Trump is starting his last full day in office hiding from the public and plotting to steal Biden’s thunder, as his approval ratings plummet to historic lows

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump.

  • President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, meaning Tuesday is President Donald Trump’s last full day in the White House.
  • Trump has spent the last days of his presidency hidden from public view, and with his approval ratings the lowest they have ever been.
  • Trump is not attending Biden’s inauguration and is instead planning on stealing focus from the event, including by flying out early.
  • Vice President Mike Pence has taken Trump’s place in many of the ceremonial tasks that presidents typically do before they leave office, like attending an inauguration briefing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is starting his last full day in office hiding from the public and with his lowest approval ratings ever.

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is due to take place on Wednesday in a ceremony Trump said he won’t attend, making him the first president since 1869 to buck the tradition.

Trump has also largely vanished from public life in the final days of his presidency.

Since some of his supporters staged a deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, the president has not made a single public appearance.

His aides have described him as angry and isolated in the White House, with CNN reporting late last week that aides had decided to limit his appearances before the media in case he veers from scripted comments about the riot.

capitol seige
Lawmakers take cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

The attack, and Trump’s response, saw him isolated from many in the Republican Party and in his own cabinet. A number of top officials have resigned in the wake of the riot, leaving him largely alone in the White House.

The House impeached him for a historic second time over his role in inciting the Capitol mob last week, and he now faces an impeachment trial in the Senate. North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer told Insider last week that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has told GOP senators that they can vote however they want during the impeachment trial.

Trump will also leave office deeply unpopular.

A Gallup poll published on Monday found that 34% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president – his worse performance in a Gallup poll during his entire presidency.

Gallup added that Trump’s average approval rating throughout his presidency has been 41% – four points lower than any other president that Gallup had polled.

A Pew Research Center survey also found last week that his approval rating was at 29% as he headed into his last week in office – a historic low.

Trump has put out some statements since the attack, but has largely been uncharacteristically silent.

While his accounts were removed from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, Trump has still not turned to other platforms, like the White House briefing room.

As The Hill noted, Vice President Mike Pence has taken Trump’s place in many of the ceremonial tasks that presidents typically do before they leave office, like attending an inauguration briefing.

And Trump’s official schedule for his last full day in office mirrors the same vague entry he has had in place over the past few weeks: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

Donald Trump press schedule
Trump’s official schedule for January 19, 2021.

Read more: The Justice Department promised the Trump White House that its hard drives won’t be handed over to Joe Biden

As Insider’s Tom Porter previously reported, Trump does have some plans for the final hours of his presidency, but they mostly appear focused on undermining Biden’s inauguration rather than spreading his own message or trying to control his legacy.

Trump is expected to issue around 100 presidential pardons or commutations on his last day, and he is reportedly considering a military-style send off in Inauguration Day.

But Trump is expected to have leave Washington, DC, for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida before Biden’s inauguration even begins. According to CNN, Trump’s aim is to avoid leaving the White House as an ex-president, and a source suggested that he didn’t want to ask Biden to borrow Air Force One.

However, his Inauguration Day plans pale in comparison to what was once expected from the president: He had at one point considered a rally with his supporters where he would announce a 2024 bid.

Trump advisers told The Hill that Trump plans to spend the immediate future with close aides in Florida as he considers his next steps.

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Biden’s inauguration day will be unlike any other in history. Here’s what to expect.

GettyImages biden harris
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (L) looks on as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) delivers remarks on January 08, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.

  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20.
  • Celebrities Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at the ceremony, Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday.
  • Biden and Harris will then speak to the nation via a TV special at 8:30 p.m. that will feature performances by Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and other A-listers.
  • The inauguration is part of a five-day program with multiple virtual and socially-distanced in-person celebrations.
  • The festivities will be carried live on cable TV channels as well as streamed on social media platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20, joined by a slew of celebrities and speakers.

Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday that plans for next week’s 59th inauguration include performances by singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. The ceremony will begin with remarks from Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family and former president of Georgetown University, and wrap up with a benediction from Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, also a close confidante of the Bidens.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major political events, like last year’s national conventions, have been reimagined as a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Inauguration Day in 2021 will be no different. The festivities typically attract hundreds of thousands of people who flock to Washington, DC, to witness the historic transition of power. This year only about 2,000 attendees will be permitted.

Read more:Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here’s how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

In another break with tradition, President Donald Trump has said he won’t be there. Trump is the first outgoing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s swearing-in.

The inauguration will be part of a five-day program that comprises both online and socially-distanced in-person events. The theme is “America United.”

“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement.

Biden and Harris will then address the nation in a televised special titled “Celebrating America,” which will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. The 90-minute primetime program will be hosted by actor Tom Hanks and feature performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, and Ant Clemons. 

On Friday, the committee announced additional musical performances by the Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen. 

It will air live on cable TV – channels include ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC – and be available to stream on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse will also carry live coverage of the program.

Other inaugural activities to take place next week include a “We the People” virtual concert on January 17, a “national day of service” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, and a “COVID-19 memorial to lives lost” on January 19. Biden’s committee is also preparing to install around 200,000 American flags that will span across the National Mall to “represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC.” The traditional parade will also be shifted online.

Multiple news outlets reported on Thursday that the National Mall will be closed to the public on January 20. Federal and city officials have said that they are tightening security measures amid possible threats of violence following last week’s deadly Capitol riots. 

Biden’s transition team said on Wednesday that they are receiving daily briefings on security and logistics ahead of the inauguration to help ensure a smooth and safe transfer of power.

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