The Bidens were reportedly left waiting outside the White House on Inauguration Day because Trump sent the staff home

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Joe and Jill Biden outside the White House.

Joe and Jill Biden may have been waiting to enter the White House for longer than necessary on Inauguration Day because there was a lack of staff there to greet them.

In a break from White House protocol, the new President and First Lady were left standing in front of closed doors as they took photos outside of their new residence for the first time on Wednesday. 

Read more: Biden enters White House for first time since being sworn in as 46th US president

The Trumps “sent the butlers home when they left so there would be no-one to help the Bidens when they arrived,” a well-placed official not associated with the Biden administration told The National Journal.

Chief usher Timothy Harleth was also fired by the Trumps before they left on Wednesday morning, the publication reports. White House press secretary Jen Psak later confirmed that Harleth’s exit occurred “before we walked in the door.”

A video of the Bidens’ arrival shows them standing in front of the White House doors for a photo-op, which lasted more than one minute before they walked toward the residence. 

 

The doors then opened for the couple, although it is not clear from the video whether they were opened from the inside or outside.

A veteran White House social expert told The National Journal that it is a “big protocol breach for the president to ever stand in front of a closed-door at the White House.”

“That may be why there was nobody to open the doors to the Bidens. You couldn’t expect the Biden staff to know to do that. Doors are opened and closed by ushers. There are rules about all these things and everyone has their job,” they added. 

Read more: Over 1 million more people watched Biden’s inauguration than Trump’s

However, one former White House official told the publication that the couple’s team might have specifically requested the doors closed for the photo-op.

“But what should have happened is that a Biden staff member should have alerted the usher or staff person on the other side of that door that it was time to open it. That was a staff mistake,” they said.

Biden’s entrance was a complete contrast to Trump’s first visit to the White House on his Inauguration day four years prior. 

On January 20, 2017, Donald and Melanie Trump were greeted by former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who posed for the photos with the couple before they entered the building together through open doors. 

Trump broke tradition by opting not to attend Biden’s Inauguration ceremony last week. Instead, the former president made a brief farewell address at Joint Base Andrews before flying to South Florida with his wife.

Representatives for President Biden did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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TSA ‘significantly increased’ security at DC airports ahead of Inauguration Day

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Transportation Security Administration agents process passengers at the south security checkpoint at Denver International Airport in Denver.

  • The Transportation Security Administration has ‘significantly increased’ security at DC airports ahead of Inauguration Day. 
  • Following the attacks at the Capitol building two weeks ago, TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment, according to a statement published Friday.
  • Similar to previous inaugurations, screening officers will be deployed to assist the Secret Service by screening individuals along the parade route and those authorized to attend the Inauguration in-person.
  • But TSA Media Relations manager Robert Langston told Insider that while the agency has a traditional role in security related to presidential inaugurations, “this year may be different in that there is still a pandemic and a different threat environment.”

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Transportation Security Administration has ‘significantly increased’ security at DC airports ahead of Inauguration Day, the agency announced in a statement Friday. 

Following the attacks at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment.

“Our intelligence and vetting professionals are working diligently around the clock to ensure those who may pose a threat to our aviation sector undergo enhanced screening or are prevented from boarding an aircraft,” the statement said.

Read more: Biden’s inauguration is raising tens of millions of dollars but won’t say how it’s spending the money

As in previous inaugurations, TSA officers will be deployed to assist the Secret Service by screening individuals along the parade route and those authorized to attend the Inauguration in-person. Beyond the Inauguration grounds, TSA has implemented additional layers of security at all three Washington, DC-area airports, according to the TSA statement.

Those security layers include more law enforcement and explosives detection canine teams, random gate screening, increased number of Federal Air Marshals on certain flights, and additional Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams to provide greater security presence at certain rail transportation hubs.

While the US Secret Service has primary responsibility for the coordination of security planning and implementation, TSA will play a key role in supporting those efforts.

TSA Media Relations manager Robert Langston told Insider that the agency has a traditional role in security related to presidential inaugurations, but this year is different. 

“This year may be different in that there is still a pandemic and a different threat environment,” Langston said. “TSA maintains a security posture that is based on a risk- and intelligence-based assessment and contains multiple layers of seen and unseen methods.”

