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LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing

President Biden was sworn in as the nation's 46th president a little before noon on Wednesday.

Follow along with this page for full coverage throughout the day and night.

Harris gives first public remarks as vice president during inaugural celebration

9:57 p.m.

Vice President Harris touted American resilience Wednesday night in her first speech in the role at the inaugural celebration.

“We not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it,” said Harris, the first woman, Black woman and South Asian woman elected to the position.

"We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome. That we will rise up. This is American aspiration,” she continued. “American aspiration is what drove the women of this nation throughout history to demand equal rights and the authors of the Bill of Rights to claim freedoms that had rarely been written down before.”

Harris added that “the same determination is being realized in America today,” citing the quick development of coronavirus vaccines and the resilience of Americans during the crisis.

“This is what President Joe Biden has called upon us to summon now: the courage to see beyond crisis, to do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together,” she concluded.”

— Zack Budryk

Biden rounds out Inauguration Day with message of democracy prevailing

9:17 p.m.

In an address from the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday evening, President Biden continued to emphasize the theme of national unity at his inaugural celebration.

“As I said earlier today, we have learned again that democracy is precious and because of you democracy has prevailed," he said standing in front of the massive sculpted likeness of the 16th president.

"That's why Jill and I, [Vice President] Kamala [Harris] and Doug [Emhoff], wanted to make sure our inauguration was not about us but about you, the American people,” he added. “This is a great nation. We're a good people and [to] overcome the challenges in front of us requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy — unity. It requires us to come together in common love that defines us as Americans."

"There are moments in our history when more is asked of us as Americans...we are in one of those moments now,” he added. "The question is: Are we up to it? Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?"

 — Zack Budryk

New press secretary gives first briefing

7:45 p.m.

Just after 7 p.m., White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOn The Money: Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill | Stocks sink after Powell fails to appease jittery traders | February jobs report to provide first measure of Biden economy Biden called off second military target in Syria minutes before strike: report White House says Shalanda Young could serve as acting OMB director MORE began her first press briefing, fielding questions about President Biden’s executive actions, former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s impending impeachment trial, forthcoming foreign leader calls and other topics for about 40 minutes.

Psaki said that it was the goal of the press office to rebuild trust with the American people and share truthful information. She outlined the 15 executive actions that Biden signed earlier Wednesday and also described the immigration proposal he has sent to Congress.

Psaki also said that Biden’s first call with a foreign leader as president will be with Canadian President Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauBiden strikes optimistic tone in meeting with Mexican president White House: US will help Mexico after Americans vaccinated The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run MORE. She said the two would discuss Biden’s decision to revoke a key permit of the Keystone XL pipeline as well as the bilateral relationship. 

— Morgan Chalfant

Senate confirms Biden's intel chief giving him first Cabinet official

7:21 p.m.

Senators confirmed Avril Haines to be President Biden's director of national intelligence on Wednesday, giving him his first Senate-confirmed Cabinet pick. 

Senators voted 84-10 to confirm Haines, who appears to be the only Cabinet official Biden will get confirmed on the first day of his administration. 

Whether Biden would get any Cabinet picks confirmed on day one of his administration has been in limbo for weeks and was unclear until hours before the Senate ultimately voted to confirm Haines.  

– Jordain Carney

Biden swears in senior staff — with a threat

6:22 p.m.

President Biden administered the oath of office to hundreds of senior administration officials shortly after 6 p.m. on Wednesday through video conference, a concession to the coronavirus pandemic that has put a hold on in-person events held by previous administrations.

Biden thanked his new staffers — chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainKlain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' Murkowski never told White House she would oppose Tanden Who is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? MORE told The Hill last week that 500 to 600 political appointees would begin work on the administration’s first day in office — for their work, and their families for the long hours they will surrender with the new appointees.

But the new president also issued an ultimatum: The incoming team would work well together — or else.

If Biden hears one staffer belittling another, or “if you talk down to someone, I’ll fire you on the spot. On the spot,” Biden said.

— Reid Wilson

Biden signs first executive actions as president

5:55 p.m.

President Biden signed his first executive actions on Wednesday afternoon, hours after being sworn in as the 46th commander in chief.

