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Pence Will Attend Biden Inauguration

Vice President Pence plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
Vice President Pence plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Vice President Pence plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a source familiar with the decision tells NPR.

The decision comes a day after President Trump announced on Twitter that he would not attend the inauguration.

Trump has spent weeks falsely claiming the election was rigged, culminating in a violent mob of his supporters overtaking the Capitol Wednesday and leading to the deaths of five people.

Biden said on Friday that he was glad Trump decided not to attend and that Pence is "welcome to come. I'd be honored to have him there."

The decision is Pence's second high-profile split from Trump, after standing loyally behind him for years. Despite pressure from Trump, Pence affirmed Biden's victory when Congress finished tallying Electoral College votes early Thursday morning. Trump had called for Pence to show "extreme courage" by rejecting the certification process.

Former presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton are also expected to attend the inauguration.

The congressional committee that plans the inauguration ceremony said that the swearing-in will take place on the Capitol's West Front as planned, despite the events of Wednesday. Security will be tight. The team planning the ceremony has advised people to not travel to Washington because of coronavirus risks, and said the event's "footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined."

Trump will be the first president in recent history to not attend the swearing in of his successor.

Tamara Keith contributed reporting.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.