FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims Biden’s Inauguration Has Been Canceled, Trump Will Remain In Office And The Licenses Of Major Networks Are Being Revoked
An Instagram post claims President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration has been canceled, President Donald Trump will remain in office and major news networks are set to lose their broadcasting licenses. Trump has invoked the Insurrection Act, it also claims.
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There is no indication that Biden’s inauguration has been canceled or that the major news networks will have their broadcasting licenses revoked. Trump has acknowledged that Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Check Your Fact has previously debunked the claim that Trump enacted the Insurrection Act.
The image appears to show a screen grab of a Jan. 14 article published by the website Before It’s News that puts up the headline “Inauguration Cancelled, Trump Remains in Office, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC to Loose (sic) licenses.” The website Before It’s News has published misinformation in the past, including the baseless claim that the commandant of the Marine Corps refused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request for 5,000 troops for inauguration security and told her, “We don’t work for you.”
There is no indication Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which was scaled back due to COVID-19 concerns, has been canceled, contrary to the Instagram post and article’s claim. The Biden-Harris transition team has not put out a press release to that effect. Instead, an official schedule of inaugural events can be found online.
Trump announced on Twitter Jan. 8 that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration. The announcement came after Trump said in a video that he would be “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power” and that a “new administration will be inaugurated on January 20.”
The Instagram post also claims that Trump announced major news networks would be losing their licenses to broadcast. Check Your Fact didn’t find any Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or White House press release announcing the revocation of the networks’ licenses. Ajit Pai, the outgoing FCC chair, said during a 2017 appearance at George Mason University that the FCC “does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast,” CNN reported.
On Wednesday, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and PBS will broadcast “Celebrating America,” a 90-minute primetime inaugural special that includes remarks from Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and musical performances from various artists, according to the official inaugural schedule. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Invoke The Insurrection Act?)
Check Your Fact has previously debunked the claim that Trump invoked the Insurrection Act. A report from the Congressional Research Service states that the president must first “issue a proclamation ordering the insurgents to disperse within a limited time” before invoking the act. Trump has not done so, as Check Your Fact previously reported.
NPR reported that Trump will leave the White House and Washington on Wednesday after a departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.