Biden, wearing a mask while seated at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, signed executive actions mandating mask use on federal property to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus; rejoining the Paris climate agreement; and extending support for underserved communities.

The executive actions are among 17 items that Biden is signing on Wednesday.

–  Morgan Chalfant

Harris tells inauguration onlookers she's 'just walking to work'

4:15 p.m.

Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffEmhoff reflects on interracial marriage case: Without this 'I would not be married to Kamala Harris' Biden leans into empathizer-in-chief role Biden mourns 500,000 American lives lost to coronavirus MORE made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Executive Office Building, arriving at the office space adjacent to the White House at 4:10 p.m.

Harris made her way down the street shortly after President Biden arrived at the White House surrounded by family. At one point, reporters could be heard shouting out questions about how she felt and what her first job is upon taking office.

"Just walking to work," Harris shouted back.

The vice president was escorted down Pennsylvania Avenue by the drum line from Howard University, which is Harris's alma mater. The school's flags squad was also on hand for the processional.

Harris is the first woman and first person of color to be elected vice president.

— Brett Samuels

Biden enters White House for first time as president

4:09 p.m.

Biden arrived at the White House just before 4 p.m., entering the building for the first time as president.

He arrived via motorcade outside the Treasury Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue before exiting his vehicle to make the walk over to the White House. He held hands with first lady Jill BidenJill BidenOvernight Health Care: Biden slams Texas, Mississippi for lifting coronavirus restrictions: 'Neanderthal thinking' | Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra |Over 200K sign up for ACA plans during Biden special enrollment period Education secretary: Vaccinating teachers 'my top priority' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls MORE the whole way, and they were trailed by their children and other family members.

The president at one point broke away to greet NBC's Al Roker with a fist bump, and at another point jogged over to greet NBC News correspondent Mike Memoli, who asked what the moment felt like.

"It feels like I'm going home," Biden said.

The president and first lady walked up the driveway on the north side of the White House before stopping and posing for photos at the North Portico entrance. Biden told reporters his message to the world was "unity," a theme he also stressed in his inaugural address.

—Brett Samuels

Biden, Harris, former presidents participate in wreath laying

2:45 p.m.

President Biden and Vice President Harris joined former Presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located at Arlington National Cemetery shortly after the inauguration.

Biden and Harris stood in silence in front of a large wreath before the tomb for several moments as the Army band played the national anthem. Biden saluted and Harris held her hand over her heart. The group then mounted the steps into the memorial. 

–  Morgan Chalfant

Biden, Harris participate in Pass in Review

2:30 p.m.

President Biden and Vice President Harris after they were sworn in on Wednesday took part in a "Pass in Review" with members of the military, a tradition marking the peaceful transfer of power. 

The two leaders, along with first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, appeared on the steps of the Capitol as a group from each branch of the military saluted for the first time the newly sworn-in commander in chief. 

The couples then left the Capitol to travel to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where they will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

– Celine Castronuovo

Congressional leaders present Biden and Harris with commemorative gifts

2 p.m.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Top Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Progressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Klain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster MORE (Ky.) presented President Biden and Vice President Harris with the American flags that flew over the Capitol while they both took their oaths of office hours earlier.

"The star-spangled banner is our greatest symbol of our endurance of the American idea. It flies over this building on triumphant days and on tragic ones, over all factions and all parties. And today this flag flew over our former colleague's inauguration as the very first female vice president of the United States," McConnell said as he presented a flag to Harris.

Pelosi then presented Biden with the flag that was on display while he took his oath of office.

"This flag may reflect all that is said about your inauguration. America united. May it be a symbol of the hope, the healing and just all of the enthusiasm that you have for our country," Pelosi said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWatch live: McCarthy holds press briefing Biden vows to work with Congress to 'refine' voting rights bill House passes voting rights and elections reform bill MORE (R-Calif.) — who backed Republicans' efforts to challenge the Electoral College results on Jan. 6 — then presented Harris with a photo of her taking the oath of office.

"Today, Vice President Harris made history and all of America should celebrate that. But we should also remember that this is not the end, but just the beginning. As leaders, we are judged not by our words, but by our actions," McCarthy said.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Democrats introduce bill providing citizenship to Dreamers On The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief MORE (D-Md.) subsequently presented Biden with a photo of him taking the presidential oath, addressing him as "Mr. President."

