joe-biden-is-sworn-in-as-the-46th-president-vice-president-kamala-harris-makes-history.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President. Vice President Kamala Harris makes history.

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Updated 12:36 PM EST, Wed January 20, 2021

Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer did not attend today’s inauguration for President Biden because of public health risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the public information officer. 

Justices Alito, Thomas and Breyer are also the oldest members of the court, respectively, at 70, 72 and 82.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the swearing ins of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Sotomayor, who suffers from diabetes, has been extremely careful. When she appeared publicly for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s memorial, she wore a mask and a face shield.

Some of the justices have been working in chambers during the pandemic, although others have been participating from their homes. Justice Breyer, for example, has done some speaking appearances via zoom from his home In Boston. 

At the time of Ginsburg’s memorial and a closed-door welcome for Barrett, the court was extremely strict about masks, according to two sources. This departs from the other branches of government.

The justices have continued to conduct oral arguments and regular conferences by phone. 

The inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris just wrapped up.

Now, there will be an inaugural parade — although it will be largely a virtual one. Biden and Harris will have a presidential escort from 15th Street to the White House including the US Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard and the commander in chief’s Guard and Fife Drum Corps. The drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University will join that event to honor the alma maters of the incoming president and vice president.

The parade will be hosted by “Scandal” actor Tony Goldwyn and will feature comedian Jon Stewart, New Radicals and DJ Cassidy’s “Pass the Mic” with performances by Earth Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge, The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, The Washington Chorus and The Triumph Baptist Church Choir.

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, delivered a message of the country’s resilience through her poem at President Biden’s inauguration ceremony.

“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will become the future,” she continued.

Typically, Gorman, who is 22 years old, said it takes her days to craft a new poem. She finished this one immediately.

“We will rebuild, reconcile and recover,” Gorman said in the poem.

Some background: Gorman is no stranger to grand stages. She’s recited her poetry at the Library of CongressBoston’s Symphony Hall, the Empire State Building’s observation deck and all across the country, performing for such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Gorman started writing poems when she was a child, but found it terrifying to perform due to a speech impediment. Biden has struggled with a stutter, Gorman said, and another inauguration poet Maya Angelou – who delivered the poetry reading for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration – was mute for several years when she was a child.

White House Twitter accounts have been transitioned from the Trump administration to the Biden administration, according to Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio. 

The Trump administration Twitter accounts are now publicly archived, Pacilio said. Those include @POTUS45, @WhiteHouse45, @VP45, @PressSec45, @FLOTUS45 and @SecondLady45.

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Joe Biden vowed that as president, he will commit to being transparent to the American people in his closing remarks.

Biden promised to defend America for the “public good.”

“I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America. And I’ll give all, all of you, keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power, but of possibilities. Not of personal interest, but the public good. And together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness,” he said.

He ended on a message for Americans, saying that they met the moment.

“May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires and the stories that tell ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment, democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebearers, one another and generations to follow. With purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustain by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all hearts,” Biden said.

Kamala Harris has just made history becoming the first first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president in the nation’s history. By her side, her husband Doug Emhoff has also made history, becoming America’s first second gentleman.

Emoff will use the official @SecondGentleman account starting today. 

Earlier this week, he tweeted about his new role:

“I have a growing sense of responsibility. But I know we wouldn’t be here without the support of so many — family, friends, and beyond. Thank you for being in our corner as we take on this next chapter.” 

Emhoff, a successful entertainment lawyer, married Harris in 2014 when she was serving as the attorney general of California. Harris is the stepmother to Emhoff’s two adult children, Cole and Ella,  who affectionately call her “Momala.”

Emoff’s support of Harris throughout her career has been notable, especially during Harris’ run for president

And while Emoff has stayed out of the spotlight for the most part, he told GQ Magazine this about his new role: “I might be the first Second Gentleman, but I don’t want to be the last.” 

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Country music star Garth Brooks performed “Amazing Grace” following President Joe Biden’s inaugural address.

Brooks called on people in attendance and those watching to sing along with him.

“I’m gonna ask you to sing this last burst with me, the people at home, the people at work, as one united,” Brooks said.

PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Joe Biden used his inaugural speech to send a message to the rest of the world about the US.

“We’ll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. We’ll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security,” he added.

Many European leaders have tweeted their congratulations to the new administration and expressed their optimism at working together.

PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Newly minted President Joe Biden referenced the current plight of America during his inaugural address, noting that the country has “much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.”

As the coronavirus American death toll surpassed 400,000 this week, Biden noted that “few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”

Speaking specifically of the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden referenced a “once-in-a-century virus, that silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.”

But amid tones of pain and strife, as “millions of jobs have been lost,” and there exists a “cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making,” Biden offered signs of hope.

Joe Biden just became became the 46th President of the United States. He is the 15th vice president who later became president. 

He is only the second, along with Richard Nixon, to have a gap between serving as vice president and being elected president.

Here’s a breakdown of how vice presidents first became president:

  • 8 vice presidents were first elevated because the sitting president died. 
  • 6 vice presidents were first elected to the presidency.  
  • 1 vice president was elevated because the sitting president resigned.  
  • Gerald R. Ford is the only person to serve as both president and vice president who was never elected to either office. 

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In his inaugural speech as the President of United States of America, Joe Biden called for a fresh start as the country experiences “historic moment of crisis and challenge.”

“For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward,” he said. “Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another.”

He discouraged against the culture of “total war” in policy-making and the manipulation of facts.

“My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. And I believe America is so much better than this,” he said. .

Evoking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous speech, “I have a dream” and the women protesting for a right to vote, Biden sounded an optimistic note about change.

During his inaugural address, President Joe Biden asked Americans to hold their own moment of silence for the more than 400,000 people who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Those 400,000 fellow Americans — moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We’ll honor them and become the people and nation we know we can and should be,” Biden continued.

Vice President Kamala Harris sent her first tweet from the @VP account moments ago, writing, “Ready to serve.”

See the tweet:

Twitter has also transferred @POTUS to President Joe Biden.

PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Joe Biden pledged to be a “president for all Americans,” including those who did not support his campaign at his inauguration address.

Biden continued: “For all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly. Disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden recognized divisive times in US history but assured that unity has always won out.

He said that through tough times in US history — the Civil War, the Great Depression, both world wars and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — “our better angels have always prevailed.”

Biden said that in every instance, Americans have been able to come together for the greater good.

“History, faith and reason show the way, the way of unity,” Biden said.

PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden, after taking the oath of office, talked about the importance of unifying the country, saying “my whole soul is in this.”

The President called on Americans to come together to overcome the extraordinary challenges that face the nation – an idea that he often mentioned on the campaign trail

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity,” Biden said.

“Uniting to fight the foes we face. Anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity we can do great things, important things,” he added.

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden offered a forewarning during his inaugural address Wednesday, describing the nation as weathering a “winter of peril” amid a generational pandemic and other ailments.

Biden said the predicaments currently facing the nation were historic, and said few Americans “have found a time more challenging than the time we are in now.”

He said coronavirus “silently stalks the country” and noted more lives have been lost to the disease than were lost in World War I.

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden thanked his predecessors from “both parties” in his inauguration remarks to the nation, including those who couldn’t be present.

“I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart… And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime in service,” Biden said.

He acknowledged the power that comes with taking the “sacred oath” that was taken by former presidents.

“I have just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots taken. The oath first sworn by Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we, the people, who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people,” Biden said.

