- Full text of President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech
- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in
- Biden set to rejoin Paris Agreement, revoke Keystone XL pipeline permit
- Donald Trump pardons former adviser Bannon, Kilpatrick
- Capitol rioters hope for a Trump presidential pardon
More from The Globe:
The morning after Joe Biden's inauguration. Join us for live Q&A with Adrian Morrow and Affan Chowdhry on Jan. 21 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
1:45 p.m. ET
Harris bid farewell on behalf of Trump
Vice-President Kamala Harris has now taken on a role that would have typically been performed by the outgoing president.
Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, stood on the U.S. Capitol steps Wednesday to bid farewell to her predecessor, former Vice-President Mike Pence, and his wife, Karen.
The two couples stood and chatted for a few moments, even laughing, on the steps before the Pences got into a vehicle and were driven away.
President Donald Trump typically would have performed the sendoff for his second-in-command but opted to skip Wednesday’s inaugural festivities.
1:40 p.m. ET
Calm prevailed outside heavily fortified state capitol buildings
The FBI had warned of the possibility for armed demonstrations leading up to the inauguration after President Donald Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed the election was stolen from him.
Fewer than a half-dozen demonstrators showed up outside the capitols in Concord, New Hampshire, and Lansing, Michigan. A lone protester wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat stood outside a chain-link fence surrounding the California Capitol in Sacramento, as dozens of police officers and National Guard troops guarded every entrance.
Three protesters were outside the Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln, one waving a flag that read “Biden is not the president.”
Dump trucks, prison buses and other government vehicles were used to barricade streets around the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, though no protesters were there.
12:45 p.m. ET
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant
Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant Wednesday as she called out to the world “even as we grieved, we grew.”
In language referencing Biblical scripture and at times echoing the oratory of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the 22-year-old Gorman read with urgency and assertion as she began by asking “Where can we find light/In this never-ending shade?” and used her own poetry and life story as an answer. The poem’s very title, The Hill We Climb, suggested both labour and transcendence.
“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
Of such a terrifying hour.
But within it we’ve found the power
To author a new chapter,
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.”
It was an extraordinary task for Gorman, the youngest by far of the poets who have read at presidential inaugurations since Kennedy invited Robert Frost in 1961, with other predecessors including Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander.
12:45 p.m. ET
Pope tells Biden he prays God will guide reconciliation in U.S.
Pope Francis told U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday that he was praying that God would guide his efforts to bring reconciliation in the United States and among the nations of the world.
In a message sent shortly after the second Catholic U.S. president was sworn in, Francis also said he hoped Biden would work towards a society marked by true justice, freedom and respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those with no voice.
12:30 p.m. ET
Canada’s PM Trudeau congratulates Biden
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday congratulated U.S. President Joe Biden after he was inaugurated, saying he looked forward to working with the new president to fight COVID-19 and climate change.
In a statement, Trudeau said the two countries “will continue this partnership as we fight the global COVID-19 pandemic and support a sustainable economic recovery that will build back better for everyone”.
“We will also work together to advance climate action and clean economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity, and create good middle class jobs and opportunities for our people while contributing to democracy, peace, and security at home and around the world,” Trudeau said.
Congratulations, @JoeBiden, on your inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. Our two countries have tackled some of history’s greatest challenges together - and I’m looking forward to continuing this partnership with you, @KamalaHarris, and your administration.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 20, 2021
12:40 p.m. ET
Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks and Jennifer Lopez bring star power to emotional swearing-in ceremony
An emotional Lady Gaga performed a dramatic version of the U.S. national anthem while Garth Brooks sang a cappella at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday, a ceremony that was aimed at promoting unity after a divisive election.
Pop superstar Gaga, known for her flamboyant outfits, wowed in a huge fuchsia skirt and black top adorned by a large gold dove as she stepped up to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Country singer Brooks, a Republican, took off his black Stetson hat to sing an a cappella version of “Amazing Grace” and asked Americans at the ceremony and watching at home to sing along with him for the last verse.
Jennifer Lopez, dressed in white pants and a long matching coat, performed a medley of “This Land is Your Land” and “America The Beautiful,” as well as saying part of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.
12:05 p.m. ET
Biden calls for unity in address to nation
Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed.”
With his hand on a five-inch thick heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the presidential oath of office administered by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts just after noon (1700 GMT), vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” in his nation address.
“Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge,” Biden said as he began his inaugural address. “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause: the cause of democracy…At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
And then he pivoted to challenges ahead, acknowledging the surging virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States. Biden looked out over a capital city dotted with empty storefronts that attest to the pandemic’s deep economic toll and where summer protests laid bare the nation’s renewed reckoning on racial injustice.
