An emotional President-elect Joe Biden said goodbye to his home state of Delaware one day before he’s sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
Donald Trump delivered Joe Biden one more snub Tuesday, forcing him to charter his own plane to fly from Delaware to Washington D.C. instead of authorizing an Air Force jet.
The president-elect flew the short hop from his home state, after a tear-stained speech eulogizing his dead son Beau, on a private Boeing 737 then as he landed at Joint Base Andrews taxied past an idle Air Force Boeing 757 on the tarmac.
The snub was the latest in Trump’s defiant refusal to acknowledge his successor. In contrast the Obama administration sent an Air Force plane to New York for the Trumps in January 2017.
Just as the Biden family landed, the White House released a 20-minute farewell video from Trump, which did not mention his successor by name or congratulate him on his victory.
On Wednesday, the Trumps will fly out of Washington without greeting the Bidens, with the president holding his own farewell ‘ceremony’ at Andrews before getting on Air Force One to his Mar-a-Lago estate.
He timed the flight to ensure the executive 747 retains the call sign Air Force One for the duration of his time in the air. The Bidens instead will go to Mass with Congressional leaders including Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy – a sign of Trump’s diminishing influence in the Republican party. Even Mike Pence is not going to Trump’s farewell.
Trump fought to overthrow Biden’s election victory, and even after he finally acknowledged on January 7 that he would not remain in office, has not invited his successor to the White House. The snub has been echoed by Melania Trump’s refusal to invite Jill Biden to her new home.
In contrast, Biden set an emotional tone as he departed Delaware, crying as he spoke about his late son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden arrives in Washington, D.C., ahead of his inauguration. The president-elect flew on a chartered plane, not a government jet – an apparent snub by the Trump administration
Biden flew from the New Castle Airport, just outside Wilmington, to Joint Base Andrews. He had originally hoped to take Amtrak – how he commuted back and forth between Washington and Wilmington for years as a U.S. senator – but the heightened security risk surrounding the inauguration killed off those plans
Biden set an emotional tone as he departed Delaware, crying as he spoke about his late son Beau, who died in 2015
As the Bidens landed at Joint Base Andrews, their plane taxied past an idle Air Force Boeing 757 on the tarmac
Just as the Biden family landed, the White House released a 20-minute farewell video from Trump, which did not mention his successor by name or congratulate him on his victory
Moment of emotion: Joe Biden wept openly as he spoke at the National Guard/Reserve Center named for his son, Beau, who died in 2015. He said it should be Beau who should be leaving Delaware to be president
President-elect Joe Biden cried as he said goodbye to his home state of Delaware and when talking about his late son Beau
Preparations continue one ahead of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden at the US Capitol
Banners announcing the inauguration are displayed outside the White House in Lafayette Park on January 19
In 2009, President-elect Barack Obama took a train from Philadelphia and picked up Biden, the vice president-elect in Wilmington, traveling to Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.
Beau Biden was Delaware’s attorney general and expected to pursue higher political office, but died of cancer in 2015
Biden recalled that day – and how important it was that a black man became president of the United States.
‘And here we are today – my family and I – about to return to Washington to meet a black woman, of south Asian descent, to be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States,’ Biden said, referring to his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
‘As I told Beau on that station waiting for Barack – and Hunter and Ashley – I said don’t tell me things can’t change,’ Biden continued.
‘They can and they do.’
He said this hopeful mentality was thanks to Delaware, a state he said had given his parents work when they needed it – his family left Scranton, PA, when he was 10 – and had helped him heal from the loss of his first wife Neila and baby daughter Naomi in a car crash in 1972.
‘That’s America. That’s Delaware. A place of hope and light and limitless possibilities,’ Biden said.
He asked the audience to excuse his emotion as he talked about his adopted home state, one that gave his parents ‘a home and a livelihood when they needed it most.’
Incoming first lady Jill Biden (left) waves to the audience at a ceremony at the Major Joseph R. ‘Beau’ Biden III National Guard /Reserve Center at the New Castle Airport, before President-elect Joe Biden’s (right) inauguration
Incoming first lady Jill Biden (left) watches her husband speak alongside Hunter Biden (center) and baby Beau, named for his late brother
Family: Joe Biden paid tribute to his son Hunter (second left) and daughter Ashley. Hunter was with his second wife Melissa Cohen, and held their 11-month-old son Beau
Wave: Hunter Biden, 51, waves to another family member while his father speaks
Tearful: Biden was emotional throughout his speech in Delaware, thanking the state for being ‘a place of light and hope and limitless possibilities.’
