The House is wrapping early as officials warn of new extremist threats, as far-right conspiracy theories falsely claim Trump will be re-inaugurated this week

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Members of the National Guard are seen patrolling near the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2021, in Washington, DC.

  • The House is wrapping early this week, following possible extremist threats at the Capitol Building.
  • Far-right conspiracy theorists’ online talk of the importance of March 4 have worried law enforcement.
  • Capitol Police will have an increased presence around the grounds through this weekend.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Less than two months after the deadly Capitol siege, Congress is taking preventative steps to avoid another disaster amid the possibility of additional extremist attacks.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Wednesday evening that the House would wrap its business a day earlier than scheduled, following reports of possible protests planned for Thursday, March 4 – a date that has galvanized right-wing conspiracy theorists online.

Earlier Wednesday, law enforcement officials alerted lawmakers to the potential threat to the US Capitol Building.

An internal memo sent by the acting House sergeant-at-Arms, Timothy Blodgett, said Capitol Police are monitoring information related to potential protests and demonstrations surrounding “what some have described as the ‘true Inauguration Day.'” 

Blodgett said Capitol Police received “new and concerning information and intelligence” indicating interest in the Capitol Building by militia groups from March 4-6.

Capitol Police will have an increased presence throughout the Capitol Grounds, according to the memo, and the National Guard will continue to maintain its troops around the area. 

Despite the bolstered protective measures, it remains unclear if members of extremist groups are actually planning to come to DC or if the talk of demonstrations is simply online chatter.

March 4 has emerged as an important date among conspiracy groups like QAnon and the Three Percenters, who believe former President Donald Trump will reclaim his role as Commander-in-Chief and lead a purge of his political and media opponents who they believe to be part of a secret ring of pedophiles. 

Far-right groups have begun to fracture following the chaos of the January 6 Capitol riot, but many still believe Trump will be re-inaugurated March 4 – the original inauguration date before the 20th Amendment was passed, and the date conspiracy theorists believe the last “legitimate” president, Ulysses S. Grant, was inaugurated on in 1869.

The Department of Homeland Security’s acting intelligence chief, Melissa Smislova, told lawmakers during a Wednesday Senate hearing that her agency and the FBI issued an internal intelligence memo about “extremists discussing March 4, and March 6,” CNN reported. 

The outlet also reported that acting Capitol Police Chief Yoganda Pittman told Congress on Wednesday that she had “concerning intelligence” regarding the next few days, but said it wouldn’t be “prudent” to share it in public. She did, however, assure members that Capitol Police have been briefed on the coming days. 

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, a Republican, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump had a responsibility to tell extremists to “stand down.”

“This threat is credible. It’s real,” the lawmaker said about March 4.

Sen. Alex Padilla of California, a Democrat, told CNN that he and his colleagues are taking the threat “very seriously.”

“We still have yet to hold everybody accountable for what happened on the sixth,” Padilla said. “And we still haven’t made the many changes necessary to secure the Capitol going forward. So this is evolving in very real time. Frankly, this information from DHS may be officially new but not really surprising.”

In light of the altered schedule, the House will reconvene Wednesday night to debate and vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which will be the final vote of the week.

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Track all of Biden’s executive orders and actions as president

joe biden executive orders
President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

  • President Joe Biden has signed a series of executive orders on his first weeks in office.
  • Many revoked Trump’s actions, laid out Biden’s policy goals, and focused on the pandemic.
  • Track Biden’s executive actions in the interactive graphic below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden exercised his power on his first day in office with a series of executive orders, already ticking off some items on his agenda and undoing his predecessor’s legacy.

Roughly five hours after being sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday, Biden signed a stack of actions, many of which targeted former President Donald Trump’s policies.

“There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face,” Biden said. “That’s why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families.”

Biden revoked Trump’s controversial ban on travel from majority-Muslim countries, halted construction of the former president’s wall along the US-Mexico border, and extended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protecting young immigrants who came to the US as children.

Issuing executive orders is typically among presidents’ first duties. Biden outpaced Trump, who on his first day in office signed only one order, to begin a reversal of the Affordable Care Act, which ultimately was unsuccessful.

