Not even Mike Pence wants to wave goodbye.
Donald Trump's sore-loser send-off is shaping up to be a sad affair, with many invitees declining to attend.
Trump is planning to hold a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning after he leaves the White House, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, and is trying to cobble together a crowd to watch the event, which may include a 21-gun salute, Reuters reports.
But a number of high-profile current and former administration officials will not be in attendance.
That includes Mike Pence, who won't go to Trump's send-off because it's too "logistically challenging" for Trump's No. 2, the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey reported.
At least three former officials reportedly said they were invited but won't attend the event: John Kelly, Trump's first secretary of Homeland Security, who later became White House chief of staff; Anthony Scaramucci, who infamously had just a 10-day stint as White House communications director; and Don McGahn, the former White House counsel who reportedly witnessed Trump obstructing justice in the Russia investigation.
"Trust me, that had to be a mass email if one of them got sent to me," Scaramucci told Inside Edition of the invitation to the Trump send-off event, adding that the fact he was invited at all is a sign that Trump is "looking for people" to attend. Scaramucci, now a vocal critic of his former boss, has an acrimonious relationship with Trump.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News' Jennifer Jacobs tweeted that it is "difficult to find folks who *are* planning to go," reporting that refusals have also come from Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, and his deputy, Charlie Kupperman.
The Post's Dawsey reported that Trump sent invitations to many "aides and allies," telling them to bring five other people with them, which would ensure a larger crowd.
Trump is refusing to play a role in the traditional handover of power to the next administration. He will not welcome Biden and his wife, Jill, to the White House on Wednesday morning, nor will he attend the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.
Instead, Trump will reportedly leave the White House early Wednesday morning and fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Trump's plans for one more large event in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic reflect his refusal to take measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus. which he has refused to take seriously. Observers have noted that Trump's refusal take even basic measures to stop the spread, such as requiring attendees at his events to wear masks, contributed to his defeat in the 2020 presidential election in November.
Unlike Trump, Pence plans to attend the inauguration of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.