President Trump Refuses Biden Government Jet Night Before Inauguration

By Claire Hardwick

In breaking from tradition, President Trump has refused to officially concede the race to President-elect Joe Biden, and will not attend his inauguration on January 20th. But while it was unclear if he would partake in any of the usual formalities to symbolize a peaceful transition of power, President Trump has made it clear he will not be a part of any events. 

On the eve before the inauguration, President Trump refused to authorize a government jet to transport President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, to the nation’s capital. Biden had to charter his own private plane. At the same time the new president landed, Trump released a farewell video, an attempt to redirect the narrative back to him. In the video, he did not acknowledge tomorrow’s inauguration, or congratulate Biden in any way.  In 2017, Obama sent Trump a government jet to transport him from New York to Washington. 

Tomorrow, he also will not invite Biden to the White House, and Melania will not give Dr. Biden the usual tour that is normally done from former first lady to future first lady. He will hold a farewell address at Joint Base Andrews base before departing on Air Force One for the last time. His farewell event, however, will not be attended by Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy. All Trump allies. 

Trump will also most likely write Biden a letter, another tradition from one president to the next. He will travel to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach. While his twitter has been suspended, we have not heard much from the president. 

Why this matters: The Republican lawmakers who stood by Trump throughout the past four years will not be with him in his final moments as president. Instead, they will be with the new president. If this is not symbolic to you, you have to think about the message this gives Trump, and what it indicates for the future of the Republican Party. Trump refusing to partake in any of the events shows his refusal to admit he lost the race, and he is ending his presidency similar to how he started: with his fierce supporters, but separate from the party leaders. In what has not been a normal presidency, this ending is far from normal, and Trump is deliberately side-stepping many of the historical parts of the peaceful transition of power.