President-elect Joe Biden believes outgoing President Donald Trump should attend the upcoming inauguration for the good of the country and its reputation on the world stage.
During a wide-ranging interview with CNN Thursday, Jake Tapper asked whether Biden felt it was important that the outgoing president be present for Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump has not yet confirmed if he'll attend.
"I think it would [be] important only in one sense — not in a personal sense — important in a sense that we are able to 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," said Biden, 78, who Tapper noted was chuckling before responding to the question.
Biden continued: "I really worry about the image we're presenting to the rest of the world … look where we are now in the world. Look how we're viewed. They're wondering, 'My Lord, these things happen in tinhorn dictatorships. This is not the United States.' "
"So in that sense, the protocol of the transfer of power is important," Biden added. "But it is totally his decision, and is of no personal consequence to me — but I do think it is to the country."
Biden was projected as the winner of the Nov. 3 election by major news desks including the Associated Press four days after the polls closed.
Historically, losing presidential candidates concede the race in a phone call to the victor, and meet with the incoming first families.
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, for instance, welcomed both Trump and his wife, Melania, to the White House days after he won the 2016 race.
Since losing, however, the 74-year-old Trump has argued, without evidence, that the election was "stolen" from him, launching a host of legal challenges to contest the results.
Those efforts have been largely unsuccessful and, after a delay, the Trump administration has moved forward with the transition of power that is customary between administrations.
Last Monday, Trump tweeted that he was “recommending” that the General Services Administration go forward with approving the transition process, but that his campaign would "keep up the good fight."
Hours later, Trump tweeted again, to say that he would not be conceding the race.
Despite the transition moving ahead, Trump is reportedly considering not attending Biden's inauguration, and instead exploring hosting a competing event of his own.
Sources familiar with the Trump campaign told NBC News that "preliminary planning" was underway for a Jan. 20 event that could mark the official kickoff of a 2024 bid for the presidency.
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