Biden took the reins of the presidency during a tumultuous period for the nation, still reeling from the deadly Capitol riot and the coronavirus pandemic. The new president repeated calls for unity in his inauguration ceremony and issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday a “National Day of Unity.”

Beyond bridging political divides, Biden has the monumental task of combatting a raging public-health crisis. More than 400,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the US.

Wearing a mask at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Biden kicked off his pandemic response with a “100 Days Masking Challenge” and issued a mask mandate in federal buildings.

This graphic categorizes all of Biden’s executive orders, memoranda, and proclamations. If you click on an action, it will take you to the full text and details from the White House. We’ll keep it updated.

On day one, Biden also rejoined the Paris climate accord, an international treaty that the Obama administration adopted and Trump abandoned. And Biden stopped the US’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization, which Trump had initiated last summer after accusing the United Nations agency of cozying up to China.

Biden extended an eviction moratorium and student-loan-payment deferments to support Americans struggling financially during the pandemic.

Since those actions were presidential statements or agency directives, they aren’t included in the graphic. You can find all of Biden’s statements, actions, and directives on the White House website, or in the Federal Register.

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Women reflect on the historic moment Kamala Harris took the oath of office as the first Black, Asian-American and female US vice president

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Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

On January 20, Kamala Harris did what no woman before her had done: she put her hand on a bible and took the oath of office to serve as vice president of the United States.

For millions of people across the US, Harris’ moment at the inauguration felt like the beginning of a new chapter in American history. Harris is not just the first woman, but also the first Black and first South Asian-American politician to become the country’s VP. 

But looming over the moment were the events of just two weeks prior when a mostly white, pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol building in an attempt to negate the votes of 81 million Americans – including Black voters in swing states who had helped deliver the election for Joe Biden and Harris.

Still, that didn’t stop millions of people from across the country, and the globe, from witnessing Harris’ historic moment from the safety of their homes. They wore pearl necklaces and Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers – a nod to Harris’ signature style – and tagged their photos on social media #ChucksAndPearls2021.

Insider asked readers to tell us how they spent Inauguration Day and to reflect on Harris’ early days as vice president. They shared their joy at the progress her ascent represented while acknowledging that the fight for social justice and racial equality that helped usher Harris to the podium was far from complete.

The responses were many and varied: people sat glued to their large-screen TVs, wore symbolic colors, and followed along with their children. 

Merissa Green, a resident of Winter Haven, Florida said she was taking the day to “enjoy what our great grandmothers and ancestors never got the chance to see or be.”

We’ve collected some of the best responses from Insider readers below. These responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Merissa Green
Merissa Green, a resident of Winter Haven, Florida dressed up in pearls and Converse sneakers to commemorate Kamala Harris’ inauguration.

‘Today we have HOPE’

“Some, like me, are still chasing a dream. But today, we have HOPE. When one ascends, every black woman still waiting for her moment feels she has ascended. For every sista who was the first, reach back so you won’t be the last.”

– Merissa Green, from Winter Haven, Florida. She wore pearls and purple chucks to view Harris’ inauguration.

‘The hard work is not done’

“To see a black woman rise to that height and in our government just renewed and restored my stake in our country, because quite frankly, it’s been squashed the past four years and everything that’s gone on.”

“Our hard work is not just this past year’s hard work. Barbara Jordan goes back to Shirley Chisholm goes back to Sojourner Truth goes back to Harriet Tubman.” 

Janet Galbraith, 55, from Texas, wore pearls and Converse to honor Kamala Harris on Inauguration Day

“[Harris’ Inauguration] also lets me know that the hard work is not done. Because historically, if you look at the progress of minorities in general, and black people specifically, it’s kind of three steps forward, two steps back.”

“And so I know that [despite] the pride that I feel, there is an uncomfortably large proportion of our society that is angered and even more resolved, to make sure that there is no equity. And equality. So I don’t fool myself. Yeah, we can all revel in the day that her swearing-in brings and President Biden’s swearing-in brings, but we cannot fool ourselves to think for one second it’s not gonna be a hard-charged, uphill slog going forward.”

– Janet Galbraith, 55, from Texas, who wore pearls and Converse sneakers to honor Harris on Inauguration Day.