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

After taking the oath of office, Joe Biden said that the Inauguration Day was a celebration of democracy and that the “the will of the people has been heard.”

As Joe Biden is set to officially become President at noon ET, he called today “America’s day” in his speech at the US Capitol.

“This is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” Biden said. 

“America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge,” he added.

He said the “cause of democracy” is celebrated today.

“The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded,” Biden said.

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden just took the oath of office. He was sworn in by Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

At noon ET, Biden will officially become the 46th president of the United States.

PHOTO: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Jennifer Lopez performed “America the Beautiful” after Kamala Harris took the oath of office.

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Kamala Harris has just taken the oath of office.

At noon ET, Harris will officially become the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president.

She was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Lady Gaga performed the US National Anthem with the US marine band, using a golden mic. She had a golden dove-shaped broach pinned to her coat.

In remarks at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt referenced the Jan. 6 attack at the US Capitol, saying that it “reminds us that a government to balance and check itself, is both fragile and resilient.”

Blunt called the ceremony a moment to unify the United States after the attack. 

Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar welcomed attendees and global viewers to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“This ceremony is the culmination of 244 years of a democracy,” Klobuchar said, adding, “It is a moment when leaders brought to the stage by the will of the people promise to be faithful to our Constitution, to cherish it and defend it.”

As snow flurries fell on Capitol Hill, Klobuchar referenced the stark contrast to the scene just 14 days prior.

See Klobuchar’s tweet:

PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Amy Klobuchar reflects on the significance of today’s inauguration at the US Capitol in the wake of a riot in the same place two weeks ago.

She said now, as the country turns the page, it is up to everyone to “take up the torch of our democracy” to be an instrument of good.

“We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength. We celebrate its resilience, its grit,” Klobuchar said.

US Vice President Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2009.

PHOTO: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

When Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president, it’s expected he’ll have his hand where it has been every time he’s taken an oath of office before – on the Biden family Bible. 

The Bible is five inches thick, features a Celtic cross on the cover, and has been in the Biden family since 1893.

Biden used the Bible each time he took the oath as vice president and for each of his seven Senate swearings-in, starting in 1973. The Bible was used during his swearing-in as Vice President in 2009 and 2013.

In 2009, Biden’s final oath in the Senate was delayed when the Bible couldn’t be located, the Wilmington News Journal reported. Beau Biden, Biden’s son who died in 2015, also used the Bible when he was sworn in as attorney general of Delaware in 2007.

PHOTO: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

President Donald Trump granted one additional pardon in the final hours of his presidency.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a full pardon to Albert J. Pirro, Jr.,” deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement to pool. 

Pirro is the ex-husband of Trump ally and Fox News personality Judge Jeanine Pirro. He was convicted on conspiracy and tax evasion charges after improperly deducting $1.2 million of his personal expenses in business write-offs.

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Kamala Harris is set to make history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president, and she will take her oath in the color purple as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to run for president.

Chisholm campaigned for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972.

Phillip added:

“You see Kamala Harris nodding to this major moment in American history for so many women, people of color, for her sorority sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, incorporated.”

Kamala Harris is expected to take her oath of office today using two Bibles; one that previously belonged to a former neighbor and family friend of Harris’, Regina Shelton, and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court, according to a Harris aide.

She will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Harris has described Shelton as a second mother to her. She and her sister Maya often visited Shelton’s house after school while their mother, the late Shyamala Gopalan, was still at work as a breast cancer researcher. Harris used Shelton’s Bible to take the oath of office to be attorney general of California and later to become a United States senator.

“In office and into the fight, I carry Mrs. Shelton with me always,” Harris wrote in an op-ed for Bustle about Shelton titled, “Without This Woman, I Wouldn’t Be The Senator I Am Today.”

Harris has often said that Marshall was one of the inspirations for her legal career and has described him as a “childhood hero of mine.”

The vice president-elect said in a video posted to Twitter in July, “Thurgood Marshall and the work that he did is … really one of the main reasons I wanted to be a lawyer. Thurgood was a fighter, he was a boxer in the courtroom.”

Harris will make history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president, and she will be sworn in by the first Hispanic and third female justice in US Supreme Court history, Sonia Sotomayor.

PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden was just introduced for his inauguration at the US Capitol and is set to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

He followed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Supreme Court justices at the event.

Chief Justice John Roberts will swear-in Biden.

Biden fist-bumped with Obama as he passed the former president.

Watch the moment:

Commercial flights at Washington Reagan National Airport are halted until after President-Elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.  

The FAA instituted a ground stop from 10:30 a.m. ET to 12:15 p.m. ET for the inauguration, according to FAA data. The agency also issued a bulletin to pilots. 

Flights bound for Washington are being held at the origin airport, the FAA said.  

Aviation security has been a particular concern leading up Inauguration Day, and the already-secure airspace around Washington, DC, is more secure today. Flights that aren’t commercial, police, or military are being kept outside a 30-mile ring around the district.

In the days before and after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, videos on social media showed passengers harassing flight crews and fellow travelers. The FAA said it would enact a zero-tolerance policy against unruly in-flight behavior by passengers and issue fines of as much as $35,000. 

President Trump kept an eye on the inauguration proceedings on his way to Palm Beach, a person on board the flight tells CNN. 

The Trumps walked off Air Force One shortly after Vice President Mike Pence walked in to the ceremony at the US Capitol, where Joe Biden is about to be sworn in. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was just introduced at the inauguration ceremony. She’s being escorted by Capitol Police office Eugene Goodman, who has been hailed as a hero after video emerged of him guiding the violent mob away from the Senate chamber during the Capitol riot.

Harris is taking her seat alongside her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Harris will soon take the oath of office, becoming the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president.

Watch moment:

Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman, the first woman of color, the first Black person and the first South Asian to be Vice President.

In addition, Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history.

Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2009. Like Harris, Sotomayor broke barriers throughout her career. She is the third female justice in US Supreme Court history, and she was the first Hispanic person to be appointed to the federal bench in New York.

Harris honored Sotomayor in 2019 during Hispanic Heritage Month with the following tweet:

President Trump and the first lady have just landed in Florida. 

Trump had a short farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews earlier this morning. In brief, unscripted remarks, he promised to “always fight” and wished the incoming Biden administration “great luck.”

“You are amazing people. This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your President,” Trump said to a crowd of his family and staff.  

Trump will be in Florida when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in at noon, at which point he will no longer be president.

Vice President Mike Pence left a note for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. This was expected to happen.

Harris and Pence spoke on the phone last week.

President Trump also wrote a note for President-elect Joe Biden. A source described it as a “personal note” that continues the theme he had in his farewell address, praying for the success of the country and the new administration to care for the country.

PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Supreme Court justices were just introduced at the inauguration ceremony at the US Capitol.

Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Watch moment:

PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were just introduced at the inauguration ceremony at the US Capitol.

Moments later, Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush were also announced.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama are also at the Capitol for the event.

Former President Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former President, is not expected to attend today’s ceremony.

President Trump left the White House earlier this morning and will also not attend Biden’s inauguration.

Watch moment:

Moments after arriving at the US Capitol for the inauguration, Joe Biden’s account sent a tweet with a message to his wife, soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden.

The tweet said: “I love you, Jilly, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you with me on the journey ahead.” It included a short video of the Bidens holding hands as they arrived for the ceremony.

PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Image

Senate leaders were just announced at the US Capitol, and senators then took their seats ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden.

