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GOP Senator Blunt says Trump made a 'personal mistake' not attending Biden inauguration

'It's the first time in 152 years a president that could be here for the inauguration wasn't here,' Blunt says

Updated: January 20, 2021 - 4:12pm

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Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Wednesday that former President Trump made a "personal mistake" by not attending the inauguration of President Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush attended the swearing-in ceremony with former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush. Vice President Mike Pence also was at the ceremony,  but Trump declined to attend. 

Blunt was asked if he thought Trump made a mistake not participating in the inauguration. 

"I think it was," he told NBC News. "I think it was a personal mistake on his part but everybody gets to make those decisions. It's the first time in 152 years a president that could be here for the inauguration wasn't here but I think we moved right through that. I think it would have been a bigger problem if Vice President Pence hadn't chosen to be here."

Blunt was referring to Andrew Johnson, who was the last president not to attend his successor’s inauguration ceremony. Johnson was the first U.S. president to be impeached.

The Democratic-led House voted to impeach President Trump last week. A Senate trial is expected to take place despite Trump leaving office.

Blunt was asked if he thinks Trump should be "held accountable" due to the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol after he addressed a pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6.

"We'll see," he said. "I mean I think you're held accountable for your actions, whether impeachment is the proper accountability for somebody who has left office or not, I've been 100% focused on the inauguration for the last 10 days or so. And I'm going to begin to think about what comes up after this later this afternoon."

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