National anthem: Jill Biden put her hand on her heart as her husband came on stage to the Star-Spangled Banner. She wore a purple coat and purple butterfly-patterned mask
Support: Joe Biden said ‘I told Jill I wouldn’t be emotional’ but he cried as he spoke about his late son Beau, and about his live of Delaware saying: ‘When I die Delaware will be written on my heart.’
The Bidens arrive onstage at the Major Joseph R. ‘Beau’ Biden III National Guard / Reserve Center on Tuesday for a Delaware farewell event before flying to Washington, D.C.
Master Gunnery Sargent Matthew Harding, a trumpet player with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, blows into his instrument during a rehearsal for the Inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden
A worker adjusts decorative flags on the National Mall on January 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. Tight security measures are in place for Inauguration Day due to greater security threats after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6
A view of the National Mall ahead of the inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
And, he said, Delaware sent him as a ‘kid’ to the U.S. Senate.
Biden was elected at age 29 and sworn-in, as the Constitution permits, at age 30.
‘When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart and the hearts of all of the Bidens,’ he said.
‘We love you all, you’ve been there for us in the good and the bad, you never walked away,’ Biden continued.
‘And I am proud – proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware and I am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility.’
That’s when the president-elect wished his son would have been the Biden to make it to the White House.
Before his death, Beau Biden had encouraged his father to run for president in 2016, instead of letting Hillary Clinton become the heir to President Barack Obama’s legacy.
After Beau Biden died, Joe Biden sat out the 2016 race, which saw Clinton lose to Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden decided to run for president in 2020 after watching Trump handle the racial violence in Charlottesville in 2017.
President-elect Joe Biden (right) and incoming first lady Jill Biden (second from right) greet supporters at an event in Delaware Tuesday before they fly to Joint Base Andrews ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies
We lve Joe: One guest broke social distancing briefly to huge the incoming commander-in-chief
Socially distanced: Guests – including Delaware Senator Chris Coons – were kept from crowding together with patriotic barriers
A street vendor sells Biden-Harris merchandise ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration ceremony
A staff member cleans the glass on a protective shield before President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
Scene outside: Supporters waved at Joe Biden as his motorcade made its way from his home in Wilmington for his speech
Security: Joe Biden is now at the center of a massive security operation led by the Secret Service
Travel: Biden had hoped to travel to Washington on Amtrak, which he had commuted on daily as a senator, and on which he traveled with Barack Obama in 2009, but the aftermath of the MAGA riot canceled that plan
On the apron: The first couple in waiting speak to Delaware National Guard adjutant General, Major General Michael Berry and his wife also a General, Karen Berry.
Thanks: President-elect Joe Biden salutes Brigadier General Karen Berry
Escort: Jill and Joe Biden speak to Delaware Adjutant General, Major General Michael Berry and his wife, Brigadier General Karen Berry.
Slight limp: Joe Biden is still healing from fractured bones in his foot which he suffered last year playing with his younger dog, Major
Wheels up: The president-elect and first lady-in waiting board their flight to D.C.
Up in the air: The flight from New Castle Airport, just outside Wilmington, DE, to Washington D.C. is only a few minutes
What awaits: The intensifying security in Washington saw more fencing toppped with razor wire going up near the Capitol
Contrast: The Bidens were on a chartered jet – but the Trumps flew from New York to Washington D.C. on a government jet provided by the Obama administration
JOE BIDEN’S INAUGURATION TIMETABLE
Leaves Wilmington, Delaware, with wife Jill for D.C.
5.30pm: Joins Kamala Harris at the Lincoln Memorial for COVID remembrance ceremony
Spends night at Blair House, the official guest house across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House
8.45amAttends mass at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral with leaders of the House and Senate
11am: Guests arrive on the steps of the Capitol for the inauguration
Ceremony will begin with an invocation by the Rev. Leo J. O’Donovan, a Jesuit priest who is a close friend of the Biden family.
Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captain of the Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia, will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem.
Amanda Gorman, who became the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, will read a poem she has written for the occasion called ‘The Hill We Climb.’
Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks also will perform.
Shortly after 12 p.m., Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office. Biden will take the oath with his 127-year-old, 5-inch-thick family Bible, which will be held by his wife, Jill.
Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first black and the first South Asian American vice president, will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court.
Harris will be sworn in on two Bibles one that belonged to a close family friend Regina Shelton who was like mother to her and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, one of her heroes.
Biden will then give his inaugural address.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Biden and Harris will take part in a Pass in Review with members of the military on the East Front of the Capitol.
Then, Biden, Harris and their spouses will then go to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Obamas, the Bushes and the Clintons will attend in a show of bipartisan unity.
The next stop is the White House where Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff will view the virtual ‘Parade Across America,’ featuring performances from all 56 states and territories. It will be hosted by the actor Tony Goldwyn with appearances by Earth, Wind and Fire and former ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart. It also includes 1,391 people (not counting the military escort), 90 horses and nine dogs.
Afternoon: Harris swears in the three new Democratic senators: Georgia election winners Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and her replacement as California senator, Alex Padilla
New White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds first briefing
8pm: Primetime TV celebration hosted by Tom Hanks, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington.
Performers include Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, Tyler Hubbard, Tim McGraw, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Biden and Harris also will speak.
10am Biden joins virtual interfaith service at National Cathedral for 59th Inaugural National Prayer Service
Biden was introduced by Delaware’s Democratic Gov. John Carney, who said the president-elect was ‘born for this moment.’
‘I have one particular feeling that’s hard to describe and it’s one that so many Americans haven’t felt for so long,’ Carney said, explaining that that feeling was ‘hope.’
Carney also spoke of Beau Biden’s death, calling him Joe Biden’s ‘pride and joy.’ ‘And Delaware’s as well,’ Carney said.
‘He has picked himself up and brought us along with him,’ Carney said of the incoming president. ‘Now he stands ready to pull the country out of this morass out of the chaos and onto higher ground.’
At Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony, Biden’s inaugural address will center on unifying the country in the post-Trump era.
Biden is expected to speak for between 20 and 30 minutes.
When Biden lands in Washington, he’ll arrive at a city filled with National Guard troops and military checkpoints, as the main downtown arteries and Capitol Hill are all blocked off on the heels of the January 6 insurrection attempt.
The National Mall, which usually hosts major crowd for the swearing-in, has been blocked off to the public, with a flag display taking the place of humans.
Biden will be joined by Harris for a 5:30 p.m. event at the Lincoln Memorial’s Reflection Pool to honor the lives lost in the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. hit the dismal mark of 400,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Biden and Harris’ inauguration was always going to have a smaller human footprint because they’ve been strict about COVID-19 protocols.
But the MAGA mob’s siege made security even tighter.
While President Obama sent President-elect Trump an Air Force One-type jet for his family’s Washington arrival, Biden took a white and gray charter jet – a Boeing BBJ, based on the Boeing 737 – between Delaware and D.C.
As Biden’s white and gray private plane landed at Andrews, it passed one of the government planes used as Air Force One on the tarmac.
Trump’s refusal to send Biden a military jet was largely seen as a snub.
The president also refused to meet with Biden, a normal part of the transition.
First lady Melania Trump paid the same courtesy to Jill Biden, refusing to give her a tour of the residence, also a transition tradition.
The White House’s chief usher Timothy Harleth will greet the Bidens at the White House instead of the outgoing first family.
Even this week, The New York Times reported Monday, Trump was telling allies that he was the true winner of the election.
Trump will fly to West Palm Beach, Florida Wednesday and arrive there before noon, so he can fly onboard ‘Air Force One’ one final time.
The Air Force One label applies to the president’s plane, no matter what make or model.
But it is security that now defines the capital and the Capitol itself.
Twelve National Guardsmen have now been removed from the presidential inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online, officials say.
The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in.
They did say, however, that here was no threat to Joe Biden.
Neither the National Guard or Secret Service would comment on the removal of the Guardsmen.
Their removal from the massive security presence at the nation’s capital comes as the FBI worked to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops headed to the area for Biden’s inauguration amid concerns of insider threats in the wake of the Capitol riots.
It comes after the National Guard chief, General Daniel Hokanson, said earlier on Tuesday that the 25,000 armed troops protecting DC were ‘trained and ready for anything’ and he wasn’t concerned about the potential for insider threat.
