Who’s attending (and avoiding) Trump’s inauguration


WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Donald J. Trump will become America’s 45th president on Friday as the clock strikes noon.

The president-elect will be joined by family, friends, and current and former presidents as he places his hand on a Bible and swears to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.”

Certain members of the Supreme Court and incoming cabinet will join the semicircle of influential people witnessing Trump’s oath of office, which will be broadcast live and viewed by tens of millions (if not billions) of people around the world.

While plenty of familiar political faces will be present, several notable absences from Congress and Hollywood are glaring, including more than 60 Democratic congressmen.

Expectations for the spectacle, once promised to be sensational, have been consistently pruned by Team Trump. They now promise the event will glow with a “soft sensuality.”

Former presidents RSVP

Camera crews will no doubt zoom in for plenty of close-ups on Bill and Hillary Clinton, who will stoically experience their seventh inaugural ceremony on the main stage.

The former first couple has been licking their wounds since Trump repeatedly called the 43rd president a “sexual abuser” during the 2016 campaign, promised to lock up his wife, and then unexpectedly beat the Democratic nominee in the general election.

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura will fly up from Texas to attend the inauguration, despite Trump publicly slamming Bush for allowing the 9/11 attacks on his watch and initiating the latest Iraq war.

The Bushes and Clintons will shrug off those past insults to publicly display the customary air of duty and civility attached to the nation’s highest office.

Of the other two living past presidents, Jimmy Carter will attend, but the ailing George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara are both hospitalized as of this article.

Who’s attending

The entertainment headliner at the inauguration will be Jackie Evancho, the season five runner-up on “America’s Got Talent.”

Evancho, a young operatic singer, has a transgender sister and weathered widespread criticism for agreeing to sing at the swearing-in despite members of the Trump administration displaying hostility to the LGBT community.

“I have a lot of positivity from my family and that’s really what matters to me,” Evancho told ABC News. “All of my true fans have been there for me and supportive and that’s really all I need, so I’m sticking to it.”

The Radio City Rockettes and Mormon Tabernacle Choir will both perform, although the engagement led to the choir losing a member and an undercover recording wherein a Rockettes manager tells the women they might have to “tolerate intolerance.”

At inaugural fetes, a few other nominal notables will take the stage, including 3 Doors Down (known for the 2000 hit “Kryptonite”) and country singer Toby Keith.

Who’s skipping

A few names in the “no” column have drawn quite a bit of media coverage.

Celine Dion reportedly snubbed Trump associates who asked her to sing at the inauguration.

Also in the rumored “decline” category:


• Elton John

• Garth Brooks

• Andrea Bocelli

• Charlotte Church

• Moby

• The Beach Boys

• Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry (Daily Beast)

Public school marching bands from D.C. customarily march in the inaugural parade, but in another unmistakable rejection, every single one of them chose to not participate in the Trump parade.

Trump response

Trump has so far chosen to focus on estimates of record crowds at his inauguration rather than the array of Hollywood celebrities who turned him down.

Bookers, who schedule performances for celebrities, told The Wrap that “they were approached by members of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee in recent weeks with offers of cash or even plush diplomatic posts in exchange for locking in singers.”

Still, almost everyone said no.

President Barack Obama’s inauguration featured performances from musical legends like Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and Beyoncé.

For a man obsessed with image and status, all this rejection will leave a bruise.Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!