Biden Says ‘It’s a Good Thing’ Trump Won’t Attend His Inauguration

Date: 2021-01-08 21:44:56

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President-elect Joe Biden declined to endorse lawmakers’ push to oust President Donald Trump, saying he was instead focused on moving forward on taking office in less than two weeks.

Biden repeated his longstanding claim that Trump is “unfit” for office but said the fastest way to remove him was to move forward with Biden’s own inauguration.

“I think it’s important we get on with the business of getting him out of office. The quickest way that that will happen is us being sworn in on the 20th. What action happens before or after that is a judgement for the Congress to make, but that’s what I am looking forward to — him leaving office,” Biden said at a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden said that instead of impeachment, he was focused on controlling the pandemic and reviving the U.S. economy.

Despite the symbolism of one president handing power off to another at the inauguration, Biden said it was a “good thing” Trump is declining to attend his inauguration.

“One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on,” Biden quipped. He added, however, that Vice President Mike Pence would be “welcome to come.”

Biden said he would speak later Friday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic congressional leadership about his legislative priorities and Trump. Pelosi has said she would ask him his position on impeachment.

Lawmakers are outraged that Trump encouraged supporters to storm the Capitol Wednesday, overwhelming law enforcement, forcing evacuations and sparking mayhem that left five people dead, including a police officer. Even though the president has only a few days left in his term, many have called for Trump to be stripped of power as soon as possible.

Pelosi has been calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump and said the House will move forward on articles of impeachment if nothing is done, as the chamber’s top Republican warned such a move would further divide the country.

Those documents have already been drafted, but in a conference call Friday with House Democrats Pelosi didn’t say whether she’s made a decision about proceeding, according to people who listened in on the call.

Biden also declined to add his name to the list of those calling for the the resignation of senators who objected to his win being certified.

“I think they should just be flat beaten the next time they run,” he said of Texas’s Ted Cruz and Missouri’s Josh Hawley. “They are part of the big lie. There are decent people out there who actually believe these lies because they’ve heard it again and again.”

Biden went so far as to compare them to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.

Hawley slammed the comparison in a statement as “undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect” and demanded Biden retract the comments.

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