"Joe," Biden interjected.

"No, Joe. You're Mr. President," Hoyer replied.

– Cristina Marcos

GOP senators praise Biden's speech 

1:09 p.m.

Biden's inauguration speech won immediate praise from some GOP senators, whom the administration will need the support of to get its legislative agenda through Congress. 

"I thought it was very well done. I thought it was what we needed," Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date MORE (R-Alaska). 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMurkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-Maine) said she stands "ready to work with [Biden] to advance common goals." 

Biden "struck the right themes of unity, a call for us to come together to stop viewing one another as adversaries but rather as fellow Americans," Collins told reporters. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-Utah) told reporters that he thought it was "very strong." Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) said that he is "praying" for Biden. 

"I commend President Biden for his call for national unity, and his assurance to those who did not support him that he will nevertheless be president for all Americans. I urge the president to follow through on this commitment," Toomey said in a statement. 

— Jordain Carney

Biden makes appeal for unity

12:30 p.m.

Biden made an appeal for unity to Americans across the political spectrum in his inaugural address as the 46th president of the United States, seeking to turn the page on the divisions of the Trump era.

Biden described unity as the path forward in order to contain the coronavirus, restore the U.S. economy, address the effects of climate change, deliver racial justice and mend deep divisions that were laid bare over the last four years. 

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity,” Biden said.

— Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant

Biden becomes president

11:56 a.m.

Joe Biden was sworn in on Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, capping a winding political career and marking the beginning of a new administration.

Biden, surrounded by his family, was given the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts at 11:49 a.m. outside the west side of the U.S. Capitol. Biden was sworn in using the Bible that belonged to his late son, Beau Biden.

Biden takes office at a tumultuous time in American history. He will be tasked with navigating a raging pandemic, a lagging economy and deep divisions that were on display Wednesday as President Trump declined to attend the inauguration proceedings.

— Brett Samuels

Biden sworn in on family Bible his son Beau used

11:52 a.m.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday took the oath of office on a family Bible used by his late son, Beau Biden, when he was sworn in as Delaware attorney general, The Hill confirmed.

MSNBC reported that the Bible has been in the Biden family since 1893, and was also used at Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremonies as a U.S. senator and as vice president.

Joe Biden on Wednesday became the country’s second Catholic president, after John K. Kennedy.

Joe Biden attended church at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning ahead of his inauguration ceremony.

— Celine Castronuovo

Harris sworn in as first female, Black vice president

11:48 a.m.

Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala Harris Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill Why is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? MORE was sworn in on Wednesday making history as the country's first female and first Black vice president.

Harris, who resigned her Senate seat on Monday, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, the first Latina justice.

In addition to being the first Black and female vice president, Harris is also the first Caribbean and Asian American vice president.

Harris's swearing in makes her the highest-ranking elected woman in the United States government. In her role as vice president she will preside over the Senate, allowing her to break 50-50 ties and hand Democrats the Senate majority for the first time since 2014.

Harris got a standing ovation as she and her husband, Doug Emhoff, walked out onto the West Front of the Capitol. She stopped to greet Eugene Goodman, a Capitol police officer who was hailed as a hero after he led rioters away from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 attack. Goodman escorted Harris into the Capitol on Wednesday.

She also stopped along the way to give fist bumps to former President Obama, former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' Michelle Obama on conversations with her daughters: 'Me and Barack, we can't get a word in' Michelle Obama offers advice with release of young readers' edition of 'Becoming' memoir MORE and spoke with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) as she waited for the ceremony to get underway.

— Jordain Carney

Klobuchar, Blunt tout democracy ahead of swearing in 

11:33 a.m.

Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTop Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Five takeaways from dramatic Capitol security hearing Biden convenes bipartisan meeting on cancer research MORE (R-Mo.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference Klobuchar, Murkowski urge FTC to protect domestic abuse victims' data MORE (D-Minn.), the top members of the Senate Rules Committee and members of the inauguration ceremony, focused their speeches on American democracy after rioters stormed the Capitol just two weeks ago.

"We pledge today never to take our democracy for granted as we celebrate its remarkable strength, we celebrate its resilience, its grit," Klobuchar said.

