 96, and wife Roslynn, 93, will not attend, the first inaugural they have missed since 1977, while they attempt to keep safe from COVID.
Trump and the first family will reportedly leave the White House on January 19 to go to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida – a decision made so that he gets to fly on a plane with the call sign Air Force One, a privilege he loses as soon as he is not the sitting president.
The snub – at once norm-breaking and unsurprising – came on a day when:
- Nancy Pelosi revealed she has asked General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, how he is stopping a ‘deranged president’ from using the nuclear codes or launching military action – but did not say how he responded;
- She held a meeting with Democratic House members repeating to them what she had announced yesterday: that Mike Pence must use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump or she will impeach him;
- Pence was reported to be ‘reluctant’ to use it, if only because of the legal chaos which would ensue over whether the cabinet has enough members to vote to invoke it – partly because Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary and Betsy DeVos, the education secretary have resigned in disgust and partly because Trump had filled the cabinet with acting secretaries whose legal authority to invoke it is unclear;
- Republican senator Ben Sasse said he was willing to impeach and remove Trump, making him the first of the GOP caucus who had voted against convicting the president last year to change position – but so far no others have followed;
- After his cabinet was rocked by resignations, one of his closest aides Hope Hicks was reported by CNN to be considering her position, along with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone;
- Washington D.C.’s district attorney Karl Racine hinted that he is investigating Trump, Don Jr, and Rudy Giuliani over inciting the riot at the wild rally held just outside the White House where the president demanded ‘strength’ and said he would lead a march on the Capitol and Giuliani demanded ‘trial by combat’;
- Trump was revealed to have only tweeted a video on Thursday night admitting there would be a new administration after he was warned by Cipollone that he faces charges of incitement;
- The FBI launched a murder hunt to find the MAGA rioters who killed Officer Brian Sicknick during the storming of the Capitol, apparently hitting him over the head with a fire extinguisher;
- Sickening details of how the mob smeared their own feces on the floor of the Capitol and may even have stolen national security secrets as they looted laptops were revealed.
President Trump announced he will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th
President Donald Trump initially resisted taping his video message acknowledging his election loss but agreed to after being warned he could face legal risk
Trump’s return to twitter and revelation he will not go to Biden was a wrenching change of tone from his video last night when he acknowledging he did not win the November election.
It took many failed legal battles, an attack on Capitol Hill and Congress’ certification of the electoral college vote and then an explicit warning from Cipollone of potential criminal exposure to even get the president to that point – only for him to reverse course on Friday morning and return to all-capitals tweets.
‘A lot of people don’t want to talk to him,’ a senior administration official said. ‘He’s in a terrible mood constantly, and he’s defensive, and everyone knows this was a horrible mistake.’
One administration official described Trump’s behavior as that of ‘a total monster.’
One ally called him ‘mad.’
‘He is alone. He is mad King George,’ said one Republican in frequent touch with the White House. ‘Trump believes that he has these people so intimidated they wouldn’t dare mess with him. I think Trump doesn’t understand how precarious his situation is right now.’
WAS KING GEORGE’S MADNESS 18TH CENTURY FAKE NEWS?
King George III, nicknamed ‘Mad King George,’ ruled the United Kingdom and the British empire from 1760 until his death in 1820 – making him America’s last king.
But as well as losing the colonies, his place in history has been defined by the description of him as ‘mad,’ speaking at high-speed, writing 400-word sentences, and appearing frantic and deranged.
In 1810, a regency was established because of concerns about his mental health.
His eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father’s death.
While he was called ‘Mad,’ it’s believed the king suffered from the blood disease porphyria, which attacks the central nervous system and can cause the symptoms he appears to have exhibited. Others have suggested he was was bipolar.
But linking his ‘madness’ to the loss of the colonies is questioned by historians; the episodes which have been recorded were after the Treaty of Paris.
His health was poor in his later life. He developed dementia, and became completely blind and increasingly deaf.
The king has had a resurgence in popular culture in the past few years thanks to his being portrayed in the popular musical ‘Hamilton’ and being referenced – although not seen – in the new Netflix series ‘Bridgerton.’
The descriptions came after aides spent hours convincing the president to denounce the MAGA mob that attacked Capitol Hill. They begged him to go on Fox News, to tweet, to make a statement.
Trump agreed to a video but he made ad libs to the script as he spoke, telling the rioters he ‘loved’ them but he did not specifically asking them to leave the Capitol.
