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George W. Bush confirms he will attend Joe Biden's inauguration

The country's only living former Republican president has confirmed he will be in attendance when Biden is sworn in as the nation's 46th president.
/ Source: TODAY

George W. Bush has confirmed that he will be attending Joe Biden's inauguration as the nation's 46th president later this month.

The 43rd president and former first lady Laura Bush will be in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, according to Freddy Ford, Bush's chief of staff.

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Former president George W. Bush has confirmed he will attend Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

Bush, 74, who is the only living former Republican president, also attended the inaugurations of Donald Trump in 2017 and Barack Obama in 2009.

"President and Mrs. Bush look forward to returning to the Capitol for the swearing in of President Biden and Vice President Harris," Ford told NBC News. "I believe this will be the eighth inauguration they've had the privilege of attending - President Trump's being the most recent - and witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old."

The father of TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager was one of the first high-profile Republicans to congratulate Biden following his election win in November, with many other Republicans refusing to acknowledge his victory.

"Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country," he said in a statement at the time. "The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way that I can."

It's unclear whether Trump will be in attendance at the inauguration, as he has not conceded the election. The last outgoing president who refused to attend his successor's inauguration was Andrew Johnson in 1869 after Ulysses S. Grant was elected.

The oldest living former president, Jimmy Carter, 96, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, 93, will not be in attendance at Biden's inauguration, marking the first time they will miss an inauguration since Carter's presidency.

A spokeswoman at The Carter Center in Atlanta told NBC News that the Carters have sent Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their “best wishes” and “look forward to a successful administration.”

Carter, who is the oldest living former president in history, has endured multiple health issues in recent years, including brain cancer in 2015, a series of falls and hip surgery in 2019.