Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said President Donald Trump might refuse to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden in January if the former vice president maintains his growing electoral lead and wins the 2020 presidential election.
Biden is on the verge of the presidency, leading Trump in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Trump cannot be re-elected without Georgia and Pennsylvania, but the final batches of ballots are coming in from both (largely absentee mail-in ballots from urban and suburban areas) are favoring Biden.
Biden and his campaign have said they are confident and urged patience and restraint as the final ballots are counted. The Trump campaign, on the other hand, is leaning on conspiracy theories and litigation to try and stop the count, while claiming—with no evidence—widespread electoral fraud against the president.
Trump is maintaining an angry stream of tweets from the White House, attacking election officials, the Biden campaign and urging his supporters to dispute the impending result. Twitter has been flagging many of his tweets as misleading.
Scarramucci—who worked for the Trump administration for just 10 days in July 2017 and has since become a prominent critic of the president—told CNN late Friday that people close to the president told him Trump would do everything he could to disrupt the normal process.
“Everybody around him says no,” said Scaramucci when asked if Trump would attend a future Biden inauguration.
“Everybody says that he will not do that, and that he’s going to break every norm and he’s going to break every tradition. And he hasn’t gotten along with the past presidents. He didn’t go to John McCain‘s funeral. He didn’t go to George Herbert Walker Bush’s funeral.”
But Scaramucci said he did not necessarily agree with his sources. “For some reason I’m going to say yes,” he told anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. “I actually think, guys, it’s in his best interests to do so. And since he always acts in what he thinks is his best interests, I am going to make the bet that he does it.”
“If he is under criminal investigation in New York—and let’s surmise that he might be, and let’s presume that he’s innocent, because that’s our rule of law to do that—but I think it would be in his best interests to cooperate with everybody to see if he can disentangle himself from all these different things he’s around,” Scaramucci said.
Trump has not spoken in public since early on Friday, when he falsely claimed to have won the election and made baseless allegations of electoral fraud.
He has, however, been tweeting. “I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by,” he wrote Friday. “Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!”