Kamala Harris inauguration
Tony Evans, a furloughed bartender watches the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with his granddaughter Dy’mond Roberts in East Oakland, California on January 20, 2021.

‘So powerful you had to see it, no matter how you had to see it’

“As women, we need to honor other women. We need to honor and respect the women who have worked so hard to get here. And I just was so grateful to see it.”

“I wore my Native earrings. I belong to the first Native American sorority in the country [Alpha Pi Omega] and I wore my own colors. We had some of our sisters who were wearing pearls honoring her. We were wearing our shirts for sure, we were wearing our colors.”

“I watched it on my 60-inch TV. Right there in my living room. Full, powerful. I wanted to be there so bad, but that was what we could do.”

“60-inch screen TV. Enjoyed every moment of it.”

“Enjoyed the music, even not having the ability for people to gather to celebrate that moment. That would have been a devastating thing in most situations, but I think with the situation that led up to that day…that moment was so powerful you had to see it, no matter how you had to see it.”

“It just was so powerful for me to see this woman, who comes from the intersectionality of not only being a woman, but being a woman of color, and a woman that is multiracial, as am I, and knowing that we have a possibility of that being commonplace by the time my granddaughters can go to university and decide what they want to do and not have to face the assumptions that you are not qualified. That’s something that I’ve had to deal with all my life, that I know Kamala has to deal with all of her life: the assumptions that people make because of the bias that goes on in this world.”

– Denise Henning, 62, is a member of the Cherokee Nation and Mississippi Choctaw and a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Kamala Harris little girl
Senator Kamala Harris takes a selfie with a young girl at the annual Pride Parade in San Francisco, California, on June 30, 2019. Harris as VP represents a once impossible dream for many women and girls of color.

‘This feels like a point where everything has stopped, and as we restart as a country.’

“I took [my three children] to the office with me. We have TVs around the office, and we were able to watch the inauguration.”

“My oldest one was very into the inauguration and was listening to the speeches. He’s 14. It was a real moment to watch this with the kids, and have the opportunity to watch it with the kids. Normally under nonpandemic conditions, they’d watch it at school.”

“What I wanted him to take away was the stark contrast of all of the historical perspective of all the white men and then having Kamala’s picture as the next vice president.”

“I think that this feels like a point where everything has stopped, and as we restart as a country we have a choice in the direction in which we go because we don’t have that momentum behind us pushing us and staying in the same kind of path we’ve been forging for ourselves. I think this is an opportunity to rethink our business, our pleasure, our friends, and, politically, what we should do going forward.”

– Tiffany Devereux, 46, of North Carolina, an entrepreneur whose business had been affected due to the pandemic.


Read the original article on Business Insider

Bernie Sanders’ inauguration memes helped raised $1.8 million for charity, but the senator says the money is ‘no substitute for action by Congress’

Bernie Sanders mittens
Bernie Sanders in his iconic inauguration outfit.

  • A photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders wearing a parka and hand-knit mittens to the inauguration went viral.
  • The senator quickly began selling merchandise that featured the image.
  • Sanders said the merchandise raised $1.8 million for charity in just five days.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bernie Sanders used a viral image of himself at the inauguration to raise nearly $2 million for charity, but said: “even this amount of money is no substitute for action by Congress.”

The 79-year-old independent from Vermont said merchandise featuring the image has raised $1.8 million for the hunger charity Meals on Wheels Vermont in just five days, according to the Associated Press

The image shows Sanders sitting with his arms and legs crossed while wearing a parka and a pair of woolly mittens. It was quickly turned into a meme, with people online sharing photoshopped images of the senator in all sorts of situations.

The next day, the senator began selling merchandise that featured the image, such as a black crewneck sweatshirt that appeared for sale on his campaign web store and quickly sold out before being restocked.

All the merchandise featuring the image is currently sold out on Sanders’s website.

“Jane and I were amazed by all the creativity shown by so many people over the last week, and we’re glad we can use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need,” Sanders said in a statement, the AP reported.

“But even this amount of money is no substitute for action by Congress, and I will be doing everything I can in Washington to make sure working people in Vermont and across the country get the relief they need in the middle of the worst crisis we’ve faced since the Great Depression,” he said.

In addition to Meals on Wheels, proceeds from the sales will go to other local Vermont charities.