Blunt later said that the inauguration ceremony, which will see the White House switch political parties is "not a moment of division, it's a moment of unification."

The two senators were on the committee tasked with planning President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE's swearing in, including having to respond to new security concerns after a mob breached the Capitol on Jan. 6.

— Jordain Carney

Trump arrives in West Palm Beach

11:26 a.m.

President Trump and members of his family arrived in West Palm Beach, Fla., aboard Air Force One shortly before President-elect Joe Biden's inaugural ceremony was set to begin.

Trump was joined on board by first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - FBI director testifies on Jan. 6 Capitol attack Overnight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions Trump has been vaccinated for coronavirus MORE and his children and their spouses as well as aides Dan Scavino and Jason Miller. The televisions on the plane were tuned to Fox News as the network showed Air Force One departing Washington, D.C., and Biden going to church before the inauguration.

Trump stepped off the airplane and waved to reporters, mouthing “thank you” before stepping into an armored Suburban.

— Morgan Chalfant

Members of Supreme Court arrive for inauguration

11:00 a.m.

Members of the Supreme Court have arrived on the West Front of the Capitol ahead of Biden's swearing-in.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will swear in Biden, led the procession. Justices Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group Justices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction Justices hear sparring over scope of safeguards for minority voters MORE, Elena KaganElena KaganBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group Justices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction GOP lawyer tells Supreme Court curtailing Sunday voting lawful MORE, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughJustices hear sparring over scope of safeguards for minority voters Supreme Court faces landmark challenge on voting rights Will 'Cover-up Cuomo' be marching to 'Jail to the Chief'? MORE, Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchJustices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction Supreme Court faces landmark challenge on voting rights Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE and Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group Justices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction Bill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill MORE also attended. Sotomayor will swear in Harris.

Justices Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoJustices hear sparring over scope of safeguards for minority voters Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election MORE, Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasVernon Jordan: an American legend, and a good friend Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election MORE and Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group Justices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction Supreme Court weighs police power to conduct warrantless searches MORE were not spotted with the rest of the justices. 

A Supreme Court spokesperson said that "several of the Justices elected not to attend the inauguration ceremony in light of the public health risks posed by the COVID pandemic."

— Jordain Carney and John Kruzel

Former presidents, first ladies arrive 

10:58 a.m.

Former presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonSenators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series Website shows 3D models of every Oval Office design since 1909 MORE, George W. Bush, and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhy is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Pentagon issues report revealing ex-White House doctor 'belittled' subordinates, violated alcohol policies MORE arrived at the inauguration shortly before it was slated to begin. Clinton and former first lady and secretary of state Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks MORE were introduced together, followed by Bush and former first lady Laura Bush and then Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

— Morgan Chalfant

Biden shares message with wife before inauguration

10:55 a.m.

Biden shared a message of endearment for his wife just moments before the beginning of his inauguration.  

In a Wednesday tweet, Biden expressed his admiration for his wife, Jill Biden.

 

Joe and Jill Biden have been married for more than four decades, tying the knot in 1977.

— Judy Kurtz 

Capitol officer who lured mob away greets Biden, Harris

10:53 a.m.

Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who lured the pro-Trump mob away from lawmakers at the deadly Jan. 6 riot, greeted President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the two arrived at the Capitol for the inauguration ceremony. 

A video posted on Twitter showed the officer walking with Harris as they approached the Capitol building. 

Viral social media footage from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the Capitol shows Goodman being chased by rioters and luring them away from an empty doorway that leads to the Senate.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers last week introduced a bill to award Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for his role in protecting lawmakers against the mob.

— Celine Castronuovo

Supreme Court receives bomb threat but no evacuation ordered following search

10:52 a.m.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday received a bomb threat, but the building and surrounding areas were searched and no evacuation was ordered, a court spokesperson said.

The justices have generally worked remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic. No court arguments, conferences or other official business was scheduled for Wednesday.

The Supreme Court is a block away from the U.S. Capitol, where Biden will soon take the oath of office at his inaugural.

Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Biden at the ceremony, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer the oath of office to Harris.

— John Kruzel

GOP senator skipping inauguration to work on Biden nominee

10:46 a.m.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk MORE (R-Fla.), the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Tuesday that he is skipping Biden's inauguration to work on resolving objections to the Senate quickly confirming a top intelligence community pick.