“We have much to do in this winter of peril, and significant possibilities: much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain,” Biden said. “Few people in our nation’s history have more challenged, or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”
-Reuters, Associated Press
Biden describes a mob stopping suffragettes in Washington 108 years ago, and contrasts it with Kamala Harris's swearing-in today. "Don't tell me things can't change"— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) January 20, 2021
"Disagreement must not lead to disunion," Biden says. "I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans"— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) January 20, 2021
"We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative against liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts," Biden says. "There are some days where you need a hand, some days where you are called to lend a hand"— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) January 20, 2021
11:50 a.m. ET
Joe Biden is sworn in as U.S. president
Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, assuming the helm of a country reeling from deep political divides, a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.
With his hand on an heirloom Bible that has been in his family for more than a century, Biden took the presidential oath of office administered by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts just after noon (1700 GMT), vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Biden, 78, became the oldest U.S. president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington that was largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the coronavirus and security concerns following the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
11:45 a.m. ET
Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. vice president
Kamala Harris was sworn in as U.S. vice president on Wednesday, becoming the first woman, the first Black person and the first Asian American to hold the office.
Looking ahead, Harris, 56, is seen as an obvious contender for the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential nomination should Biden, 78, decide not to seek a second term. Harris has yet to weigh in publicly on such speculation.
A U.S. senator from California the past four years, Harris has shattered many a glass ceiling. She served as San Francisco’s first female district attorney and was California’s first woman of color to be elected attorney general.
11:15 a.m. ET
Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration ceremony begins
Biden swears the oath of office at noon Wednesday, becoming the 46th president of the United States. The Democrat is preparing to take the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherit crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.
History will be made at Biden’s side, as Kamala Harris becomes the first woman to be vice-president.
The ceremony in which presidential power is transferred is a hallowed American democratic tradition. And this time it serves as a jarring reminder of the challenges Biden faces: The inauguration unfolds at a U.S. Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago, encircled by security forces. It’s devoid of crowds because of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Flouting tradition, Donald Trump departed Washington on Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol.
Former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are attending.
The other living former president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, previously announced he would not attend.
11:00 a.m. ET
Empty streets, thousands of troops in Washington
Washington braced for a tense inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, as more than 25,000 National Guard troops stood watch over a barricaded city, emptied of the spectators who usually throng to the quadrennial ritual.
With much of downtown fenced off, security analysts expressed confidence the unprecedented precautions would protect Biden’s noon EST (1700 GMT) oath of office from a major assault, like the attack on the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago to the day that left five people dead.
Few signs of an organized plot to disrupt the inauguration have emerged, experts say, but the threat of “lone wolf” attacks, or violence carried out by radicalized individuals, was still a concern.
National Guard troops, carrying rifles, stood behind razor-wire topped fencing that sealed off Capitol Hill. Motorcades carrying VIPs sped past.
A small group of protesters stood outside the perimeter. “If Joe Biden wants to take America to hell, go right ahead!” one shouted through a bullhorn.
10:30 a.m. ET
Joe Biden arrives at Capitol for inauguration
Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived at the complex on Wednesday morning, about 90 minutes before his noon swearing-in ceremony. They were accompanied by Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, and were greeted by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
The president-elect’s motorcade wound its way through a mostly deserted Washington following a morning church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Streets that would typically be lined with thousands of inaugural onlookers were ringed instead with a massive security presence to include military vehicles and armed troops.
9:00 a.m. ET
Biden to sign order Wednesday cancelling Keystone XL pipeline
Joe Biden will cancel the Keystone XL pipeline within hours of taking office as U.S. president today.
Mr. Biden will revoke Keystone’s presidential permit as part of a slew of executive orders to be signed shortly after his swearing-in at noon ET.
The permit is one of several environmental actions by U.S. President Donald Trump that “do not serve the U.S. national interest,” Mr. Biden’s office said Wednesday morning, and which he will reverse.
The plan to cancel Keystone appeared to catch the Canadian government and industry off-guard when it was first revealed by the Canadian Press on Sunday night, putting a question mark over the Trudeau government’s supposedly friendly relationship with the incoming Biden administration.
The cancellation will also leave Alberta taxpayers on the hook for US$1-billion, after Premier Jason Kenney’s government stepped in to bail out the project, despite knowing it might soon be cancelled.
17 House GOP freshman send letter to Biden committing to work with him.— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) January 20, 2021
"We firmly believe that what unites us as Americans is far greater than anything that may ever divide us," they wrote.
