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Trump won’t attend Joe Biden's inauguration

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WASHINGTON: Calls to variously impeach, dismiss from office, and launch criminal prosecution against Donald Trump have erupted across the US political spectrum and the media — including in conservative outlets and among former friends — as the defeated President briefly retreated into a shell, abandoned by all but his most die-hard supporters.
While calls for his resignation from liberal outlets such as New York Times and Washington Post was expected, some of the harshest criticism came from the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, one of whose editorial writers called him sick, and suggested he was mentally unstable and dangerous.
“Mr. Trump is a sick, bad man and therefore, as president, a dangerous one. He has grown casually bloody-minded…No one seems to be certain how Mr. Trump spends his days. He doesn’t bother to do his job. The White House is in meltdown,” Peggy Noonan, a former Presidential speechwriter and Conservative grand dame wrote, adding, ” America is not safe in his hands. It is not too late. Removal of the president would be the prudent move, not the wild one. Get rid of him. Now.”
Noonan also characterized Trump and his hardcore legislative flock as the “Devil and his apprentices” who pandered to the “sickness within the base.” Calling rioting Trump followers “idiots,” she said they should be dragged out of their basements and brought to justice.
But after a brief moment in which appeared chastened by the events on Wednesday, the belligerent President found his voice again on Twitter (which restored his frozen account on Thursday night) tweeting, “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he added.

There have been reports that he will host a rally at the same time as the Biden inauguration (Noon on January 20) and some militia groups have been posting that they will descend on Washington DC again on that day.
Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence meanwhile is reported to have said he will attend the Biden inauguration if he is invited. So will almost the entire Congress on both sides of the aisle — leaving only Trump and his family out in the cold.
Informally if nothing else, the Republican Party split is evident. It now remains to be seen whether the half dozen Senators who fronted for Trump in is efforts to challenge the Biden election despite the terrorist attack on the Hill (eight others returned to the mainstream Republican fold) will stay with the defeated President. Some 120 Congressmen, more than 2/3th the Republican House strength, also stayed with Trump attesting to the power he exercised over his base.

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Facebook's oversight board to decide on Trump's ban

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WASHINGTON: Facebook has asked its independent experts to take a decision on continuation of its ban on former US President Donald Trump.
Facebook and its photo and video sharing social networking service, Instagram, suspended Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 that left five people dead and led to his second impeachment.
The Oversight Board, an independent body created by Facebook three years ago, on Thursday said it has accepted a case referral from the social media giant to examine its decision to indefinitely suspend Trump’s access to post content on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has also requested policy recommendations from the board on suspensions when the user is a political leader.
Facebook’s decision to suspend Trump’s access to post on Facebook and Instagram has driven intense global interest. The Oversight Board has been closely following events in the US and Facebook’s response to them, and the board is ready to provide a thorough and independent assessment of the company’s decision, it said.
“A decision by the Board on this case will be binding on Facebook, and determine whether Mr Trump’s suspension from access to Facebook and Instagram for an indefinite amount of time is overturned,” the board said in a press release.
Facebook has committed not to restore access to its platforms unless directed by a decision of the Oversight Board. Facebook must consider any accompanying policy recommendations from the board and publicly respond to them, it said.
According to the Oversight Board, in the coming days, the case will be assigned to a five-member case review panel. After the panel reaches a decision, its findings are shared with the entire board. Sign-off by a majority of the board is required for a case decision to be issued.
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Biden has no plans to call Trump: White House

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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has no plans to call his predecessor Donald Trump, the White House has said.
“There’s no call planned,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
She was responding to questions on the remarks made by Biden a day earlier when he said that Trump has left him a “very generous” letter in the Oval Office, and he plans to talk to him.
Trump did not attend his inauguration, a rare for an outgoing president.
“What he was conveying is that he didn’t want to release a private note without having agreement from the former president. But I wouldn’t say he’s seeking it through a phone call, he was just trying to be respectful in that moment of a private letter that was sent,” Psaki said.
It is customary for outgoing presidents to write their successors a letter and leave it for them on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
However, given that the former president broke several of the past traditions, including skipping Biden’s inauguration ceremony and never formally congratulated him on his election win, it was unclear until Wednesday whether Trump would maintain the tradition of outgoing presidents leaving notes for their successors.
“The president wrote a very generous letter. Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous,” Biden had told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday.
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