Thousands of President Donald Trump‘s supporters have organized a virtual “2nd inauguration” urging the president to attend the event instead of President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration on January 20.
The Facebook group, titled “Donald J. Trump 2nd Presidential Inauguration Ceremony” has received over 327,000 responses, with more than 60,000 indicating that they plan to attend. The group also features two disclaimers, with one from the event’s organizers and a second from Facebook.
“Disclaimer: We are a grassroots collection of private individuals 325,000 strong, showing our support for President Donald J. Trump. We have no affiliation with any formal organization,” the group wrote in the event’s details.
On the other hand, the disclaimer from Facebook states that, “Joe Biden is the President-elect. He will be inaugurated as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021.”
According to the Facebook group, the event was organized by Ilir Chami and Evi Kokalari, who was part of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, according to The Independent.
Newsweek reached out to Kokalari for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
The event comes less than a month before Biden is set to be inaugurated, after the Electoral College certified his win over Trump. Despite these two factors, Trump has yet to concede the race to the former vice president and has continued to make claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump has also not publicly announced a decision on attending the event.
During a November interview with Fox Business Network, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked if Trump will attend Biden’s inauguration, to which she responded by saying “Again, that’s many steps away here, we are talking January and President Trump believes that he will be President Trump – have a second term.”
Fox Business host Stuart Varney stated that it “would look pretty bad” if Trump did not attend the inauguration, and in response, McEnany said “I think the president will attend his own inauguration. He would have to be there, in fact.”
McEnany was asked again about Trump attending Biden’s inauguration during a White House briefing on December 2.
“I’ll leave that to the president to make his announcement,” McEnany said.
On the other hand, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Tuesday that the president should “probably” attend Biden’s inauguration.
“I think that we’ve only had a couple of presidents in history who didn’t. John Quincy Adams didn’t. And the Republicans in 1868 didn’t. But other than those two, it’s a routine,” Gingrich said while appearing on The Hugh Hewitt Show. “If he does not go, I think he has to explain why.”
“So I think Trump’s got to decide, you know, what best communicates his message,” Gingrich added.
While speaking to CNN earlier this month, Biden suggested that it is important for Trump to attend his inauguration to show the country’s commitment to a peaceful transfer of power.
“The protocol of the transfer of power, I think, is important. But it is totally his decision, and it’s â€” it has no personal consequence to me. But I do think it is for the country,” Biden said.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign and Biden’s transition team for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.