Mike Pence is stepping in as Donald Trump snubbed nearly every tradition that comes with a transition of presidential power as he and second lady Karen Pence arrived at Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.
Trump’s No. 2 did not meet with the outgoing president on inauguration morning, reports revealed.
The fallout between Pence and Trump reached a precipice on January 6 after a mob of pro-Trump rioters descended on the Capitol and demanded Pence be hung as he presided over Congress certifying the election for Biden.
Trump left Washington earlier Wednesday morning and landed in Palm Beach, Florida as the inauguration kicked off. According to Trump’s White House spokesperson Judd Deere, Trump did leave a note for Biden in the Oval Office – although the contents are unknown.
Otherwise, Trump did not participate in any of the usual pomp and circumstance of a peaceful transfer of power, including meeting with the incoming president before traveling to the inauguration ceremony together.
Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Joe Biden’s inauguration as Donald Trump refuses to participate for the transition of power
Pence and second lady Karen Pence speak with former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush before Biden is sworn in
Pence posted a farewell tweet Tuesday evening and reposted Wednesday morning with images of his time as vice president – none of the four pictures included one of him with Donald Trump, only those with his wife and his children
Instead of the sitting president arriving at the Capitol steps for inauguration, Pence was welcomed in Trump’s place after he did not attend the president’s farewell address hours earlier from Joint Base Andrews.
Trump has been outraged with his vice president since the election, claiming he did not do enough to help overturn the results. He also falsely claimed Pence, as president of the Senate, could do something in Congress to stop them from certifying the Electoral College outcome.
Despite the reported bitterness between the two leaders, the Washington Post reported Trump and Pence met in person Thursday and spoke on the phone on Friday – five days before the end of their term together.
On Tuesday evening, Pence sent a farewell tweet, including four pictures of his time in office – none including images of him with President Trump.
‘Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Vice President these past four years, it has been the greatest honor of my life,’ Pence tweeted and reposted Wednesday morning.
‘On behalf of our Wonderful Second Lady, Karen Pence, and our entire Family, Thank You and God Bless America,’ he continued with an emoji of an American flag.
He posted two images with his family and two others with his wife, Karen Pence.
Donald and Melania Trump departed Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning and landed in Palm Beach at the same moment Biden’s inauguration ceremony kicked off. Pence was not present at the remarks where Trump thanks his No. 2
Trump, during his final remarks as president on Wednesday morning, thanked Pence.
‘I want to just, in leaving, thank our Vice President Mike pence and Karen, Trump said to a crowd of his supporters gathered on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews.
He also extended his thanks to Congress and promised to ‘be back in some form’ before boarding Air Force One one final time.
‘Have a good life, we will see you soon,’ he said.
Pence was not present at the speech because, his spokespeople claim, it would not be logistically possible to attend both the outgoing president’s remarks and incoming president’s swearing-in.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – along with their respective spouses – attended the inauguration. Jimmy Carter, 96, the other remaining living president, decided not to attend in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
In the absence of a meeting with his predecessor Wednesday morning, Biden attended mass at a church in Washington, D.C.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the top Republicans in Congress, attended the service. Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were also present.