A band is playing as other lawmakers and VIPs make their way to their seats at the Capitol. Usually, crowds of supporters would be gathered on the National Mall, but today — due to coronavirus and security concerns — the Mall is filled with American flags instead.

Biden is set to take the oath of office at noon ET, officially becoming the 46th president of the US.

PHOTO: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg/Getty Images

One of the biggest challenges facing organizers of this year’s inauguration was how to conduct the ceremony safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced in mid-December that “vigorous health and safety protocols” will be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus. Traditional events will be “reimagined,” like the virtual inaugural parade, or canceled altogether, like the Capitol Hill luncheon. The inaugural committee also urged the public to refrain from traveling to Washington, DC for the ceremony and instead participate in inaugural activities from home

Here are some additional ways the inauguration changed due to the coronavirus pandemic:

Limited attendance: 

  • In-person attendance will be drastically cut back this year compared to previous inaugurations, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) announced in mid-December.
  • Normally, 200,000 tickets would be distributed for official ceremonies at the US Capitol, but this year attendance will be limited. For example, members of Congress will only receive a ticket for themselves and one guest, and the National Mall will be closed to the public. 

Health and safety protocols: 

  • Inaugural events that are taking place in person will incorporate public health measures to protect participants from the virus.
  • For example, the official swearing-in ceremony will include “vigorous health and safety protocols to protect public health, including face-coverings, social distancing, and more,” according to the inaugural committee’s website.

“Reimagined” or canceled events: 

  • A massive public art display, called the “Field of Flags,” has been set up on the National Mall, with approximately 191,500 U.S. flags and 56 pillars of light to represent Americans who can’t attend the inauguration in person.
  • The traditional inaugural parade will be virtual this year due to the pandemic, the PIC announced. The “reimagined parade” will feature televised performances from communities in all 56 states and territories, as well as celebrity and guest appearances.
  • In lieu of in-person celebrations, the Biden team will produce a 90-minute special program, titled “Celebrating America,” on the evening of his inauguration. Biden and Harris are expected to give remarks during the program, which will also highlight frontline workers, teachers and health care workers and feature musical performances. 
  • The Capitol Hill luncheon was canceled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the JCCIC announced in late December, saying the decision was made in consultation with the PIC. In past inaugurations, the luncheon on Capitol Hill traditionally included congressional leaders and invited guests and often featured foods from the home states of the new president and vice president.

PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden just arrived at the US Capitol with his wife, Jill Biden.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were also seem climbing the steps of the US Capitol alongside Biden.

Harris and Biden are scheduled to take their oaths of office shortly.

Watch the moment:

President Trump departing to speakers blaring Frank Sinatra as President-elect Biden sat quietly in church is a pretty decent metaphor for the outgoing and incoming presidents. 

I’m not sure it has quite has sunk in yet in how loud Trump was and how much quieter it is likely to be in the next four years. 

Trump dominated the media like few before him. It helped propel him to the 2016 GOP nomination. And ultimately, it led to his downfall

Even until this late hour in Trump’s presidency, more people are searching for Trump than Biden on Google

Biden won’t be on Twitter every waking moment. (I guess Trump isn’t anymore, either.

It’s not that there won’t be action from Biden: In fact, he has a clear agenda. Rather, there will be set moments of action with a lot less talking in-between from Biden. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be escorted to inauguration ceremony by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who became face of the resistance to rioters who stormed the Capitol two weeks ago today.

A Biden aide confirms to CNN that Goodman will escort Harris in his new role as acting deputy House sergeant at arms.

President-elect Joe Biden’s motorcade has arrived at the US Capitol ahead of his inauguration.

Congressional leaders are expected to greet him upon his entrance to the Capitol building.

Biden is expected to take the oath of office outside the building at noon ET.

See President-Elect Biden arrive at Capitol ahead of his inauguration:

Vice President Mike Pence just arrived at the US Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

President Trump is not attending. He gave a farewell address earlier in the day before boarding Air Force One and heading to Florida.

See moment Pence arrives at Capitol for inauguration:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrived with the former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, his wife, at the Capitol for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Chao resigned from her position in Trump’s cabinet after the Capitol riot.

Other congressional members, including Sens. Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Ted Cruz, were also seen.

See Mitch McConnell arrive at Capitol for inauguration:

A Supreme Court public information officer tells CNN that a bomb threat was called into the court, but the building has not been evacuated.

The Supreme Court building sits across the street from the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will take the oath of office at noon ET.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that a bomb threat was called into the court, but it was not evacuated.

PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A senior adviser to Biden says the President-elect will likely make small tweaks to the inaugural address until the very end.

Biden has been working on this speech for weeks with his team, including with his speech writer Vinay Reddy and senior adviser Mike Donilon, who has played a major role in crafting so much of Bidens messaging over the years. 

Biden is known to be a meticulous preparer for speeches big and small and has been known to make changes up until the last minute. We’ve also heard the President-elect talk about how he marks up his speeches to help with pacing. 

Sen. Chris Coons, one of Bidens closest allies on Capitol Hill, told CNN he expects the speech to be one of optimism that notes the challenges the country has overcome together and also challenges “Congress to come together in partnership with him and meet the real needs of the American people.”

Members of Congress have started to arrive at the Capitol for Inauguration.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell told reporters “it is disappointing that for the first time in our country’s history we will not have a peaceful transfer of power,” but added that today is a day of “renewal.”

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass said that for her, today is about getting control of the Covid-19 pandemic and that “for me personally is, is that an end of the divisiveness an end of the racism, of the narcissism, I mean it’s been a terrible four years, it really has. Our country has been ripped apart. I was here on January 6. And so today what it means for me personally is that maybe our nation can heal now.”

Bass, who did not attend Trump’s inauguration, said that today was a historic day to be able to watch Kamala Harris be sworn in as the first woman and also the first Black and South Asian woman to be sworn into office.

Asked about the enhanced security around the event, Vargas shared that he has had conversations with many members of the National Guard and that they are excited to be at the event.

“We have met so many Guardsmen and it has been fantastic,” Vargas said. “They’re all excited about being here.”

“It has been uplifting in a way that I did not expect.”

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell were also seen arriving at the Capitol ahead of the event.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have arrived at the US Capitol for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Their arrival was followed by former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shortly after.

See the Obamas and Clintons arrive for the inauguration:

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Monetary Policy at Treasury, Andy Baukol, will be the acting treasury secretary until President-elect Biden’s designated nominee, Janet Yellen, is confirmed, according to a Biden transition official.

Baukol is a long-time career civil servant and has been running point on the Treasury transition process. 

Senate Democrats are pressing to have Yellen confirmed as soon as tomorrow, though that will require all 100 senators to consent to the expedited timeline. 

American flags are seen in the early morning as preparations continue for the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20.

PHOTO: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

A traditional highlight of any inauguration is the sea of supporters of the incoming president that flood the national mall from all over the country. 

In keeping with the trend of this transition of power being like none other, that tradition will also be massively different. 

Because of concerns related to coronavirus and increased security after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the public has been barred from watching the inauguration from the mall. 

There is an intense security perimeter that wraps around the entire mall with only one entrance and only credentialed journalists and staff are allowed in. 

In place of the people, the inauguration committee has placed 200,000 flags representing all 56 American states and territories. 

The flags have been lit brilliantly and give the impression that the mall is packed, when in reality there are very few people down here. 

The goal is to make the optics event look impressive for the millions of people watching from home who can’t be here. 

One added wrinkle to the presentation: Forecasters are calling for 40 mph+ winds during the ceremony — which means those flags will be flapping.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles reports from the National Mall:

Former US President Barack Obama campaigns for then-presidential nominee Joe Biden in Atlanta on November 2, 2020.

