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Pence Among Those Skipping Trump Sendoff Event

Donald Trump is desperately trying to pull together a splashy farewell event for himself at Joint Base Andrews just outside of Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning before he flies off to his Florida retirement home. He reportedly wants a military jet flyover. A mass-email invitation apparently sent out on his behalf invites people to show up at Andrews at 7:15 a.m. to make sure they’re in place in time for the planned 8:00 a.m. start of the event. Each invitee is encouraged to bring along five guests.

The trouble is the lame duck, now powerless and soon-to-be ex-president is having a real hard time getting people to show up. That includes his utterly obedient, obsequious vice president of the last four years, Mike Pence. Tuesday afternoon Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted that “VP Pence is not expected to attend President Trump’s sendoff at Joint Air Force Base Andrews” because he will be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The stated reason is that “it would be logistically challenging for the vice president to do both. But the military base is barely 15 miles from the vice president’s Naval Observatory residence in northwest Washington, no more than about a 10 minute helicopter ride away. Trump’s event is supposed to start at 8:00 a.m. and last about an hour so he’ll be wheels up on his last flight on Air Force One long before the noon start of the inauguration.

The more plausible reason Pence has chosen the Biden event over the Trump event is that he’s still a little miffed that his boss never even bothered to check on him as the rioters he incited were storming the Capitol, erecting a gallows and roaming the halls chanting “hang Mike Pence.”

The vice president isn’t the only former member of Trump’s orbit to RSVP in the negative. Former chief of staff John Kelly, White House counsel Don McGahn and the briefly tenured communications director Anthony Scaramucci also will be skipping the Andrews shindig. Scaramucci noted that the mass email list must not have been carefully curated because he was included. He also said he has a previous commitment Wednesday morning. “I am having my fingernails pulled out at that time, sorry I can’t make it.



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