But as more and more Republicans distanced themselves from him and talk began about removing him from office via the 25th amendment or the impeachment process, Trump released a second video statement denouncing the violence and acknowledging his election loss.
Trump’s speech marked an astonishing change of tone. He admitted, in a rare encounter with reality, that ‘there will be a new administration’ come January 20th.
He also said this moment ‘calls for healing.’
But despite the talk of healing, Trump plans to go to the United States border with Mexico next week to highlight his immigration policies,
It could be his last trip as president of the United States.
His hard line approach, and his border wall, has inflamed the debate around the issue and the president is not likely to back down from it.
The president last visited the border in June, when he went down during the presidential campaign to check on the progress of his wall.
It also was revealed Friday that Trump initially resisted taping his video message acknowledging his election loss but agreed to after the
The Justice Department said Thursday it would not rule out pursuing charges against President Trump for his possible role in encouraging the insurgents that ransacked the Capitol, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and four deaths, including a Capitol police officer.
‘We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building,’ Michael Sherwin, the U.S. attorney in Washington, said at a press conference.
Trump agreed to the Thursday night statement after White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned him of the legal risk,
And Cipollone is considering resigning, CNN reported, out of frustration with Trump and the president’s bringing in conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell, who has argued voting machines changed votes from Trump to Joe Biden. Dominion Voting Systems is suing her for the false claims about their machines.
Despite a millionaire dollar, multi-lawyer effort, the Trump team was unable to provide evidence of mass voter fraud. Trump’s own administration has said the election was legally conducted and done fairly. Biden won with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
While the president’s initial response to the MAGA mob was tepid, in his nearly 3 minute video remarks on Thursday night, Trump denounced the violence on Capitol Hill.
‘To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction: You do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay,’ he said.
But he also ended with a warm note for his supporters.
‘To all of my wonderful supporters. I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning,’ he said.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned President Trump of legal danger and the Justice Department did not rule out charging him
The speech also marked his first acknowledgement he will not have a second term in the White House. Trump, however, did not say the word ‘concede’ nor acknowledge incoming president Biden, but merely said there be a ‘new administration.’
Sitting presidents usually are not charged with crimes. Trump loses that protection in 12 days.
The Justice Department will lead the prosecution of those involved in the Capitol Hill attack since it handles cases for Washington D.C.
Trump has long stoked the fire of rage with the MAGA crowd, going back to his 2016 campaign when he demanded Hillary Clinton be locked up, a wall to be built to separate the United States from Mexico and his final false charge this year that the election was fraudulent.
Many Republicans denounced the president’s actions, including former Attorney General Bill Barr, who told the Associated Press that ‘orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.’
Trump’s video came after a day of disarray on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
After the attack on Capitol Hill, which left lawmakers and staff shaken, several Trump aides and two Cabinet secretaries quit, citing the president’s lackluster initial response to the rioting at the Capitol.
Some Republican lawmakers, including those who were Trump allies, also turned on him.
All that pressure led to Thursday night’s statement, where Trump blasted the ‘heinous’ attack and called for national ‘healing’ and an ‘orderly’ and ‘seamless’ transition to a new administration.
‘I’d like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol,’ Trump said
‘Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.
President Donald Trump released a short video where he blasted the ‘heinous’ attack and called for national ‘healing’ – and called for an ‘orderly’ and ‘seamless’ transition to a new administration
WASHINGTON: A crowd control fence was put up around Capitol Hill a day after the harrowing scenes in the U.S. Congress which stunned the world and left America’s place as a beacon of democracy in tatters
WASHINGTON: The DC National Guard keeps order outside the Capitol on Thursday amid a dispute over who had called it up at the height of the insurrection the previous day
Trump tweeted the video after being banned from Twitter for dangerous rhetoric and as he faced new calls for his impeachment and for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Trump defended his own past claims of election fraud – but excused his most caustic rhetoric.
‘We have just been through an intense election, and the motions are high, but now tempers must be cool and calm,’ Trump said.
‘This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,’ said Trump, who spent years using his Twitter feed to attack his political rivals.
‘Now, Congress has certified the results, and a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power,’ he said.
On a day when top Democratic leaders accused him of fomenting ‘insurrection,’ Trump described his election challenges seeking to overturn the results as a plan to protect democracy itself – despite Biden beating him by millions of votes.
‘My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. And so doing I was fighting to defend American democracy,’ Trump said.