PHOTO: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama tweeted at President-elect Joe Biden hours before he is set to take the oath of office, offering congratulations.

“This is your time,” Obama wrote.

Read the tweet:

CNN’s Arlette Saenz reports:

Then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2020.

PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen is resigning today, ending a tenure marked by the things that didn’t happen, including no special counsels appointed despite pressure from the White House.

The Justice Department said Rosen is leaving office at noon today, making way for an unusual arrangement to start the Joe Biden administration. 

In his nearly monthlong tenure as acting attorney general, Rosen withstood pressure from Trump, who personally and through White House officials had pushed repeatedly for the DOJ to appoint a special counsels to investigate matters the President wanted, a person briefed on the matter said. 

Later today, Monty Wilkinson, a career DOJ lawyer and former Eric Holder deputy chief of staff, is expected to be acting attorney general until Biden’s pick, Merrick Garland, is confirmed, people briefed in the matter said.

Wilkinson is deputy assistant attorney general for human resources and administration. For a few hours, until Biden signs an executive order appointing Wilkinson, John Demers, assistant attorney general for the national security division, will serve as acting attorney general. 

With Rosen leaving, Demers would normally be the acting attorney general. But Biden is relying on a Trump-era legal opinion that installed Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general after Trump fired Jeff Sessions. Democrats questioned the legality of that appointment, but now Biden is using that precedent to appoint Wilkinson as acting attorney general. 

Demers will stay on for a time under Biden. Under US law, a Senate-confirmed official must serve as attorney general at all times to handle sensitive national security matters.

US stocks opened higher on Wednesday as the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is getting underway in Washington. 

President Trump leaves office with a stock market near record highs. That said, the market performance under the Trump administration fell short of that under previous presidents.

Here’s where things opened:

  • The Dow opened 0.3%, or 86 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.6%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened 1% higher.

Members of the honor guard practice at sunrise for a presentation at Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, DC, on January 20.

PHOTO: Sarah Silbiger for CNN

This could be the first sunny Inauguration Day since President Bill Clinton was sworn in for his first term – nearly three decades ago.

It will be a chilly, blustery day in Washington today, with one of the windiest inaugurations on record expected.

Forecast at Noon calls for a temperature around 45 degrees, partly to mostly sunny skies, with the possibility of a passing flurries. Gusty winds of 35 to 40 mph are expected during the ceremony, which will create a wind chill of 35 to 40 degrees

Here’s a look at the weather at the last few inaugurations:

  • Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration: Temperature of 48 degrees at noon. Cloudy. Sprinkles at swearing in ceremony; light rain at start of parade. South winds around 5 mph.
  • Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration: Cloudy. South wind 7 mph. Temperature of 45 degrees at noon.
  • Obama’s 2009 inauguration: Filtered sun through cirrus clouds. Breezy winds gusting around 20 to 25 mph. Temperature of 28 degrees at noon with wind chill values as low as the mid teens.
  • George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration: Mostly cloudy skies with a temperature of 35 degrees at noon. Around 1 inch of snow was already on the ground.
  • Bush’s 2001 inauguration: A cool dreary day, with rain and fog – visibility down to 2 miles, and a temperature of 36 degrees at noon.
  • Bill Clinton’s 1997 inauguration: Temperature of 34 degrees at noon with mostly cloudy skies.
  • Clinton’s 1993 inauguration: Sunny and pleasant with a noon high of 40 degrees.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff attend mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, with congressional leaders on January 20.

PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is wearing Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson, per a Harris aide. 

Christopher is a young Black designer, from Baton Rouge, and lives in New York City. Sergio is a Black designer from South Carolina.

The Second Gentleman is wearing a Ralph Lauren suit.

CNN’s Kate Bennett reports:

Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne, who represents a Texas district where Democrats were competitive, led a letter to Joe Biden signed joined by 16 GOP House freshmen, saying they look forward to working with him.

Some of the representatives who signed onto the letter include Madison Cawthorn, Barry Moore, Burgess Owens, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Peter Meijer, Ashley Hinson and Carlos A. Gimenez.

“The constituencies we represent showcase the variety of thought across our great nation,” the letter said. “Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock and simply want to see leaders from both sides of the aisle work on issues important to American families, workers, and businesses,” it added.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports from Capitol Hill:

President Donald Trump made false claims from the first hours of his presidency to the last.

In his final speech, Trump falsely claimed that he got “almost 300” judges confirmed. In fact, he got 234 total judges confirmed to the Supreme Court, district courts and appeals courts, according to figures from Brookings Institution visiting fellow Russell Wheeler.

Trump also claimed that his number of judicial confirmations is a “record-setting number.” In fact, President Jimmy Carter appointed 261 judges, according to Wheeler — 39% of the available judgeships at the time to 27% for Trump.

Trump, exaggerating as usual, rounded his 74.2 million votes in the 2020 presidential election to “75 million votes.” He boasted that he set a record for a sitting president, which is correct, but he did not acknowledge that Joe Biden got over 7 million more votes than he did. 

Trump also said he passed the largest tax cut in American history. This is not true either in inflation-adjusted dollars or as a share of the economy. 

Trump did not explicitly say, as he normally does, that he is the one who got the Veterans Choice health care program passed — but he nonetheless suggested he is responsible for the program, taking credit for the ability of veterans to get reimbursed by the government for treatment from doctors outside the VA system. That initially happened because of the Choice bill President Barack Obama signed into law in 2014, though Trump did sign a 2018 law that modified and expanded the Choice program.

The sun rises as preparations are made at the Capitol on January 20.

PHOTO: Caroline Brehman/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden just sent his first tweet of Inauguration Day, moments after Donald Trump left the DC area for the final time as president.

As is customary and in line with the tradition of previous first ladies, Jill Biden will be making an Inaugural attire donation to the Smithsonian. 

Her Inauguration Day attire will be from female American designers, a personal familiar with the matter tells CNN. 

According to the Biden transition team, the President-elect is wearing a navy suit and navy overcoat, both by American designer Ralph Lauren. Jill Biden was wearing an ocean blue wool tweed coat and dress by emerging American designer Alexandra O’Neill of Markarian.

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams speaks in Washington, DC, on December 14, 2020.

PHOTO: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

In a tweet Wednesday morning, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams confirmed reports the Biden team has asked him to resign.

Asking Adams to resign represents a visible break by the Biden team with the Trump administration’s Covid response. Last month, President-elect Joe Biden announced he would nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy to be the next Surgeon General under his administration – a role Murthy held in the Obama administration.

It is unclear who will fill the job on an interim basis between the time Adams vacates the role and the time Murthy is confirmed by the Senate.

First lady Melania Trump speaks before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20.

PHOTO: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Melania Trump left a “short note of welcome” for Jill Biden, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. It’s unclear where it was left or its exact contents.

President Trump also left a note for the President-elect, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Members of the National Guard walk from Union Station to the Capitol in Washington, DC, as events get under way for Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20.

PHOTO: John Minchillo/AP

Military command centers around the world, including the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon basement will be monitoring intelligence around the world as they do around the clock every day, but watching closely any unexpected signs of threats as there is a transfer of power in Washington.

For several days, defense officials have said they see no unusual indications out of Iran or North Korea.

