Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch skips inauguration because he’s the ‘designated survivor’

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Senator Orrin Hatch did not attend the inauguration ceremony for President Donald Trump.

It was at the request of the new President of the United States.

In a statement, Sen. Hatch said he agreed to be the president’s “designated survivor.” That means if something were to happen to the president and vice-president, the senator would be third in line for the presidency to keep with continuity of government. Hatch already serves as President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate.

A photo released by the White House showing Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch at an "undisclosed location." He was President Trump's "designated survivor" during the inauguration ceremony.

A photo released by the White House showing Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch at an “undisclosed location.” He was President Trump’s “designated survivor” during the inauguration ceremony.

Through the inauguration ceremonies, the senator was kept at an undisclosed location.

“Today, we observe a time-honored tradition of the world’s oldest democracy: the peaceful transition of power. This changing of the guard from one president to another is a defining feature of our Republic. At the request of President Donald Trump, I am honored to fulfill the role of designated presidential successor during the inauguration,” Senator Hatch said in a written statement.

“As much as I would have liked to participate in the ceremony and festivities, I am honored to perform this important constitutional duty, which ensures the continuity of government.”