WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence is among those who will not be attending President Donald Trump’s sendoff event at Joint Base Andrews.
A person familiar with Pence’s schedule cited "logistical challenges" in getting from the air base to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremonies on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss scheduling decisions.
Much of Washington, D.C., is under lockdown, with thousands of National Guard troops on patrol and other security precautions in place. The caution comes weeks after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop Congress from confirming Biden’s victory. Trump and Pence’s relationship has been strained since Trump tried to pressure Pence to stop the election certification and Trump supporters roaming the Capitol chanted, "Hang Mike Pence!" after the president tweeted disapprovingly of him.
US Vice President Mike Pence delivers an update on "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020.
Trump will be only the fourth president in the nation’s history not to attend his successor’s inauguration. He is boycotting the event and will be flying to Florida on Wednesday morning.
Aides have been organizing an elaborate sendoff, but it is unclear how many invitees plan to attend. Among them is Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director who became a Trump critic. He quipped on Twitter that he couldn’t make it because he was "having my fingernails pulled out at that time."
After the inauguration, Pence will be returning to his southern Indiana hometown.
The Indiana Republican Party says the former Indiana governor and his wife, Karen, are expected to attend Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday and then fly to Columbus Municipal Airport, where they will greeted by supporters.
Barbara Hackman, the Bartholomew County Republican Party chairperson, says that group of about 50 people is expected to include Pence’s brother, U.S. Rep. Greg Pence, and some state lawmakers.
Pence grew up in Columbus, and some family members still live there. But Pence hasn’t owned a home in Indiana for at least the past eight years. He lived in the Indiana governor's residence before moving to the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington as vice president.
Pence hasn’t said where he plans to live when his vice presidential term ends.