Last Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff held a final classified meeting in advance of the inauguration to review contingency plans in the event of a national security crisis at home or abroad on Inauguration Day, according to a source with direct knowledge. The meeting would have happened even without the insurrection, but that has been on the minds of the joint chiefs in the event adversaries would now see the US as vulnerable, the source said.

Military and defense officials this year will be in particular coordinating with federal law enforcement for any signs of domestic unrest from extremist groups.

Top Army and National Guard officials plan to be in constant touch with the FBI and Secret Service throughout the day to ensure National Guard forces in Washington, DC, are properly positioned and all information is shared and coordinated.     

When President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president, the inauguration audience won’t be the largest in history. But some families who made history will be among the crowd. 

Family members of Jacob Blake – Jacob Blake Sr. and his brother, Justin Blake – said they are in Washington, DC, with the aunt of Breonna Taylor for the inauguration of Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris. The Blakes said they were required to test negative for Covid-19 before receiving credentials for Wednesday’s inauguration.

Justin Blake said they were invited when Biden and Harris learned the family was in Washington, DC. They are fighting to change policing in America and have taken their grievances to Washington. The Blakes believe Black voters helped propel the Biden-Harris ticket.

The younger Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by police last year. The officers involved in that August shooting were cleared of all wrongdoing earlier this month. Blake survived the shooting but was left partially paralyzed. 

Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers in her apartment during a flawed forced-entry raid in March 2020.

The Louisville Metro Police Department fired two detectives connected to the shooting earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Biden showed empathy as he spoke about moving this nation forward and he once again revealed another level of common ground. He knows and understands pain. 

“It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation,” Biden said.

The Blake and Taylor families said healing also means action and policy changes. 

President Trump did leave a note for his successor, Joe Biden, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The contents of the note weren’t immediately clear.

Some background: One of the modern Inauguration Day traditions for presidents leaving office is to write their successors a letter offering best wishes and advice. This is usually left on the Resolute Desk to read when the new president first enters the Oval Office.

You can read some of the letters outgoing Presidents left for their successors here.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reports:

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20.

PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Air Force One, carrying President Trump and first Lady Melania Trump, just took off from Joint Base Andrews. They’re on their way to Florida.

The plane took off as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played over speakers.

While it is typical for outgoing presidents to depart Washington on one of the airplanes maintained by the 89th Airlift Wing of the Air Force, it is not typical for that final flight to be officially called Air Force One, since those craft only have those names when the President is on them.  

An outgoing president’s final airplane flight is usually called a Special Air Mission. Trump’s predecessor, 44th President Barack Obama, left town on a flight officially known as Special Air Mission 44.  

But Trump’s early departure from the White House means he’ll still be president for the entirety of his flight to Florida.  

Watch moment Air Force One departs:

Aides had prepared a speech for the President this morning that included references to the incoming administration and included more gracious language about a peaceful transition, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But Trump discarded the speech, and teleprompters were removed from the stage before he arrived at Joint Base Andrews.

A person familiar with the matter said the decision was made after Trump read the remarks this morning at the White House.

President Trump and first Lady Melania Trump are about to leave Joint Base Andrews for Florida.

In his short, unscripted remarks, Trump thanked his family and vowed to “always fight.”

While he wished the next administration “great luck,” but he did not mention President-elect Joe Biden by name.

In his last words before getting on the plane, Trump said: “Have a good life, we will see you soon.”

President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden attend mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, with congressional leaders on January 20.

PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Moments after President Trump board Air Force One had his farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, President-elect Joe Biden was seen departing Blair House along with his wife Jill Biden to go to church.

His motorcade just arrived at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, where he’ll attend mass this morning with his family, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her family.

They will be joined by bipartisan congressional leaders. Father Kevin O’Brien will delivery the homily.

The Bidens attend Mass ahead of inauguration:

Joe Biden, who will become only the second Catholic president, is attending a service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, ahead of his Inauguration later today. 

Biden will be joined by all four congressional leaders, CNN reported, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

Incoming presidents typically attend services on the morning of their inauguration, often at St. John’s Episcopal Church, a small church across Lafayette Square from the White House known as “The Church of the Presidents.” 

Since 1933, seven presidents – Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump – attended morning services at St. John’s ahead of their public inaugurations, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

FDR went to St. John’s before three of his inaugurations; for his fourth, in 1945, FDR attended a private service at the White House.

St. John’s was back in the news in 2020 as the backdrop of Trump’s infamous Bible photo op.

About the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle: The cathedral, the Mother Church of the archdiocese of Washington, is named for Saint Matthew the Apostle, the patron saint of civil servants, according to the cathedral’s website.

St. Matthew’s has been the site of several historical events, including the funeral Mass for President John F. Kennedy on November 25, 1963. Funerals for Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist and Associate Justice William J. Brennan were also held there.

Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have all visited St. Matthew’s, as well.

The cathedral also traditionally hosts an annual celebration called the “Red Mass” on the Sunday prior to the beginning of the Supreme Court’s regular October term, where Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and government leaders are invited to attend the special service.

President Donald Trump speaks before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20.

PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

In his closing remarks as President, Donald Trump promised to “always fight” and wished the incoming Biden administration “great luck.”

“You are amazing people. This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your President,” Trump said to a crowd of his family and staff. 

He also thanked Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence and Congress.

See Trump say goodbye in closing address:

As he began his remarks at Joint Base Andrews, President Trump focused on his family, who were in attendance to the side of the stage.

He also recognized his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, before calling up first lady Melania Trump to make brief remarks.  

He called the first lady a “woman of great grace and beauty and dignity,” and said she was “so popular with the people,” despite CNN polling that finds she is the first lady with the lowest popularity rating in recent history

Melania Trump took the podium briefly, saying, “Being your first lady was my greatest honor.”

After she concluded her remarks, the President retook the microphone, saying, “What else has to be said, right? That’s true honey, great job.” 

First lady Melania Trump speaks before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20.

PHOTO: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump spoke at President Trump’s final farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews before they leave for Florida.

Watch Melania Trump’s message:

President Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, just walked off Marine One and onto the stage at Joint Base Andrews for his send-off ceremony.

He’s now speaking ahead of his flight to Florida.

See Trump arrive at Joint Base Andrews after leaving White House:

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20.

PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Trump has just arrived at Joint Base Andrews for his final farewell ceremony, the first time he’s been seen in public for over a week.

On the stage where Trump will deliver what are likely his last public remarks as President, there’s a podium with the Presidential seal. There are no teleprompters.

He will be in Florida when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in at noon, at which point he will no longer be president.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stop to talk with the media before departing the White House on January 20.

PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP

After he walked out of the White House, President Trump told reporters it was a “great honor” to serve as 45th President of the United States.

He said it has been the “honor of a lifetime” and that he just wanted to walk over and say goodbye.

He added he hoped it would not be a long goodbye, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reported. 

“It seemed the President was trying to take this in and say one final goodbye here,” Diamond said. 

The White House is pictured on January 20.

PHOTO: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

A source close to the White House says President Trump spent his final night in the White House working on pardons and signing the final paperwork just before midnight.

His daughter Ivanka was with him until 10 p.m. ET and left to make phone calls to some of the people pardoned until 2 a.m. ET. Ivanka had been very involved in recent days in the criminal justice pardons for non-violent offenders.

The sources says the feeling is “bittersweet” as the family departs today. Another source says he’s relieved to leave behind the pressure of the presidency.

His daughter and son in law will not be joining him on Air Force One.

Marine One lifts off carrying President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they depart from the White House on January 20.

PHOTO: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Marine One just took off from the White House lawn, carrying President Trump to Joint Base Andrews for his send-off ceremony.