After encouraging his supporters to ‘fight’ and sending them to the Capitol, he blasted those who invaded the Capitol for ‘lawlessness and mayhem.’
‘The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,’ he said.
‘To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction. You do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will.’
‘Now, Congress has certified the results, and new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power,’ he said
An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of the Capitol on Wednesday
Pro-Trump insurgents stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday in an attack that left nation stunned
Trump’s words – given with no reporters present who could question him in keeping with a media blackout in recent weeks following his loss – hit some of the points his own supporters were begging him make explicit at a time of national tension.
His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, issued a brief statement about the situation at the Capitol about two hours earlier, speaking for only a few minutes and not taking questions.
Hours earlier, Trump’s Transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, announced she was resigning. Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, followed suit.
Several aides announced their immediate departures after the Capitol riots. His former chief of staff, John Kelly, excoriated his conduct, and his former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, quit his State Department post as an envoy.
Meanwhile, a flood of pressure from both Republicans and Democrats, arrived with calls for impeachment or for the 25th amendment to be enacted.
But sources close to Vice President Mike Pence were indicating he would not go along with 25th Amendment scenarios that would strip Trump of powers.
Another push came in an editorial in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal amid a flood of Democratic impeachment calls. A successful impeachment would bar Trump from future office – resigning would not.
‘If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign,’ said the editorial. ‘This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence. And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate.’
Trump’s call for a smooth transition came after weeks of a transition period that was anything but smooth.
His lawyers and allies filed a blizzard of ‘kraken’ lawsuits – nearly all going down to defeat; one lawyer quit . The Supreme Court declined to take up a Texas challenge. Affidavits from Trump supporters claiming fraud fell apart in court or got tossed.
A government functionary, the head of the General Services Administration, declined to certify Joe Biden as the president-elect for days, denying his people access to the current administration and its data.
Throughout the transition, Biden’s methodical announcements about cabinet selections – normally big news that allow an incoming administration to introduce its team to the public – got overshadowed by the drama of Trump’s election overturn effort.
The mayor of Washington has put the city on an alert footing through inauguration, Capitol police are expanding the security perimeter around the Capitol to prepare for inauguration, and some officials are warning of more potential mayhem from Trump’s supporters, after the president’s drumbeat of claims the election was ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ from him.
THE FIVE PEOPLE WHO DIED AT MAGA MOB RIOT ON CAPITOL
Capitol Cop Brian Sidnick, 42 – ‘MURDERED’ by the mob
Sidnick was allegedly hit over the head with a fire extinguisher during the chaos. It’s unclear where exactly he was when he was injured; many of his colleagues were outnumbered on the day.
He retreated to his division office afterwards which is where he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital, put on life support but died on Thursday night.
Federal prosecutors have now launched a murder investigation into his death. Like the people he was fighting, he supported Trump.
Roseanne Boyland, 34 – Trampled in the Rotunda
Roseanne Boyland, 34, from Georgia was ‘trampled in the Rotunda’, her family told DailyMail.com on Thursday after police she had been potentially ‘crushed’ in the mob.
Her family said she had planned to ‘hang back’ but was emboldened by Trump’s speech earlier on Wednesday.
They say they blame Trump for her death.
Ashli Babbitt, 35 – Shot dead by cops climbing into the Capitol building
Ashli Babbitt, 35, was a 14-year air force veteran who was fatally shot in the chest by Capitol Police as she breached the building.
A witness to the shooting suggested the San Diego local was shot by police when she tried to climb through a broken window to get into congressional chambers.
She was pictured lying on the ground afterwards with blood streaming from her nose. She was the only person shot on Wednesday.
Kevin Greeson, 55 – Had a heart attack ‘in the midst of excitement’
His family said in a statement: ‘Kevin had a history of high blood pressure, and in the midst of the excitement, suffered a heart attack. Our family is devastated.’
Social media photographs show Greeson posing proudly with two AR-15 rifles. He regularly posted on the website Parler where he encouraged violence against Democrats.
Among recent comments was: ‘Let’s take this f*****g country BACK! Load your guns and take to the s streets. I’m bringing my guns.’
Ben Phillips, 50 – Had a stroke after leading caravan of Trump fans from PA to DC
‘They should name this year Zero because something will happen,’ his friends claim he said before the riot got underway.
Phillips founded the website Trumparoo, where Trump supporters can speak to each other, and organized transport for dozens of people to get to DC from Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
It’s unclear at what point in the day he suffered his stroke, or if he was married or had children.