Federal officials are investigating people who took part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol to determine whether they should be barred from traveling on airlines.

A spokeperson for American Airlines told Insider they are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to “ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air.”

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Kamala Harris, the first female, Black, and Asian American vice president-elect, will be sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice

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Harris is the first female, Black, and Asian American vice president-elect in United States history.

  • In a historic ceremony, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Wednesday by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
  • Harris is the first female, Black, and Asian American vice president-elect in United States history. Sotomayor is the first Latina justice to sit on the Supreme Court.
  • When asked about being sworn in outside the US Capitol following the deadly siege on the building, Harris said “we cannot yield those who would try and make us afraid of who we are.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a historic ceremony, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Wednesday by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, ABC News first reported.

Harris is the first female, Black, and Asian American vice president-elect in United States history. Sotomayor is the first Latina justice to sit on the Supreme Court.

Harris, who is also Indian American, made history when she and President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in the fall. Civil-rights advocates celebrated her win, saying it would positively affect policy in the Biden administration and inspire young Americans of different backgrounds.

“Bringing Black and South Asian representation to the table, her lived experiences as a woman of color and a daughter of immigrants will offer a point of view in the White House the likes of which this country has never seen,” Christian Nunes, the president of the National Organization for Women, told Insider’s Eliza Relman at the time.

Read more: Kamala Harris is staffing up with veteran Washington insiders in advance of being sworn in as the country’s first woman vice president. Meet her first White House hires.

A source told ABC the vice president-elect is inspired by Sotomayor. In 2019, Harris praised Sotomayor in a tweet sent during Hispanic Heritage month.

“Judge Sonia Sotomayor has fought for the voices of the people ever since her first case voting against corporations in Citizens United. As a critical voice on the bench, she’s showing all our children what’s possible,” Harris said.

Sotomayor joined the Supreme Court in 2009 after being nominated by former President Barack Obama, who also made history as the country’s first Black president. Sotomayor is the first woman of color and first Hispanic person to sit on the bench.

The swearing in ceremony for Harris is set for Inauguration Day, January 20, when Biden will also be sworn in as America’s 46th president.

Following the violent attack on the US Capitol on January 6, security efforts have been heightened for the inauguration.

On Saturday, when asked about being sworn in outside the Capitol, Harris said “we cannot yield those who would try and make us afraid of who we are.”

And in another historic first, Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, will become the nation’s first second gentleman.

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Biden’s inauguration day will be unlike any other in history. Here’s what to expect.

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (L) looks on as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) delivers remarks on January 08, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.

  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20.
  • Celebrities Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at the ceremony, Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday.
  • Biden and Harris will then speak to the nation via a TV special at 8:30 p.m. that will feature performances by Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and other A-listers.
  • The inauguration is part of a five-day program with multiple virtual and socially-distanced in-person celebrations.
  • The festivities will be carried live on cable TV channels as well as streamed on social media platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20, joined by a slew of celebrities and speakers.

Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday that plans for next week’s 59th inauguration include performances by singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. The ceremony will begin with remarks from Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family and former president of Georgetown University, and wrap up with a benediction from Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, also a close confidante of the Bidens.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major political events, like last year’s national conventions, have been reimagined as a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Inauguration Day in 2021 will be no different. The festivities typically attract hundreds of thousands of people who flock to Washington, DC, to witness the historic transition of power. This year only about 2,000 attendees will be permitted.

Read more:Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here’s how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

In another break with tradition, President Donald Trump has said he won’t be there. Trump is the first outgoing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s swearing-in.

The inauguration will be part of a five-day program that comprises both online and socially-distanced in-person events. The theme is “America United.”

“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement.

Biden and Harris will then address the nation in a televised special titled “Celebrating America,” which will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. The 90-minute primetime program will be hosted by actor Tom Hanks and feature performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, and Ant Clemons. 

On Friday, the committee announced additional musical performances by the Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen. 

It will air live on cable TV – channels include ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC – and be available to stream on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse will also carry live coverage of the program.

Other inaugural activities to take place next week include a “We the People” virtual concert on January 17, a “national day of service” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, and a “COVID-19 memorial to lives lost” on January 19. Biden’s committee is also preparing to install around 200,000 American flags that will span across the National Mall to “represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC.” The traditional parade will also be shifted online.