But it is not typical for a president’s final flights to be officially called Marine One and Air Force One, since those craft only have those names when the President is on them. (Typically, presidents leave DC after the new president is inaugurated.)

The helicopter flight for the outgoing president typically becomes known as Executive One.

See moment Marine One takes off:

In the midst of a flurry of last minute Executive Orders signed overnight, President Trump revoked a rule he signed early in his term that included a five-year lobbying ban for administration officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments.

Trump had signed the order “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees” within his first week in office as part of his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

But now, as he and his advisers depart the White House, Trump is presumably allowing for those officials to begin lobbying when they leave government.

The January 28, 2017 executive order required appointees to pledge that they will not “engage in lobbying activities with respect” to the executive agency they were appointed to serve within five years after “termination of their employment” – effectively allowing them to lobby other areas.

As a presidential candidate in 2016, Trump initially called for enacting the five-year lobbying ban through legislation and for a similar restriction for members of Congress and their staff. But his executive order was ultimately free of that language.

At the signing, Trump slammed former President Barack Obama for enacting a two-year lobbying ban for officials who left his administration, saying his Democratic predecessor’s order was insufficient and full of loopholes.

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House on January 20.

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump just walked out of the White House. He’s on his way to Joint Base Andrews, where he’s expected to have a short farewell ceremony at the base before one last presidential flight to Palm Beach.

Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at a send-off ceremony at the base.

Watch the moment Trump leaves the White House:

A source close to Vice President Mike Pence said he said his final goodbye to President Trump yesterday and is not expected to be at the White House this morning as Trump departs. 

He’s also not expected to attend the ceremony at Joint Base Andrews before Trump departs for Florida.

Once the inauguration of Joe Biden concludes today, Pence will fly to Indiana and then will be back and forth between Indiana and DC. 

By breaking with tradition and leaving Washington while still president, Trump’s final military flight this morning is expected to carry the designation “Air Force One.”  

It is typical for outgoing presidents to depart Washington on one of the airplanes maintained by the 89th Airlift Wing of the Air Force and typically known as Air Force One. The new president typically offers this as a courtesy to his predecessor.  

But it is not typical for that final flights to be officially called Marine One and Air Force One since those craft only have those names when the President is on them.  

The helicopter flight for the outgoing president typically becomes known as Executive One.

And the airplane flight is usually called a Special Air Mission. Trump’s predecessor, 44th President Barack Obama, left town on a flight officially known as Special Air Mission 44.  

But Trump’s early departure from the White House means he’ll still be president for the entirety of his flight to Florida.  

There will be an aviation change around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida. The airspace restriction above the facility will shrink from 30 miles to just three. 

First lady Melania Trump attends an event at the White House on November 24, 2020.

PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump did not write her own “thank you” notes to the White House residence staff who have cared for her and her family for the last for years, according to two sources with knowledge of the notes and Trump’s handling of them.

The 80 or so staff who received the type written notes were under the assumption the first lady had written them herself. Instead, Trump tasked a lower-level East Wing staffer with writing them “in her voice,” and she signed her name. 

Several sources familiar with Trump’s activities, or lack thereof in recent weeks, have described the first lady as being “checked out,” that she “just wants to go home,” and is “not sad to be leaving” Washington and the White House.

One of the sources discussing the “thank you” notes with CNN said it is customary for first ladies – and occasionally presidents as well – to write cards or short letters of gratitude to members of household staff, especially the ones whom they get to know extremely well. Much of the correspondence includes personal anecdotes and the letters become “cherished keepsakes” for the residence staff, says the source.

The butlers, cooks, housekeepers, ushers and maintenance workers do not typically turn over with each administration and many have been working at the White House for a decade or more

Melania Trump will be exiting the White House with the lowest favorability rating of her tenure as first lady, according to a new CNN poll.

At 47%, more people have an unfavorable view of the first lady now than at any point since CNN first asked about views of her in February 2016. The poll, conducted by SSRS for CNN, puts Trump’s favorable rating at 42%, with 12% of those asked answering they are unsure of their feelings about the first lady.

The coronavirus pandemic will be President-elect Joe Biden’s top priority after he is sworn in later today, the incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN.

Biden is expected to sign a slate of executive actions, including ones around the pandemic, after he is sworn in. However, Psaki cautioned that it could take “several months until we’re really seeing progress.”

Americans shouldn’t expect to hear about Trump in Biden’s inaugural speech, Psaki said.

“We spend a lot less time talking about and thinking about and worrying about Donald Trump than I think most people assume. This is a forward-looking speech,” she said. “So he’s going to talk about the problems we’re facing, the resolve of the public to come together, the power of coming together and unifying.”

Incoming White House press secretary speaks with CNN:

Preparations are made at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for the departure President Donald Trump on January 20.

PHOTO: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is expected to leave the White House soon to make his way to Joint Base Andrews.

Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, he’s expected to have a short farewell ceremony before one last presidential flight to Palm Beach.

Trump hasn’t left the White House or been seen in public for a week. On Monday evening he taped a final message from the Blue Room of the White House, ticking through several achievements that he believes should define his administration. He released that video Tuesday afternoon, followed by a raft of 11th-hour pardons and commutations released early Wednesday morning. The batch of 73 pardons and 70 commutations issued in the final hours of his presidency included Steve Bannon and Lil Wayne.

Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks this morning before his final departure from Joint Base Andrews. Invitations have gone out to Trump’s friends, allies and former administration officials saying it will begin at 8 a.m. ET. Each invitee is allowed five guests; organizers hope to secure a large crowd because Trump has complained about the size of his gatherings in the past.

In a sign the guest list may not have been carefully curated, Trump’s former communications director turned critic, Anthony Scaramucci, was invited to the departure. He told CNN he did not plan to attend, but saw his invitation as a sign the White House was eager to bulk up the guest list.

Trump will be in Florida when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in at noon, at which point he will no longer be president.

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, exits the Manhattan Federal Court in New York on August 20, 2020.

PHOTO: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

President Trump issued a raft of 11th-hour pardons and commutations early Wednesday that included his onetime political strategist, a former top fundraiser and two well-known rappers but not himself or his family.

The batch of 73 pardons and 70 commutations issued in the final hours of his presidency was expected, and is in keeping with a long-standing presidential tradition of exercising clemency powers at the last minute.

But several controversial names do appear, including Steve Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to charges he defrauded donors in a “We Build the Wall” online fundraising campaign.

Trump had spent the past days deliberating over a pardon for the man who helped him win the presidency in 2016 and followed him to the White House.

A senior Trump adviser said part of the motivation for the President to issue a pardon for Bannon is that he believes his former chief strategist can help lead a political comeback for President Trump. The outgoing President has discussed the idea of another run in 2024. Though some advisers have dismissed the idea as Trump is now leaving office in disgrace. Trump also saw Bannon as one of the few remaining high profile conservatives to back the president all the way to the bitter end. 

As for their relationship, once fractured after Bannon was fired following Charlottesville, the adviser said, “they made up.”

After he is sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden is expected to sign a slate of executive actions in the Oval Office, fulfilling a campaign promise to act on a wide range of issues on day one. 

Here’s a look at some of the actions we’re expecting: 

On the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Biden will enact a “100 Days Masking Challenge,” asking Americans to wear a mask for 100 days and signing a national mask mandate, requiring masks in all federal buildings and federal lands.  
  • He will stop the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization.
  • Biden will create the position of “COVID-19 Response Coordinator” through executive action. This is a role that that will report directly to the President. 
  • Biden will restore the National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.    

