2 years ago

Live updates are taking a break

We’re concluding our Inauguration Day coverage for the night. Check back on our website, and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, for coverage of the Biden administration’s first full day in office.

2 years ago

Fireworks cap inauguration festivities

Fireworks are seen above the White House at the end of the Inauguration day for US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Katy Perry performed “Firework” while fireworks exploded in the nation’s capital, marking the end of Inauguration Day celebrations for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

2 years ago

In first speech as vice president, Harris urges the country to ‘see beyond the crisis’

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to the nation from the National Mall late on Inauguration Day, reiterating a message of unity and urging the country to “see beyond crisis to do what is hard, to do what is good.”

“Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do,” she said.

In her first speech as vice president, Harris reflected on other difficult periods in U.S. history, including the Civil War and the civil rights movement.

“A great experiment takes great determination, the will to do the work and then the wisdom to keep refining, keep tinkering, keep perfecting. The same determination is being realized in America today,” she said.

2 years ago

Biden speaks at Lincoln Memorial: ‘I have never been more optimistic about America’

President Joe Biden addressed the country on Jan. 20 from the Lincoln Memorial after the sun had set on his Inauguration Day festivities. “America’s story depends on not any one of us, but on all of us,” Biden said. “That’s the task before us.”

Biden, nodding to the towering marble likeness of the former president next to him, said America was at a turning point similar to those the country faced during the Civil War and the civil rights movement.

“Are we up to it? Will we meet the moment like our forebears have? I believe we must and I believe we will,” Biden added.

He said unity requires Americans to connect around opportunity dignity and respect to fight hate, violence, disease and hopelessness.

“I have never been more optimistic about America,” he said.

2 years ago

Harris won’t move into vice president’s residence right away

Kamala Harris might be vice president, but she doesn’t get to enjoy all of the vice presidential perks just yet.

Harris won’t immediately move into the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. A Harris aide says the delay will allow time for repairs to the home. The house needs its chimney liners replaced, among other fixes, and it’s easier to finish the work with the home unoccupied.

The former California senator has a home in downtown D.C. where she typically stayed while in town for work, but it’s unclear if she’ll remain there while waiting for the repairs to be completed.

Every vice president since Walter Mondale has lived at the Naval Observatory, and it’s been the site of visits from foreign dignitaries, events and gatherings hosted by vice presidents past.

2 years ago

Biden’s first call with foreign leader will be Friday with Canada’s Trudeau

Press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden planned to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday — his first call to a foreign leader.

Psaki also told reporters no plans had been made for Biden’s first foreign trip.

2 years ago

Eleanor Holmes Norton says focus should be on Biden’s first 100 days, not Trump impeachment trial

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said that she doesn’t “favor the impeachment trial” for former President Donald Trump, adding that the focus should be on the new Biden administration’s first 100 days.

“[Biden has] got to focus on the virus. He’s got to then look at the economy. That’s written for him,” she told NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff.

On how Biden’s legislative priorities will play out with a slim Democratic majority in Congress, Norton said Biden enters the White House with an advantage because “he has worked with Republicans his entire life, and has been in public life in the Congress for more than 30 years.”

2 years ago

Psaki delivers first news briefing of Biden era

White House press secretary Jen Psaki is delivering the first news briefing of Joe Biden’s presidency, a once standard part of past administrations that was largely sidelined during the Trump era.

Psaki said Wednesday that she will bring truth and transparency to the White House briefing room, a clear reference to her predecessors under President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration took an openly combative tone with the news media. Sean Spicer, who was Trump’s first press secretary, set the tenor four years ago by claiming that the audience at Trump’s inauguration was the largest in history, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

2 years ago

Senate confirms Avril Haines as director of national intelligence

The confirmation of Haines gives President Joe Biden the first member of his Cabinet.

The 84-10 vote by the Senate on Wednesday came after senators agreed to fast-track her nomination.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it was fitting that Haines was confirmed first. He said the intelligence post is of “critical importance to the country.”

Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee at a confirmation hearing Tuesday that China would be an important focus of the Biden administration. She said she sees her role as speaking “truth to power” and delivering accurate and apolitical intelligence even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient for the administration.

The Senate was able to vote quickly on the nomination, and bypass a committee vote, after Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton dropped his objection. Cotton had said he wanted to hear from Haines on the Bush-era CIA interrogation program before he agreed to move forward. Haines was a deputy CIA director in the Obama administration.

2 years ago

National Archives now has Trump records website

The federal government has launched a new website that will serve as a clearinghouse for records from former President Donald Trump’s administration.

The National Archives and Records Administration announced the website on Wednesday. Eventually, it will be a repository of archived Trump-era documents, including his White House website and social media accounts. It will also offer information about accessing other records from Trump’s tenure.

The agency maintains records going back to President Herbert Hoover’s administration, which ended in 1933.

But there are questions about how meticulous the Trump administration was about keeping records. Trump was cavalier about a law requiring their preservation. He had a habit of ripping up documents before tossing them out.

That’s led some historians and archivists to worry that there will be a gaping hole in the history of Trump’s tumultuous four years in office.