The mittens Sanders was wearing were made by Jen Ellis, a second-grade teacher in Vermont, who has received an outpouring of attention and even says she’s received offers for business deals.

The photo of Sanders was captured by Getty Images photographer Brendan Smialowski. Getty said it will donate proceeds from the image to Meals on Wheels America, AP reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

New CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says that ‘better, healthier days’ are ahead and that agency will review all previous COVID-19 guidelines

Rochelle Walensky
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rochelle Walensky to head up the CDC.

  • Dr. Rochelle Walensky, previously an HIV researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, is the Centers for Disease Control’s new director.
  • With the national COVID-19 death toll surpassing 400,000 deaths, Walensky has acknowledged that rebuilding public trust and bolstering the vaccination plan will be top priorities.
  • The Trump administration often sidelined and discredited the CDC, and the agency has also been criticized for its own inconsistent guidelines throughout the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As one of President Joe Biden’s most critical appointments, new Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has begun to outline the agency’s direction amid a raging pandemic.

Assuming the reigns from former director Robert Redfield, Walensky said, “Better, healthier days lie ahead. But to get there, COVID-19 testing, surveillance, and vaccination must accelerate rapidly.” 

In the press release, Walensky expanded on the agency’s first actions and focused on transparency. Walensky, previously an infectious-diseases specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, said the  “CDC will continue to focus on what is known – and what more can be learned – about the virus to guide America.”

Addressing the inconsistent and at times controversial nature of guidances issued by the CDC during the pandemic and Trump’s tenure, Walensky noted that the  CDC’s Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat “will begin leading a comprehensive review of all existing guidance related to COVID-19. Wherever needed, this guidance will be updated so that people can make decisions and take action based upon the best available evidence.”

With the national COVID-19 death toll surpassing 400,000 deaths, Walensky has acknowledged that rebuilding public trust in the agency will be a top priority. Throughout the pandemic, the CDC was routinely sidelined by the Trump administration, and at times, directly challenged and politicized. 

In February 2020, the CDC came under fire for sending flawed COVID-19 test kits to states. Weeks later, the agency’s experts were phased out of COVID-19 press briefings for sharing scientific guidance, which clashed with the Trump administration’s version of reality. 

Early in the pandemic, the CDC recommended only sick people or those caring for sick people should wear masks. They later reversed that advice and called for the widespread wearing of masks, but the change in direction fomented distrust.   

The CDC also removed guidance that called for limiting church choir rehearsals and performances as studies showed a high risk of transmission with groups singing indoors for long periods of time. Later, under Redfield’s leadership, the agency rolled back a guideline calling for people who came into contact with an infected person to get tested, but reinstated it after pressure from the scientific community. 

Walensky becomes director as the tracking of COVID-19 statistics has largely been taken over by universities and researchers with more effective and reliable dashboards than the CDC’s.

Prior to his inauguration, Biden indicated that he would request $160 billion in funding for vaccinations and other programs, with the ambitious goal of expanding the public health workforce by 100,000 jobs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Advertisers face a fraught start to the year

Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of Insider Advertising, where we track the big stories in media and advertising. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor.

Remember you can sign up to get this newsletter daily here

This week: Advertisers are in the hot seat, the rise of Newsmax’s Greg Kelly, and creators warm to Instagram Reels.

National Guard inauguration
Virginia National Guard soldiers are issued their M4 rifles and live ammunition on the east front of the U.S. Capitol on January 17, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Advertisers are back in the hot seat

The inauguration, once a time for brands to show patriotism and unity, has become fraught with risk.

Some big advertisers are getting pressured by investors to lean on the big platforms for their role in spreading conspiracies and hate that led to the Capitol riots. 

And backers of last summer’s ad boycott of Facebook are talking of resuming their pressure campaign on advertisers to stop spending on the platform.

As the boycott showed, advertisers are loath to quit the platforms they think are essential to their business.

Many advertisers eventually tiptoed back onto Facebook, with carefully worded statements that it was doing better at curbing hate and misinformation. The boycott barely impacted Facebook because advertisers are too fragmented a group to make an impact with their dollars.