On the economy:

  • Biden will issue an executive order asking the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the moratorium on evictions until at least March 31. 
  • Ask the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to extend foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages and continuing applications for forbearance for federally guaranteed mortgages until March 31.
  • Ask Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to extend foreclosure moratoriums until March 31.  

On the climate crisis:

  • Biden will rejoin the Paris Agreement, singing a notice that will be sent to the United Nations later today. The United States will officially become party to the agreement in 30 days.  
  • He will sign a broad executive order that will direct agencies to review emissions standards, take action on any regulations imposed during the Trump administration that are deemed ‘harmful,’ and place a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  
  • Biden will re-establish the Interagency Working Group the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. 
  • He will revoke permits over the last four years that “do not serve the US national interest,” including a presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL pipeline.  

On racial equity:

  • Biden will issue an executive order instructing agencies to conduct a baseline review of systemic inequities in their programs and policies and to deliver action plans to reverse these findings. 
  • As part of a broader executive order, Biden will rescind the 1776 Commission.
  • He will overturn President Trump’s executive order to limit federal government contractors and agencies from implementing diversity training.  
  • He will rescind President Trump’s orders excluding non-citizens from the US Census.  

On immigration:

  • Incoming National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan outlined the administration’s immigration policies while noting that Biden intends to begin work immediately to address the broader root causes of failed immigration policy. 
  • On DACA, Biden will sign a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to take ‘appropriate actions’ to preserve and fortify DACA.  
  • He will overturn the executive order ending the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries.  
  • He will sign a memorandum to extend Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians until June 30, 2022.  
  • He will also sign an order ensures that the federal government interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  
  • Biden will declare an immediate pause in border wall construction. This includes finding a way to redirect funds that were funneled into the building of the wall by the Trump administration.   

The White House is pictured on January 20.

PHOTO: Maddie McGarvey for CNN

Last night the Biden-Harris transition team released the daily schedule for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ first day in office.

It includes the signing of multiple executive orders and a 7 p.m. ET White House press briefing from press secretary Jen Psaki.

Biden will also swear in “day one presidential appointees” in a virtual ceremony, according to a news release. 

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s schedule:

  • 8:45 a.m. ET: Biden, Harris and their spouses attend a church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
  • Noon: Biden and Harris are sworn in.
  • 2:25 p.m. ET: Biden and Harris visit the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
  • 5:15 p.m. ET: Biden signs executive orders and other presidential actions.
  • 5:45 p.m. ET: Biden swears in presidential appointees in a virtual ceremony.
  • 8:48 p.m. ET: Biden and Harris deliver remarks at the “Celebrating America” inaugural program.

President-elect Joe Biden holds a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020.

PHOTO: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to make the coronavirus pandemic his first priority as president, and he’s taking a calculated and symbolic action straight off.

Biden’s first executive order will require masks on federal property. It is meant to symbolize the new administration’s 180-degree turn to validate and support science in fighting the pandemic, and to set an example from the top down.

“And the President will call on governors, public health officials, mayors, business leaders and others to implement masking, physical distancing and other public measures to control Covid-19,” Zients added.

“This is not a political statement. This is about the health of our families, and economic recovery of our country.” 

Trump pointedly refused to wear a mask in public throughout his presidency, and Trump political appointees across federal agencies often discouraged mask use among their staff. Largely mask-free events sponsored by the White House were linked to multiple Covid-19 infections, including an event for Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Trump was himself hospitalized for a coronavirus infection in October.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy discusses Biden’s planned mask mandate:

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee on January 20.

PHOTO: CNN

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee shared his thoughts on the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden, saying “it’s an important moment, but it’s hard to erase the trauma that we’ve gone through.”

Kildee told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he still feels “anxious” — not about security after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but “about where we stand right now as a country and how we move forward”

He brought up Republican lawmakers who voted to object to state electoral results mere hours after the Capitol attack.

“The question I have to ask myself, as dangerous as that attack was, what represents a greater threat to our democracy: That attack which we can put down with an army? Or a majority of one party willing to subvert the will of the American people because it’s convenient to them politically? That may constitute a greater danger,” he added. 

Kildee also said he is looking forward to “get to work as a group of adults, not having to work around the president but to work with a president, to crush this virus and end it and then to take on the other big challenges that we face.” 

Rep. Dan Kildee speaks with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota:

The Capitol is seen at sunset on January 19.

PHOTO: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

On a typical Inauguration Day, hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to Washington, DC, to catch a glimpse of the new President being sworn in.

Not this year.

Government leaders and health officials are telling people to stay away. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser urged people to not travel to the United States capital for the inauguration in a news conference early last week.

Even before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, rising Covid-19 numbers had already forced President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee to transition to a virtual ceremony.

The inauguration ceremony will be broadcast on major news channels, including CNN, so everyone can watch the festivities safely from home. Performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will headline the swearing-in ceremony, with Gaga singing the national anthem.

In addition to the broadcast, you can join virtual events organized by people all over the country to celebrate the historical day.

Here are some of those events:

DNC watch party: The Democratic National Committee is offering an online service for people to organize and host their own virtual inauguration watch parties.

People can fill out the form here with their online video chatting link, such as a Zoom link, and then send the invite to friends and family. The video calling link can be used to screen share the streaming of the inauguration ceremony, which will be available at this website.

If viewers prefer to watch the inauguration on a television, they can use their video calling services to interact with others.

Women and the vice presidency: History is being made today, with Kamala Harris being sworn in as the first woman vice president. The DiMenna Children’s History Museum in New York City is hosting an online event for children of all ages to learn about what led the US to this historic moment.

The virtual event, which is titled “Living History @ Home: An American First — Women and the Vice Presidency,” walks through the history of women running for the second-highest office in the land.

It begins in 1984 with Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first woman to run for vice president with a major American political party. After the learning portion of the event, kids can participate in a trivia game.

You can register for the free event here.

Biden inauguration special: To cap off the day, Tom Hanks will be hosting a primetime inauguration special called “Celebrating America.”

Biden and Harris are set to give remarks during the 90-minute television special. It will also honor health care workers, teachers and other Americans who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic. Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and other celebrities are slated to perform.

The program will air on CNN and other major news networks at 8:30 p.m. ET today.

Read more here.

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks at a Covid-19 memorial in Washington, D.C., on January 19. The memorial paid tribute to Americans who have died because of the pandemic.

PHOTO: Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Kamala Harris will be sworn in today as the next vice president of the United States by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, according to a Harris aide.

Harris will make history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president, and she will be sworn in by the first Hispanic and third female justice in US Supreme Court history. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to the high court and has served since 2009.

The vice president-elect will take her oath of office using two Bibles; one that previously belonged to a former neighbor and family friend of Harris’, Regina Shelton, and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court, the aide said.

ABC News was first to report the Bibles and that Sotomayor would swear Harris in.

Harris has described Shelton as a second mother to her, and she and her sister Maya often visited Shelton’s house after school while their mother, the late Shyamala Gopalan, was still at work as a breast cancer researcher. Shelton lived two doors down from Harris’ home. Harris used Shelton’s Bible to take the oath of office to be attorney general of California and later to become a United States senator.

Harris has often said that Marshall was one of the inspirations for her legal career and has described him as a “childhood hero of mine.”

The vice president-elect said in a video posted to Twitter in July, “Thurgood Marshall and the work that he did is … really one of the main reasons I wanted to be a lawyer. Thurgood was a fighter, he was a boxer in the courtroom.”

