Former president George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush announced Tuesday that they would attend Donald Trump’s inauguration later this month. And Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton also will attend the ceremony, according to their spokespeople.
The announcements add to what had been a thin list of former presidents slated to attend the event. Former president Jimmy Carter was the only other living president who had agreed to be present.
“They are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power – a hallmark of American democracy – and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President Pence,” the Bush office said in a statement.
Spokesmen for Bill and Hillary Clinton confirmed that they would be in attendance. Former president George H.W. Bush will not attend the ceremony because of his advanced age.
The event will probably mark the first time since the campaign that Hillary Clinton and Trump would be present at the same event. And as a former first lady, she is likely to be seated along with the former presidents in a position of prominence. After a bitter campaign, her decision to attend signals an effort to convey support for the transfer of power.
Since the election, Clinton and her aides have argued that Russian interference in the election helped Trump and hurt her. And they have emphasized that she prevailed over Trump in the popular vote, though she lost the electoral college. Trump and his aides have interpreted both things as attempts to undermine the legitimacy of his election win.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Abby Phillip
Image: The Hill