MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle said Tuesday that if President Donald Trump were holding an event the size of President-elect Joe Biden’s planned inauguration, then “he would be getting crushed” for holding a “superspreader” event.
Ruhle was interviewing former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt on her hour of “MSNBC Live” when she asked, “with all of these security concerns, with all of these Covid concerns, why is it important to have an inauguration in person?”
“I think it’s probably more important than it’s been in quite some time,” Gibbs said. “I think the world needs to see, as you talked about, the peaceful transfer of power, former Presidents coming together, and watching the new President take the oath of office. But I think it becomes even more important after the events at the Capitol the past few weeks.”
Gibbs was referring to the violence that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when the building was stormed by Trump supporters seeking to stop the certification of the Electoral College results, but he didn’t mention the coronavirus being a concern.
Trump has been widely criticized by Democrats and the media for holding various large events since the pandemic began, such as his Republican National Convention speech, which had around 1,500 people in attendance.
Outdoor gatherings in Washington, D.C. are currently limited to 25 people, however, most members of Congress, some special guests, and several former presidents and first ladies will be in attendance at the inauguration. There will not be a crowd on the National Mall, as has been the norm for past inaugurations. (RELATED: Take A Tour Of The ‘Green Zone’ Set Up For Inauguration Day)
“Steve, it will be a smaller inauguration ceremony, but they’re still having one in-person and let’s be honest, you know if President Trump did this, he would be getting crushed for hosting a superspreader event. We’d all be saying it,” Ruhle continued.
“Well, this continues a tradition, Stephanie, that began in 1797 when John Adams succeeded George Washington and became the second President and power transferred peacefully for the first time in this country’s history under a constitutional order,” Schmidt responded, also not mentioning the coronavirus being a concern.
Schmidt further dodged the question saying, “Don’t focus on the crowd size. Focus on the message and focus on the majesty that with 35 words a new American shall become our Commander-in-Chief.”