But the riots have drawn attention to other enablers of extremism, from the Silicon Valley giants that provided the pipes for right-wing platform Parler to cable companies that distribute pro-Trump content. The boycott organizers are back, demanding the platforms permanently ban Trump.

So while most of the scrutiny has been on the tech giants for their role in enabling toxic content, advertisers are likely to stay in the spotlight of this storm.

Read more here:

greg kelly newsmax 2x1 v2

Inside the rise of Newsmax’s Greg Kelly

Aaron Short profiled the lively local morning show host-turned-far-right defender of Donald Trump.

He’s the face of Newsmax, a fringe cable network that aims to compete with Fox News for conservative viewers.

From Aaron’s story:

On Newsmax, Kelly is the plainspoken outsider railing against the hubris of media elites. But the broadcaster owes his longevity in journalism to family and political connections. He has also been incredibly lucky. He was lucky to get hired by Fox News and tapped to be a local morning anchor when its then-CEO Roger Ailes was friendly with his father. He was lucky to get another gig in cable because the company’s CEO was revamping its lineup. And he was lucky Donald Trump liked him and promoted his show.  

Trump will soon leave office but Newsmax has become devoted to promoting the reactionary forces that backed him. Kelly has become a vessel of right-wing fury perpetuating a false political myth with deadly consequences, and his audience is only growing.

Read the rest here: Ridiculed, overlooked, and under-estimated. As Newsmax’s biggest Trump booster, Greg Kelly may finally be getting his revenge on the ‘fake news’ establishment

Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels

Creators warm to Instagram’s Reels

Instagram’s TikTok competitor launched in August 2020 to mixed reviews, with The New York Times famously calling it a “dud.”

It may be too soon to write off what might have seemed like yet another failed copycat attempt by Instagram parent Facebook. Some creators are telling Sydney Bradley that they’ve cracked the code on using it to grow their audience and many are calling it a “magic bullet.”

The change could be in part because Instagram has been whispering in creators’ ears, telling them how to optimize the algo.

Still, it’s not a zero sum game – creators realize it’s important to keep using both apps.

“I think that’s one of the most crucial things that you need to do as a creator,” said one. “You have to diversify.” 

Read more: Instagram creators say they’re getting supercharged audience growth by posting Reels: ‘I haven’t had this growth in a long time’

More stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading, and see you back here next week.

– Lucia

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump is starting his last full day in office hiding from the public and plotting to steal Biden’s thunder, as his approval ratings plummet to historic lows

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump.

  • President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, meaning Tuesday is President Donald Trump’s last full day in the White House.
  • Trump has spent the last days of his presidency hidden from public view, and with his approval ratings the lowest they have ever been.
  • Trump is not attending Biden’s inauguration and is instead planning on stealing focus from the event, including by flying out early.
  • Vice President Mike Pence has taken Trump’s place in many of the ceremonial tasks that presidents typically do before they leave office, like attending an inauguration briefing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is starting his last full day in office hiding from the public and with his lowest approval ratings ever.

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is due to take place on Wednesday in a ceremony Trump said he won’t attend, making him the first president since 1869 to buck the tradition.

Trump has also largely vanished from public life in the final days of his presidency.

Since some of his supporters staged a deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, the president has not made a single public appearance.

His aides have described him as angry and isolated in the White House, with CNN reporting late last week that aides had decided to limit his appearances before the media in case he veers from scripted comments about the riot.

capitol seige
Lawmakers take cover as protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

The attack, and Trump’s response, saw him isolated from many in the Republican Party and in his own cabinet. A number of top officials have resigned in the wake of the riot, leaving him largely alone in the White House.

The House impeached him for a historic second time over his role in inciting the Capitol mob last week, and he now faces an impeachment trial in the Senate. North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer told Insider last week that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has told GOP senators that they can vote however they want during the impeachment trial.

Trump will also leave office deeply unpopular.

A Gallup poll published on Monday found that 34% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president – his worse performance in a Gallup poll during his entire presidency.

Gallup added that Trump’s average approval rating throughout his presidency has been 41% – four points lower than any other president that Gallup had polled.

A Pew Research Center survey also found last week that his approval rating was at 29% as he headed into his last week in office – a historic low.

Trump has put out some statements since the attack, but has largely been uncharacteristically silent.