Multiple news outlets reported on Thursday that the National Mall will be closed to the public on January 20. Federal and city officials have said that they are tightening security measures amid possible threats of violence following last week’s deadly Capitol riots. 

Biden’s transition team said on Wednesday that they are receiving daily briefings on security and logistics ahead of the inauguration to help ensure a smooth and safe transfer of power.

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A Trump hotel in DC more than quadrupled prices for room bookings around Biden’s inauguration

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The Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC is seen on Election Day, November 3, 2020.

  • The Trump International Hotel has posted hiked-up room rates on its website for stays that coincide with President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
  • Room rates at the hotel, located in Washington, DC, begin at $2,225 per night around January 20, the day of the inauguration.
  • On other days in January, rates begin at $476.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of President Donald Trump’s hotels is trying to profit from guests looking for a room on or near January 20, the inauguration date for Joe Biden. 

The website for the Trump International Hotel, located in Washington, DC, shows room rates for days around January 20 begin at $2,225 per night. On other days in January, rates begin at $476.

There is a two-night minimum stay requirement for all guests traveling during the time of the inauguration, according to the hotel website. 

Other nearby Washington, DC, hotels are also jacking up prices, according to Politico, which first reported that Trump’s hotel is hiking up prices ahead of Biden’s inauguration. 

The Trump International Hotel did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Trump has yet to concede to Biden, even though the race was called for the former vice president in early November. Instead, Trump unleashed a series of legal attacks, aiming to question the validity of the election results and allege widespread voter turnout. Of the dozens of lawsuits Trump’s filed so far, he won none

It’s unclear whether Trump will attend Biden’s inauguration ceremony. The White House declined to comment. 

Trump has indicated, however, that he wants to hold a 2024 campaign event on January 20, the same day as Biden’s inauguration.

Various Trump allies – including his wife and first lady Melania – have urged the president to concede. Others like Vice President Mike Pence have endorsed Trump’s refusal to concede. Just days after the race was called in November, Pence said the Trump administration plans to remain in place for another full term

Pence asked a judge to stop a lawsuit that sought to give him more power in the upcoming congressional certification process on January 6. The vice president presides over a joint congressional session during which lawmakers officially certify the results of the presidential election. 

The lawsuit would have encouraged a federal judge to grant Pence the power to reject results from individual states, potentially giving him the ability to overturn the election in Trump’s favor and grant him another full term. 

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Like I said, Trump is going to ghost us

Donald Melania Trump wave White House lawn
Hey, at least Melania looks happy.

  • On Friday, November 6th I told you that President Donald Trump — having lost the presidential race — would probably ghost America.
  • It appears I will be correct. He’s now telling aides he may go to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas and not return.
  • Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll leave us alone. He’s raising too much money grifting his followers to do that.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Like I said, Donald Trump is going to ghost us.

Back on November 6 (that was a Friday), I told you guys that the outgoing president would not attend the Inauguration. I said he would never clap politely after President-elect Joe Biden swore on a Bible and took his place. I told you that he would, instead, probably go to his Mar-a-Lago resort one weekend and never return.

And now, according to reports, he’s telling aides that he may do just that. Go to Florida for Christmas and stay there.

Trump was a sore winner in 2016, he’s an even more sore loser now. Instead of performing his duties through his entire term and then offering his office and the American people a dignified farewell, he’s reportedly thinking about having a rally to compete with Inauguration Day.

Consider this like spotting the person who ghosted you on a date with their new love interest. None of this is surprising from Trump. It’s also not surprising that he’s more than abdicated his responsibility to the American people – he’s highjacked it. 

Our lame duck President’s public schedule is virtually empty. Those close to him tell reporters that he spends his days raging at his enemies, complaining to his friends, watching tons of TV, and of course spreading lies about how the election was stolen from him.

In short, he’s showing even less interest in the job than he did over his last four years in office.

Worse than that, though, Trump is actively sabotaging efforts to close 2020 with any kind of normalcy. He’s threatened to veto an annual, bipartisan defense funding bill unless lawmakers also pass legislation changing Section 230 – a rule that governs how social media platforms treat speech and their liability for it.

