By CATHERINE THORBECKE, IVAN PEREIRA and LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — It’s President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day. Outgoing President Donald Trump will be the first president in 152 years not to attend his successor’s inauguration.
Here is how events are unfolding. All times Eastern:
Jan 20, 9:13 am
Trump left Biden a note in the Oval Office
Trump has left a note in the Oval Office for Biden, ABC News has learned.
The content of the note is not clear at this time.
The development comes after Biden’s communications director told ABC’s Good Morning America that Trump still hadn’t made direct contact with the president-elect.
Jan 20, 9:15 am
BIden attends Mass with congressional leaders in show of unity
Biden, a devout Catholic and the second to take the presidency, is starting Inauguration Day with Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, joined by the top congressional leaders.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — another devout Catholic — outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joined Biden for the service, along with his wife, Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff — the nation’s first second gentlemen.
Biden extended invitations to top congressional leaders. In a show of unity, all accepted those invites.
Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Chairs Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., were also in attendance.
Faith has played a significant role in Biden’s life — when he lost his wife Neilia and young daughter Naomi in a horrific 1972 car accident in which his young sons Beau and Hunter were severely injured. Beau died of a brain tumor in 2015 at age 46.
An Irish violinist will play and soprano Renee Fleming will sing “On Eagle’s Wings” — the Catholic hymn Biden said his son loved and which he quoted from in his November victory speech.
Jan 20, 9:03 am
Trump at send-off rally: ‘We will be back in some form’
With the trappings of a Trump rally on a cold and windy morning, President Trump arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland just after 8:30 a.m. on Biden’s Inauguration Day to once again try to rewrite the history of the last four years.
A military band played “All Hail the Chief” as Trump walked onto a small stage, lined with American flags, and up to a lectern bearing the presidential seal. He first praised his own family — whom he put into positions of power, breaking with presidential norms — and singled out first lady Melania Trump — known for her privacy — to say a few words.
“Being your first lady was my greatest honor. Thank you for your love and your support. You will be in my thoughts and prayers,” she said.
Trump ticked off his accomplishments, spoke about the pandemic in past tense and predicted a boom in the stock market in the coming weeks, before offering a warning of the new administration — without ever mentioning Biden’s name.
“I hope they don’t raise your taxes,” Trump said, “but if they do, I told you so!”
He later added, “I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”
“So just a good-bye. We love you. We will be back in some form,” Trump vowed. “Have a good life. We will see you soon.”
Trump is now headed on Air Force One to his resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the final time as president.
Jan 20, 8:25 am
Trump departs White House for last time as president
President Trump departed the White House for the final time as president — leaving embattled, twice-impeached and with his lowest approval rating in his four years in office.
Trump, in a black suit with a white dress shirt and trademark red tie, alongside outgoing first lady Melania Trump, in a black dress and coat, walked out on a red carpet before Trump briefly spoke to reporters and, for one last time as president, boarded Marine One, to depart the White House.
Trump’s unconventional, norm-busting approach to the country’s institutions — that will likely outlast the one-term leader and leave a transformative and divisive legacy in Washington — continue on Biden’s Inauguration Day.
He is not greeting the incoming president on the North Portico and joining him to the Capitol, as is tradition, but leaving town early for his Mar-a-Lago Resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, while he still bears the title as president and the aeronautical resources the office provides.
Aides were seen carrying boxes to Marine One ahead of Trump’s departure.
As Trump continues to refuse to accept the election results, he has also refused to make contact with the incoming president, despite the Bidens staying across the street Monday night in Blair House — far from the warm welcomes given by previous presidents to their successors, no matter the party lines.
Vice President Mike Pence will not appear at Trump’s departure at the White House, nor his “military-style send-off” at Joint Base Andrews. The outgoing vice president is scheduled to attend Biden’s inauguration.
Though hours remain in his presidency, Trump hasn’t heard the last of Washington either as he still faces a second impeachment trial in the Senate.
Jan 20, 8:01 am
Trump did not invite Biden to White House, has made no contact
Despite Biden and his family staying just across the street overnight in Blair House — outgoing President Trump did not invite them to the White House and still has not made contact with the president-elect with just hours to go until one loses the power of the presidency and the other gains it.
Incoming White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was asked directly by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America whether Biden has had “any contact at all, direct contact, with President Trump.”