While his accounts were removed from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, Trump has still not turned to other platforms, like the White House briefing room.

As The Hill noted, Vice President Mike Pence has taken Trump’s place in many of the ceremonial tasks that presidents typically do before they leave office, like attending an inauguration briefing.

And Trump’s official schedule for his last full day in office mirrors the same vague entry he has had in place over the past few weeks: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

Donald Trump press schedule
Trump’s official schedule for January 19, 2021.

Read more: The Justice Department promised the Trump White House that its hard drives won’t be handed over to Joe Biden

As Insider’s Tom Porter previously reported, Trump does have some plans for the final hours of his presidency, but they mostly appear focused on undermining Biden’s inauguration rather than spreading his own message or trying to control his legacy.

Trump is expected to issue around 100 presidential pardons or commutations on his last day, and he is reportedly considering a military-style send off in Inauguration Day.

But Trump is expected to have leave Washington, DC, for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida before Biden’s inauguration even begins. According to CNN, Trump’s aim is to avoid leaving the White House as an ex-president, and a source suggested that he didn’t want to ask Biden to borrow Air Force One.

However, his Inauguration Day plans pale in comparison to what was once expected from the president: He had at one point considered a rally with his supporters where he would announce a 2024 bid.

Trump advisers told The Hill that Trump plans to spend the immediate future with close aides in Florida as he considers his next steps.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump is planning to sneak away to Florida instead of attending the Biden inauguration, FAA data reveals

trump air force one
President Donald Trump boarding Air Force One.

  • President Donald Trump appears to be heading south to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida instead of attending Joe Biden’s inauguration. 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration issued temporary flight restrictions over the private club for January 20, indicating the president’s arrival.
  • One of Trump’s final tweets confirmed suspicions that he wouldn’t be at the Biden inauguration. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump appears to be traveling to a warmer climate instead of attending the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Flight restrictions were just issued for the skies above Palm Beach, Florida by the Federal Aviation Administration for January 20, indicating the president will head south on his last day in office and skip the traditional Capitol send-off by choppering out of Washington on Marine One. 

Palm Beach is home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club; it’s become the winter White House during his administration – and his frequent retreat spot. Trump has spent 133 days at the club, according to an NBC News tracker, and has held summits there with world leaders there including Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump changed his address to Palm Beach in October 2019, the New York Times reported, and is said to be moving there permanently following his time in office

Read more: GOP kicks Trump to curb after deadly Capitol insurrection, leaving the president to fend for himself during his historic 2nd impeachment

The move is in line with one of the president’s final tweets from his personal Twitter account, where he stated in no uncertain terms that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration. 

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump said in a now-hidden tweet. (Twitter suspended the president’s personal account on January 8 after the Capitol riots.)

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for confirmation of the president’s travel plans.

Protecting the president while traveling

The FAA issues what it calls temporary flight restrictions whenever the president and vice president leave Washington. Pilots are typically not allowed to fly within a few miles of the president’s location without authorization when the restrictions are in place. 

The new restrictions start at 10:45 a.m. on January 20, at which point pilots won’t be able to fly within 10 nautical miles and 18,000 feet of Palm Beach International Airport. The restrictions will expire at noon, when the president’s term ends. Mar-a-Lago sits mere feet from the approach path to the airport’s easterly runways. 

A separate flight restriction was issued for the skies directly above Mar-a-Lago, but they’re less stringent. From 11:30 a.m. on January 20 until 12:30 p.m. on January 21, pilots won’t be able to fly within 3 nautical miles and 3,000 feet of the club.

Local flight schools near Palm Beach have been languishing under the presidential airspace restrictions as general aviation aircraft on training flights are typically prohibited from operating within the restricted airspace or departing from airports below. Flight schools lose an estimated $30,000 on weekends when President Trump visits and $50,000 on long weekends, according to the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association. 

Trump’s visits to Palm Beach became so frequent that the federal government began reimbursing flight schools for lost revenue. Aid in the amount of $3.5 million was included in a 2019 spending bill for general aviation operators affected by the president’s travels.

Trump has rarely left the White House in January, barring a few trips to Georgia on the campaign trail for Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, and a final visit to Texas.  A rare weekend trip to Camp David was planned for just two days after the US Capitol Building riots, a White House official confirmed to Insider, but the trip was later scrubbed. 