His office has also complicated efforts to pass another coronavirus aid package. At the beginning of this week it looked like Democrats and Republicans might finally be working toward a $908 billion bill they could agree on. Then on Tuesday the White House stepped in with a competing aid proposal that has only complicated the situation.

At the same time, coronavirus cases continue to explode across the country, and it’s unclear if the White House plans on doing anything about that at all.

Always be scamming

None of this is to say that once Trump ghosts the White House he’ll leave politics entirely. In his case there will be a haunting. And there will be a haunting because Donald Trump needs the cash.

Both Trump and the GOP have realized that his followers will believe any lie he tells them, and they will fund any endeavor that allows them to engage with him or those lies. Already the Republican National Committee and a Trump Super PAC called Save America have raised over $200 million off of the “Stop the Steal” campaign – the unsuccessful, sometimes hilarious, entirely pathetic effort to get Americans and the courts to recognize Trump as the winner of the 2020 election.

Yes, Trump lost. Yes, he and his cronies embarrassed themselves all over the country. But if the money keeps flowing why stop the show? A veritable cottage industry of scammers have popped up to support Trump’s lies for cash – some are internet trolls, some are experienced right-wing, fringe Tea Party types. They know where the easy money is, and it’s with the marks who support Donald Trump.

In this way, Trump has transcended from being a scammer to being a scam in and of himself. This would be impressive if it weren’t an existential danger to democracy. Thanks to all of this clownery there will be people in our country who will forever believe they have been betrayed, that their vote was stolen from them, and that Trump is truly President of the United States. 

Trump and his family will raise money off of that grievance for as long as they can. They have a dizzying number legal battles to fund, a business to save, and a general lack of shame that means there is no limit to their entitlement to riches. Unlike most people who leave the White House, they will not enter some form of retirement.

Trump is attempting a scam that will never end. That’s the real haunting, and it is equal parts disquieting and despicable.

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Trump is reportedly planning a made-for-TV exit on Air Force One from the White House to a rally on Inauguration Day, hoping to pull viewers from Biden

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President Donald Trump shakes hands with former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at his inauguration at the Capitol on January 20, 2017.

  • President Donald Trump is planning a made-for-TV White House exit to steal attention from President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration, Axios reported. 
  • According to the outlet, Trump is planning on flying to Florida on Air Force One to stage a rally at the same time Biden is sworn in at a socially-distanced inauguration in Washington, DC.
  • If Trump follows through with the plans it would break with Inauguration Day traditions designed to showcase the stability of US democracy.
  • Usually the president welcomes the president-elect to the White House and accompanies them to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.
  • Last week Biden said he personally didn’t care if Trump attends his inauguration, but that Trump should go to demonstrate a peaceful transfer of power.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is planning a spectacular, made-for-TV exit from the White House in a bid to steal viewers from President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Axios reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the talks.

According to the outlet, one scenario being discussed is having Trump boycott Biden’s inauguration – in a break with America’s democratic traditions – and attend a rally in Florida.

Under that plan, according to Axios, Trump would leave the White House on January 20 in Marine One then take Air Force One to Florida, where he would address his supporters at a rally timed to coincide with Biden’s socially-distanced inauguration outside the US Capitol.

White House spokesman Judd Deere told Axios: “Anonymous sources who claim to know what the President is or is not considering have no idea. When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20 he will let you know.”

Sources told NBC News last week that Trump is also planning to announce his candidacy for the 2024 election on Inauguration Day in a bid to steal the limelight from Biden and set himself up as Biden’s chief political opponent.

Last week Biden told CNN that he personally doesn’t care if Trump attends his inauguration, but said it would be important to show a peaceful transfer of power.

Since losing the election, Trump has ignored numerous traditions designed to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and show the stability of American democracy.

The president has still refused to concede the election to Biden, maintaining that the election was stolen from him as a result of a vast conspiracy – while providing no convincing evidence of the allegation. 

He has refused to invite Biden to the White House, a courtesy traditionally extended by incumbents to the victor, and delayed his administration’s transition to Biden’s team for weeks.

There has even been speculation among former Secret Service officials that Trump would refuse to leave the White House. 

Multiple reports have said that Trump is planning to leverage his continuing popularity with the Republican Party base to maintain control over the party after he leave the White House – a plan that may involve starting a conservative news network to rival Fox News. 

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