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Workers put up bunting on a press riser for the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP) Workers put up bunting on a press riser for the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

Workers put up bunting on a press riser for the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman January 16, 2021

Claim that inauguration canceled, Trump to remain president is bogus

If Your Time is short

  • President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration is proceeding as planned.

  • On Jan. 7, Trump said that a new administration will be inaugurated. Vice President Mike Pence will be attend the ceremony, though Trump said he will not.

An article making the rounds on social media falsely claims that President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is canceled and that President Donald Trump will remain in office. 

"BREAKING: Inauguration Cancelled, Trump Remains in Office, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC to Loose (sic) Licenses," said the headline on the Libertas Writers story. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

It’s 100% bogus.

The article copies information from another website, Before It’s News, which has been identified by Columbia Journalism Review and others as a source of misinformation.  

But Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration is proceeding. It has been scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will have added security following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, but there is no hint it has been called off. The Biden transition team published a schedule of inauguration events and sent emails to reporters describing the events in more detail.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol’s West Front. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez are expected to perform. 

The New York Times reported that Biden will be sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sometime before noon and then give his inaugural address. Harris will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, ABC News reported.

Trump announced that he will not attend, but an aide to Vice President Mike Pence told the New York Times that Pence will.

Instead of the tradition of nighttime balls, a primetime TV special "Celebrating America" will air, hosted by Tom Hanks and carried live by ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS. 

Featured Fact-check

The stories on Facebook include a purported quote by Trump stating, "I have invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807" and that "I will remain president indefinitely until all domestic enemies are arrested." But Trump didn’t make that statement and there is no evidence that Trump invoked the act, a federal law that would allow a president to deploy the military to suppress insurrection. 

Other fact-checkers including Reuters, Snopes, and Factcheck.org found that the phony Trump quote stemmed from @TeamTrumpNews on Parler. Reuters found that Trump did not have a personal account on Parler but his campaign posted under the handle @TeamTrump. Parler, a social media platform popular with conservatives, was kicked off Amazon Web Services following the Jan. 6 riot. 

Trump has falsely and repeatedly said that he won, lodging numerous unsuccessful court challenges disputing the results. But on Jan. 7, the day after the mob attacked the Capitol, Trump made it clear he would leave office.

"Now Congress has certified the results," Trump said. "A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power."

Multiple news reports say Trump plans to leave the White House Wednesday morning before the inauguration and hold his own send off at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before flying to Florida.

Our ruling

A headline says, "Inauguration Cancelled, Trump Remains in Office."

This information is bogus — there is no evidence that Biden has canceled his inauguration.

Biden’s transition team has announced his plans for the inauguration ceremony and a nighttime celebration. On Jan. 7, Trump said a new administration will be inaugurated and called for a seamless transition. 

We rate this claim Pants on Fire.

RELATED: Joe Biden is right that more than 60 of Trump’s election lawsuits lacked merit

RELATED: Fact-checking the House impeachment debate about Trump, Capitol riot

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Claim that inauguration canceled, Trump to remain president is bogus

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