And while the transition of power will be peaceful, the president may not be going silently aboard Air Force One into his post-political life. A departure ceremony is reportedly being planned at Andrews Air Force Base for Trump, according to USA Today, with as much pomp and circumstance as the series finale of a television show. 

A color guard and 21-gun salute are on the agenda, USA Today reported.

Vice President Mike Pence, who had sparred with Trump in the days surrounding the Electoral College certification, is said to be attending the inauguration

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tell us what Kamala Harris making history as vice president means to you – and the country

kamala harris
Kamala Harris will be sworn in as vice president on Wednesday.

  • On Wednesday, Kamala Harris will make history as she’s sworn in as the nation’s first female, Black, and South Asian American vice president. 
  • For millions of Americans, Jan. 20 will mark the first time they’ll see themselves reflected at the highest level of government.
  • Insider wants our readers to reflect on this unprecedented moment in American history — which takes place against the backdrop of a recent, violent insurrection, and a persisting threat of pro-Trump extremists heading to Washington, DC once again.
  • Tell us how it will feel to watch Harris get inaugurated. We’re gathering responses for a project about this historic day and what it means to them.
  • Scroll down to share your thoughts with Insider. We may contact you to follow up on your responses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Inauguration Day will be a landmark moment in American history. Former California Senator Kamala Harris will become the first Black and South Asian American woman sworn in as vice president. With one oath, she will also become the highest-ranking woman in US political history. 

The symbolism of this moment could not be more profound. 

Harris takes office when America’s racial inequalities have been thrust to the fore by the pandemic, 2020 election, and months-long protests against police brutality. Millions of people who have never seen such representation in this country will now see themselves reflected in one of the country’s highest-ranking leaders. 

But Harris’s inauguration will take place under the watch of thousands of National Guard troops and behind a quickly-erected, city-wide fortress meant to stave off a repeat of January 6, when a racist, pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol.

There’s no doubt Harriss’ moment will be remembered by history. But how does this moment feel for Americans right now?

We want you to tell us how you’ll experience her Inauguration – and how you think history should remember this moment – using the form below. 

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The National Guard is doing background checks on its own soldiers to shore up security during the inauguration

national guard capitol
Members of the National Guard walk through the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 13, 2021, ahead of an expected House vote impeaching US President Donald Trump.

  • The National Guard revealed it would be doing additional vetting of guardsmen serving as security during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
  • The group made the move following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building in which several members of law enforcement, and at least one National Guardsmen, were charged with participating in the insurrection.
  • A spokesperson for the Guard said guardsmen are being told, “if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command.”
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The National Guard is running additional background checks on its guardsmen ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, in an attempt to weed out potential extremists. 

The move comes following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building in which a corporal in the Virginia National Guard, Jacob Fracker, was one of several members of law enforcement arrested in connection with the riots.

National Guard spokesperson Major Matt Murphy, USAF, told Insider the reserve branch was working with the Secret Service and the FBI to determine “which service members supporting the national special security event for the Inauguration require additional background screening.”

Read more: National Guard asks people to please stop trying to give it donations, after photos of National Guardsmen sleeping on the floor of the Capitol spread on social media

Murphy said the Guard is also conducting additional training “that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command.”

Fracker, a National Guard reservist, and his Rocky Mount Police Department co-worker Thomas Robertson were both charged with federal offenses after they took a selfie at the riots, and posted it on social media. While neither man was on-duty at the time of the insurrection, both have been placed on administrative leave.  

The FBI continues to review footage from the insurrection to identify additional participants with law enforcement and military ties.

Read more: A corporal in the Virginia National Guard was arrested in connection with the assault on the Capitol last week by a mob of Trump supporters.

While the Secret Service is overseeing the security logistics for the inauguration, the Guard, along with local law enforcement and military groups, will be taking part in providing the actual muscle for the event.

In previous years, inauguration ceremonies have been threatened by foreign terrorist groups and sympathizers, but this year, said Murphy, the focus is on continuing to identify people who participated in or were sympathetic to the attack at the capitol.

“Any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of the peace may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or under state or federal law,” he said.

Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the AP that “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately.”

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module


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