The National Guard said troops from all 50 states are supporting law enforcement for the inauguration.
Gen. Hokanson said the vetting of his troops was standard practice but was heightened given the large number of Guardsman brought in to fortify DC in the wake of the insurrection at Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.
In addition to the 25,000 National Guardsman, the Pentagon also authorized 750 active-duty troops with expertise in chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and explosive weapons to provide additional security in the capital.
‘We’ve done a lot of work. We’re making sure that our folks are trained and ready for anything they’re going to be asked to do. Our folks are always trained in deescalation techniques,’ Gen Hokanson told NBC’s Today on Tuesday.
Preparations are made ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration in front of the White House
Members of the National Guard patrol near the Capitol building on Tuesday morning. Two National Guardsman are now being removed from the inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties to fringe right group militias after the Guard’s chief said he wasn’t concerned about the potential for insider threats
National Guard troops prepare riot shields before entering a security perimeter near the Washington Monument on Tuesday morning
National Guard troops stand guard in Downtown Washington, DC on Tuesday – just one day out from the inauguration
Security was at a high around DC on Tuesday – just one day before President Biden’s Inauguration
He said the decision to arm his troops during the inauguration was made by the Secret Service amid the ongoing threats.
National Guard General Daniel Hokanson said the 25,000 armed troops that are now protecting Washington DC are ‘trained and ready for anything’
Gen Hokanson said he wasn’t concerned about the potential for an insider attack from service members involved in securing the inauguration after defense officials raised concerns.
‘It’s not a threat for me, I’m not concerned about that at all. If you look at our National Guardsman, we vet them throughout the process. We don’t allow extremism of any type in our organization,’ he said.
‘As we look at this as a national special security event… this type of vetting is standard.’
Gen Hokanson has been meeting with Guard troops as they arrive in DC and as they gather downtown. He said he believes there are good processes in place to identify any potential threats.
It comes after Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that officials are conscious of the potential threat and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches.
So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of.
‘We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,’ McCarthy said.
He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats.
Armed troops patrolled the streets of DC on Tuesday as security strengthened even more on Trump’s last day in office
Hundreds of National Guardsmen were out patrolling the streets of DC on Tuesday morning
Members of the National Guard gather near the Capitol building a day out from Biden’s inauguration
The FBI is vetting all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event
National Guardsman manned a checkpoint near the White House on Monday night
Armed National Guard troops stand guard in Downtown Washington on Tuesday
Attempts to fortify Washington have been ongoing ever since the January 6 insurrection at Capitol with the city now an armed fortress fenced off with razor wire
The Secret Service has incorporated the term ‘Green Zone’ into its inauguration security maps with the area pictured above on lockdown until after the inaguration
About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country – at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals.
While the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring.
As security continues to intensify in DC ahead of the inauguration, defense officials told Politico that 750 active-duty troops had been deployed this week to the capital.
Those personnel are experts in handling chemical and nuclear weapons, as well as experience disposing of explosives.
Among the active-duty personnel are medical teams trained in responding to trauma.
It comes as the Capitol complex temporarily locked down on Monday during an inauguration rehearsal after a fire in a homeless encampment roughly a mile away sent a plume of smoke into the air and caused security concerns in the already on-edge city.
Military personnel and staffers could be seen running from the temporary seating on the Capitol Building’s West Front as an evacuation warning played in the background.
Law enforcement officials later confirmed there was no threat to the public and the fire was not believed to be a threat to the inauguration.
About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country – at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals
A street leading to the White House is blocked by police and security fencing ahead of the inauguration
In addition to the 25,000 National Guardsman, the Pentagon also authorized 750 active-duty troops to provide additional security
National Guard members get instructions as others stand guard near the White House on Monday
The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution.
But the fast decision to lock down underscores the fear that has gripped Washington since the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.
Attempts to fortify Washington have been ongoing ever since with the city now an armed fortress fenced off with razor wire.
Armed protests planned for this past weekend around the country were mostly a bust, but anxiety is still skyrocketing.
The major security concern for the inauguration is an attack by armed groups of individuals, as well as planted explosives and other devices.
McCarthy said intelligence reports suggest that groups are organizing armed rallies leading up to Inauguration Day and possibly after that.