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GOP leaders, VP Pence to ditch President Trump's send-off. McConnell, McCarthy will attend church with President-elect Joe Biden instead.


Politicians' priorities

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence and GOP leadership — including House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will skip President Donald Trump's send-off ceremony Wednesday.

What are the details?

According to a Tuesday Axios report, congressional leaders will pass on Trump's Wednesday morning departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and instead will attend Mass with President-elect Joe Biden.

The outlet reported, "The Catholic service will take place at St. Matthew's church in downtown Washington, D.C., about 10 blocks from the White House. It is expected to begin at 8:45am, sources with direct knowledge tell Axios."

Biden is set to be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States at noon on the steps of the Capitol building.

Trump requested a military-style send-off complete with a band and "possibly a flyover," according to Axios.

Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey on Tuesday said that Pence is not expected to attend Trump's send-off, citing logistical difficulties.

He tweeted, "VP Pence is not expected to attend President Trump's sendoff at Joint Air Force Base Andrews tomorrow morning, per White House officials. He is attending the inauguration later in the day, and aides say it would be logistically challenging for the vice president to do both."

It is not known at the time of this reporting whether Pence plans to attend Wednesday's morning Mass.

What else?

CNN on Tuesday reported that "dozens of current and former administration officials" were invited to Trump's farewell ceremony.

"Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly recently told CNN's Jake Tapper he'd vote to remove Trump from office if he could — yet he was still invited to the event," the outlet reported.

"So was Don McGahn, the former White House counsel who angered Trump by sitting down with Robert Mueller's team for hours," the report continued. "Other former senior aides who have maintained good relationships with Trump, like his first chief of staff Reince Priebus, were also invited but aren't expected to attend."

The outlet reported that neither Kelly nor McGahn will be attending.

The outlet added that some invitees will not be going as they must arrive by 6 a.m. local time, while "others have said they are staying away because the president is politically toxic right now given his role in inciting a mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol."

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