8:30 a.m. ET
Biden attends church service before inauguration
President-elect Joe Biden is attending church ahead of his inauguration, a traditional step taken ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
Biden and incoming first lady Jill Biden on Wednesday are attending a service at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. With them are incoming Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff.
At Biden’s invitation, the first couple is joined by a bipartisan group of members of Congress, including all four top-ranking members of congressional leadership.
That includes both Senate leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
8:00 a.m. ET
Trump leaves White House ahead of Biden’s inauguration
Trump left the White House with his wife Melania just after 8 a.m. (1300 GMT) by helicopter on his way to a sendoff event at Joint Air Force Base Andrews, where he promised supporters “we’ll be back in some form” and listed his administration’s accomplishments before flying off to Florida.
Top Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, were not there to see Trump depart.
“It’s a great honor, the honor of a lifetime,” Trump said as he headed out of the White House for the last time.
By the time Biden is sworn in, Trump will already have landed at his private Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach, Florida, to face an uncertain future, but not before giving himself a grand sendoff — with a red carpet, a military band and even a 21-gun salute.
Trump will be the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s inauguration as he continues to stew about his loss and privately maintains the election that President-elect Joe Biden fairly won was stolen from him.
-Reuters, Associated Press
8:00 a.m. ET
Trump revokes ethics ban on aides as he exits Washington
Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump, who won the White House in part by promising to “drain the swamp” of Washington political maneuvering, on Wednesday revoked his executive order barring aides and other administration officials from lobbying.
The restrictions, imposed soon after he took office in 2017, had targeted the kind of insider culture the Republican Trump had campaigned against and blocked the kind of lucrative gigs that he had said makes politicians beholden to business interests instead of everyday Americans.
In an executive order released overnight, hours before he was due to leave office, Trump withdrew the ethics order that had said his appointees would not lobby their own agency for five years after leaving, and would not lobby any government appointee for two years.
It had also required them to agree to a lifetime ban on working on behalf of foreign governments or foreign political parties.
-Reuters, Associated Press
6:00 a.m. ET
Analysis: How some Trump supporters changed their minds (or not)
Four years ago this week, driving from Buffalo, N.Y., to Washington, through the Rust Belt of America to interview citizens and witness the inauguration of Donald Trump, one fact was very clear: Even the people who voted for him in 2016 weren’t sure he was going to be a good president. “I don’t know what to think,” a man said at a gun store in Bradford, Pa. “Time will tell, I guess.”
On a 2017 road trip to Washington, Ian Brown talked to Americans in the Rust Belt regions that helped bring Trump to power.
Now, as Biden is about to be inaugurated, those same people see things differently, writes Ian Brown.
5:00 a.m. ET
Massive security phalanx aims to shield Biden inauguration from mob, ‘lone wolf’ threats
Washington braced for a tense inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, amid overwhelming security measures including over 25,000 National Guard troops and a shuttered National Mall devoid of spectators to the quadrennial ritual.
Security analysts said the unprecedented precautions would protect Biden’s 12 p.m. ET oath of office from a major planned assault, like the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, leaving five people dead.
Few signs of an organized plot to disrupt the inauguration have emerged, security experts say, but the threat of “lone wolf” attacks, or violence carried out by radicalized individuals, was still still a concern, particularly at state capitals.
Officials have left little to chance this year. Bridges between Virginia and downtown Washington have been closed, as have Metro stations in the central security area, which some residents have likened to the fortress-like Green Zone of central Baghdad in Iraq.
2:00 a.m. ET
Trump pardons former adviser Bannon, Kilpatrick
U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
White House officials had argued to Trump that he should not pardon himself or his family because it might look like they are guilty of crimes, according to a source familiar with the situation.
As part of more than 140 pardons and commutations, Trump also pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for Trump who pleaded guilty last year to violating foreign lobbying laws, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges.
Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses, were also granted pardons.
Jan. 19, 10:00 p.m. ET
Joe Biden marks pandemic grief ahead of inauguration pomp
Joe Biden paused on what might have been his triumphal entrance to Washington on Tuesday evening ahead of his inauguration to mark instead the national tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic with a moment of collective grief for Americans lost.
His arrival coincided with the awful news that the U.S. death toll had surpassed 400,000 in the worst public-health crisis in more than a century – a crisis Mr. Biden will now be charged with controlling.
“To heal we must remember,” the incoming president told the country at a sunset ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial. Four hundred lights representing the pandemic’s victims were illuminated behind him around the monument’s Reflecting Pool.
“Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights into the darkness ... and remember all who we lost,” Mr. Biden said.
More opinion and analysis
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.