President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that it is of “no personal consequence” to him whether or not outgoing President Donald Trump chooses to attend Biden’s inauguration next month, but that the move does have bearing on the nation’s image around the world.
“It is totally his decision and it’s of no personal consequence to me,” Biden said during an interview Thursday when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked if he thought it was important for Trump to join in the event. “But I do think it is for the country.”
The President-elect said if Trump attended it would “demonstrate at the end of this chaos that he’s created that there is peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands and moving on.”
Trump has not yet said whether he will attend Biden’s inauguration. Over the weekend, reports began to surface that Trump, who has floated a 2024 presidential bid, was considering ways to disrupt Biden’s inauguration, possibly even scheduling an event during his successor’s inauguration week.
“I really worry about the image we’re presenting to the rest of the world,” Biden continued on Thursday. He suggested that the world is watching as the United States fumbles amid its transfer of power, which has largely been precipitated by Trump’s false claims of fraud. According to Biden, onlookers are thinking that what’s unfolding in the wake of the recent election is fitting of the sorts of issues that arise in “tinhorn dictatorships” rather than the United States.
“In that sense, the protocol of the transfer of power I think is important,” Biden said.