Preparations are made at the Capitol during rehearsals on January 18.

PHOTO: Caroline Brehman/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States will be unusual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns, but it will still be an inauguration.

Here are some key things to know about how inaugurations work in the US:

  • What’s actually required to make someone president? None of the pageantry — inaugural balls, inaugural parades, inaugural luncheons — is laid out in the Constitution. All you need to swear in a new president, now that the electoral votes have been counted, is for Biden to say these words, which are written in the Constitution, at noon on Jan. 20: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
  • Who swears in the new president? Usually the chief justice of the US Supreme Court administers the oath, but that’s a custom, not a requirement. If the chief justice isn’t available, it can be another judge. Calvin Coolidge’s dad, a justice of the peace, gave his son the oath in the family living room in Vermont after Warren G. Harding’s death. The only woman to deliver the oath of office to a president was Sarah Hughes, a federal district judge in Texas, who was called onto Air Force One after JFK’s assassination to make Lyndon B. Johnson president.
  • Does the president have to put his hand on a Bible? Most presidents have employed Bibles. Former President Barack Obama used two at the same time. But that’s a custom. Theodore Roosevelt didn’t use one.
  • Is Biden required to give an inaugural address? There’s not technically any need for an inaugural address, although every elected president has given one. Some are short (George Washington’s second was 135 words) and some are long (William Henry Harrison’s was more than 8,000 words and the lore is he caught a cold while giving it and died of pneumonia a month later). It’s a valuable custom for a new president to use the address to lay out their agenda and move on from what may have been a bruising campaign.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC, on January 19. The Covid-19 memorial paid tribute to Americans who have died because of the pandemic.

PHOTO: Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has spoken volumes inside the US Capitol over more than four decades, but the weight of those words does not approach the magnitude of the message he will deliver on its steps during his inaugural address today.

Biden has been steadily crafting the speech — adding a thought here, inserting a line there — since the day after he delivered a victory address in Wilmington, Delaware, aides say. But in those passing 72 days, Biden’s burden has grown even heavier, with President Trump’s relentless falsehoods complicating the already-challenging task of unifying a divided nation.

Mike Donilon, a longtime adviser to Biden who will join him in the West Wing, is overseeing the speechwriting process along with Vinay Reddy, Biden’s chief speechwriter. Jon Meacham, the historian and presidential biographer, is also helping shape the inaugural address, which will be delivered as the opening mark of perhaps the most challenging presidency since Franklin Roosevelt.

It is expected to be about 20 minutes in length, aides said, which follows a pattern of inaugural addresses from recent presidents. Four years ago, Trump spoke for 15 minutes, while Barack Obama’s speech in 2009 was about 18 minutes.

For the first time in modern history, the new president’s successor will not be sitting within arm’s reach on the west front of the Capitol. By the time Biden takes his oath of office, Trump is scheduled to have arrived at his home in Florida. Aides say Biden is unlikely to mention — or certainly not dwell on — Trump, but could give an appreciative nod at Vice President Mike Pence, who plans to attend.

The exact text is a closely guarded secret, advisers tell CNN. Not only because he wants the message to be fresh, but also because the speech has changed multiple times — out of necessity, given the horrific siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6, and also because of Biden’s penchant for rewriting speeches until the very last minute.

But several people close to Biden say clues to his address can be found in themes from his speech on Nov. 7, 2020, when he implored Americans: “Let’s give each other a chance.”

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again. Listen to each other again,” Biden said on that crisp night. “And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans. They’re Americans.”

Those words now strike almost an ominous tone, with their mission even more difficult after a pro-Trump mob attempting to stop Congress from accepting the electoral votes overtook the Capitol steps where Biden will deliver his first message to the nation as president. 

Then-White House chief of staff John Kelly attends a meeting at the White House on September 5, 2018.

PHOTO: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens of current and former administration officials have been invited to President Trump’s farewell ceremony today, including those who have been extremely critical of Trump since leaving the White House.

Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly recently told CNN’s Jake Tapper he’d vote to remove Trump from office if he could — yet he was still invited to the event.

So was Don McGahn, the former White House counsel who angered Trump by sitting down with Robert Mueller’s team for hours. Other former senior aides who have maintained good relationships with Trump, like his first chief of staff Reince Priebus, were also invited but aren’t expected to attend.

Both Kelly and McGahn won’t be attending, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Some are choosing not to go because attendees must arrive by 6 a.m. ET, while others have said they are staying away because the President is politically toxic right now given his role in inciting a mob that attacked the US Capitol.

The invitation was not limited to senior staff. Even junior aides who never personally interacted with Trump were also invited, according to a source familiar, in what appears to be an attempt to bulk up the guest list.

The White House declined to comment on the invitation process.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas, on January 12.

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, President Trump will have a departure ceremony this morning before one last presidential flight to Palm Beach.

Trump is expected to leave from Joint Base Andrews this morning and arrive at his Palm Beach resort by the time President-elect Joe Biden is being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. 

Trump has told people, CNN reported, that he dislikes the idea of leaving Washington as an ex-president and hates the thought of having to ask Biden to use the plane. 

Trump’s departure aboard Marine One from the White House South Lawn will likely be visible and audible to the Bidens, who will spend the night before the inauguration at Blair House, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the executive mansion.

Its use was offered to them by the State Department rather than the Trumps, who refuse to make contact with the incoming president and first lady. 

Once Trump arrives at Joint Base Andrews, he is expected to receive a military-style sendoff and joined by a crowd of supporters.

This event is expected to be like a state visit departure event, an official told CNN. Some of the pomp and circumstance under consideration for the ceremony includes a color guard, military band, 21-gun salute and red carpet.  

The Marine Band rehearses on the West Front of the Capitol on January 18.

PHOTO: Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

The invitations have been scaled back by the pandemic and the security has been heightened due to the Capitol riot, but Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States today will still have plenty of pomp.

Here’s a look at what will be different:

  • The National Mall will be shut down to keep people away, so we will all be spared another comparison of crowd sizes, especially since President Trump’s Twitter handle has been turned off. The threat of violent protests from election-denying Trump supporters and the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops will keep anyone from forgetting Trump’s turbulent leadership, or lack thereof.
  • Normally, members of Congress get a raft of tickets to distribute at will. This year they each get a plus one. The public is being encouraged to stay away and there will be no public parade from the Capitol to the White House. Instead there will be a virtual parade bringing in people from around the country.
  • The inaugural balls — usually there are multiple and the new president makes a short appearance at several — will be replaced by a produced TV show featuring stars like Hanks along with Justin Timberlake. This will feel very much like the Covid inauguration.

Other things to look out for:

  • What will Biden say? Pay special attention to how Biden references his predecessor, soon to face an impeachment trial, during his inaugural address.
  • Who will be at the actual inauguration ceremony? All the normal VIPs, incoming and outgoing Cabinet members, lawmakers and Supreme Court justices are likely to attend, as is outgoing Vice President Mike Pence. Trump will not. It’s rare, but not unheard of, for a president to skip the transfer of power. Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga will add some show-biz glitz to the ceremony, which will still take place at the West Front of the US Capitol, looking out on an empty Mall, a show of defiance to the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, maybe. But also a reminder that this is a very singular beginning to a new administration.

  • President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been sworn in. Harris has made history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president.
  • Meanwhile, Donald Trump is back at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
  • DC and states across the country are under strict and heightened security over fears of possible new threats today.