“He has not, no,” Bedingfield said.
Trump is skipping Biden’s inauguration this morning and the traditional welcome on the White House North Portico to star in his own cold and windy sendoff at Joint Base Andrews while he still bears the title of president — making him the first president to skip his successor’s swearing since an impeached Andrew Johnson in 1869 snubbed Ulysses Grant.
Jan 20, 7:40 am
Biden prepares to take office as Trump leaves Washington behind
Biden is waking up as president-elect at Blair House — across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, where in a matter of hours he will enter as the 46th president of the United States.
Assuming the office on his third try for the White House, Biden is assuming a busy schedule for his first day alongside soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris — who is making history as the first woman, first Black woman and first South Asian American to serve as the country’s second in command.
Biden and wife Jill Biden and Harris and husband Doug Emhoff — the nation’s first second gentlemen — will begin the morning with Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. In a show of unity, Biden extended invitations and is expected to be joined by bipartisan congressional leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The inaugural ceremonies, limited in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, begin at 11:30 a.m. at a fortified U.S. Capitol — two weeks to the date pro-Trump supporters stormed the West Front steps. Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ahead of Biden who will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts at noon, as 25,000 National Guard members patrol the Washington area.
After taking their oaths of office, Biden and Harris will head to Arlington National Cemetery and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Sens.-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California will also be sworn into office by the new vice president at an afternoon ceremony at the Capitol — triggering Democrats taking the majority in the Senate as Harris will cast tie-breaking votes as president of the Senate.
In the evening, Biden will sign executive orders in the Oval Office and swear in Day One appointees in a virtual ceremony. Biden and Harris are then scheduled to deliver remarks before 9 p.m. during the “Celebrating America” inaugural program and close off the night with a wave to the nation from the Blue Room Balcony.
Meanwhile, with their titles until noon, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to depart the White House around 8 a.m. for Palm Beach, Florida, on Air Force One with a “military-style send-off” for Trump as Joint Base Andrews, per his request. Though Trump’s presidency will soon be over, his presence will loom in Washington as he still faces a second impeachment trial in the Senate.
Jan 20, 5:02 am
Biden to sign 15 executive orders on Inauguration Day
President-elect Joe Biden will sign 15 executive actions on this first day as president — an increase in the number of executive orders initially previewed by incoming Chief of Staff Ron Klain this weekend and a show of force by Biden as he occupies the Oval Office.
The orders take aim at undoing much of President Trump’s signature and controversial actions during his four years as president including reversing the Muslim ban, stopping construction of the border wall, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving the DACA program.
Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki stressed that while Biden’s actions would directly address some actions taken under Trump, the focus of Biden’s Inauguration Day work will be looking ahead.
“His focus is on moving the country forward and that will be thematic tomorrow and in all of the actions he’s taking,” she said, adding that Biden will sign the executive orders in the Oval Office and the text of the orders will be released after they’re signed.
On a call with reporters Tuesday night, several of Biden’s top policy advisors, including COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zeints; incoming National Economic Council director, Brian Deese; incoming White House Domestic Climate Policy Director Gina McCarthy; incoming White House Domestic Policy Council Director Ambassador Susan Rice; and incoming national security adviser to the president, Jake Sullivan, spoke about the specific actions Biden will take on his first day.
Biden’s team emphasized that the actions listed on the call were not comprehensive of all executive actions Biden planned to take in his early days in office.
One of Biden’s orders will direct his Secretary of Homeland Security to take all legal actions to preserve and fortify DACA. This follows ABC reporting that Biden will be sending Congress a policy that includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship for immigrants with no legal status and expanding admissions for refugees into the U.S.
Biden will also rescind the Trump Administration’s 1776 Commission and revoke Trump’s executive order that limited federal agencies from implementing diversity and inclusion training.
His order will also task the Office of Management and Budget with investing in underserved communities and communities of color.
And following last summer’s landmark SCOTUS case that protects LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination, another EO plans to build off of that to ensure the federal government interprets Title VII and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by this decision.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also a Day One issue and Biden will sign an order implementing his mask requirement in federal buildings and on federal land, as part of launching his “100 Days Mask Challenge,” which asks Americans to mask up for that time period.
Biden also plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on his first day in office and encourage federal agencies to review and appropriately address federal actions taken under the Trump administration, including revoking the Keystone pipeline permit.
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