George W. Bush says he will attend Biden's inauguration as Trump considers plan for a rival attention-grabbing event

  • George W. Bush will attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, his spokesman has told multiple outlets.
  • President Bush's chief of staff Freddy Ford said in a statement cited by Bloomberg: "I believe this will be the eighth inauguration they've had the privilege of attending — President Trump's being the most recent — and witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old."
  • President Trump is reportedly considering a plan to skip the ceremony and hold a rival attention-grabbing event, although the White House has not confirmed his plans for the January 20 event.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

George W. Bush will attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in a show of bipartisan unity which could provide a marked contrast with President Trump's reported consideration of a plan to skip the ceremony and hold a rival attention-grabbing event.

Freddy Ford, President Bush's chief of staff, told multiple outlets that Bush and his wife Laura planned to attend Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's presidential ceremony on January 20.

"I believe this will be the eighth inauguration they've had the privilege of attending — President Trump's being the most recent — and witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old," Ford said, in a statement cited by Bloomberg.

Bush is one of four living former presidents and the only living former Republican president.

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter, who are 96 and 93, will not attend the ceremony, according to the Associated Press. The couple have remained mostly at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.

The others are former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who have not publicly confirmed whether they will be attending the ceremony.

It also remains unclear whether Trump, who continues to falsely insist that he was the legitimate winner of the election, will attend the ceremony.

Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, told Business Insider on Tuesday that "when President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20 he will let you know." The statement was issued in response to reports that Trump could fly to Scotland during the ceremony, which the White House has since denied.

The president has privately explored holding an event at the same time as the ceremony to try and steal attention from the president-elect, according to reports.

In December, Axios reported that Trump has explored flying to Florida in Air Force One and holding a rally there. An NBC report in December cited sources who said that Trump had discussed announcing his presidential candidacy for 2024 on Inauguration Day.

Biden's inauguration will be a scaled-down event to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced this week. Rep. James Clyburn, co-chair of the committee, told USA Today that only 2,000 people were expected to attend the event. An estimated 1.8 million people attended President Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

Business Insider contacted the office of President Bush for comment.

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