Evangelist Franklin Graham is encouraging President Trump to invite President-elect Joe Biden to the White House as a way to help heal the nation and assist the transition of power.
Graham made the comments on social media Friday, shortly before Trump said he wouldn’t be attending Biden’s inauguration. Trump would become the first president in 152 years – Andrew Johnson was the last in 1869 – not to attend the successor’s inauguration. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the inauguration, according to multiple reports.
Graham, in posts on Facebook and Twitter, referenced Trump’s speech from a Thursday video in which the president said his “focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power.” Trump also called for “healing and reconciliation.”
“Thank you President Donald J. Trump for your conciliatory words to the nation last night,” Graham wrote on Facebook. “I hope you will quickly invite President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and their spouses to the White House for a meeting to begin the healing and preparation for a smooth transition. We are praying for you, Vice President Mike Pence, President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and our other leaders in Washington.”
Trump, in the 150-second video, acknowledged “emotions are high” but said, “tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”
“This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Trump said. “2020 has been a challenging time for our people. A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy, and claimed countless lives. Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family. We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that binds us together as one national family.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
Photo courtesy: ©Billy Graham Evangelical Association
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.