"I am in DC but will not be attending todays inauguration because I am working on addressing the remaining objections to an expedited Senate confirmation of Biden’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence. It’s important we do this as soon as possible," Rubio tweeted.

The Intelligence Committee held a nomination hearing for Avril Haines, Biden's pick to be the director of national intelligence, on Tuesday. The Senate panel hasn't yet held a vote on her nomination.

— Jordain Carney

Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

10:28 a.m.

Biden arrived at the Capitol just before 10:30 a.m. after attending a church service with congressional leaders. He was joined by incoming first lady Jill Biden, Harris and Harris's husband, incoming second gentleman Doug Emhoff. 

The group was greeted by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the leaders of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. They all walked up the Capitol steps with one another. 

— Morgan Chalfant

Pence arrives at Capitol for Biden swearing-in

10:15 a.m.

Vice President Pence has arrived at the Capitol for Biden's inauguration ceremony. 

Pence entered through the Senate carriage entrance on the first floor of the Capitol, where he was greeted by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is overseeing the inauguration ceremony.

Pence is the highest-ranking elected official to attend the inauguration after President Trump decided to skip the event, breaking with precedent. 

— Jordain Carney

Former GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFormer GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Klain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' MORE spotted at Biden inauguration 

10:09 a.m.

Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who retired at the end of 2018, is attending Biden's inauguration.

Flake was one of President Trump's most vocal critics within the Senate GOP caucus and came out in support of Biden last year.

"I hope it's a moment of renewal," Flake told reporters at the Capitol. "It's one of the rights of passage for a president and a peaceful transfer of power, you know, the best day we have in terms of rituals."

"I'm glad it's happening. I think we'll have a president in the White House who models better behavior, who respects the office. ... I think Americans will sleep easier knowing that we have a more steady hand," Flake said.

— Jordain Carney

Biden attends church with bipartisan congressional leaders

9:45 a.m.

On Wednesday morning, Joe Biden, who will be the country’s second Catholic president, attended church at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

He was joined by Harris and their spouses; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.); outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); and incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRon Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-N.Y.), among others.

— Morgan Chalfant

Biden picks Ralph Lauren for Inauguration Day attire

9:43 a.m.

Biden is going with a classic American designer for his Inauguration Day attire: Ralph Lauren.

The navy suit and overcoat that Biden is sporting were both crafted by the iconic fashion designer, according to transition officials. Ralph Lauren has been a staple of past inaugurations: both Melania Trump and Hillary Clinton wore pieces from the company at the 2017 presidential inauguration.

Jill Biden is opting for an emerging brand, wearing an "ocean blue wool tweed coat and dress" from Markarian, New York City-based designer Alexandra O'Neill's label.

Harris is picking a pair of Black designers for her inaugural outfit, reportedly wearing garments from Louisiana native Christopher John Rogers and from Sergio Hudson, a ready-to-wear label based out of Los Angeles.

— Judy Kurtz

Trump left Biden a note

9:32 a.m.

As he departed the White House on Wednesday for the final time, President Trump left Biden a note, a White House official confirmed.

There are no details yet on what the note says. The decision by Trump to leave a note is in keeping with a presidential tradition, but comes as a bit of a surprise.

Trump has otherwise bucked precedent by not meeting with or speaking to the president-elect following Biden's win, which Trump spent weeks contesting. Trump will not attend Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

— Morgan Chalfant

Trump thanks aides in farewell event, promises to be back ‘in some form’

9 a.m.

Trump delivered remarks at Joint Base Andrews before departing Washington, thanking White House officials and family members and touting his administration’s agenda.

Trump claimed to have “rebuilt” the U.S. military and boasted about the strength of the economy before the coronavirus pandemic, which he spoke about in the past tense.

He claimed to have ushered in a “medical miracle” with the production of two successful coronavirus vaccines and touted his work rolling back regulations and nominating hundreds of conservative federal judges that were confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate over his four years in office.

“What we have done has been amazing by any standard,” Trump told the crowd, which included outgoing White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsHow scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward MORE, members of his family, and other White House and campaign aides.

Trump did not mention Biden nor did he explicitly acknowledge that Biden won the election, but he said he wished the incoming administration luck.

“I will be watching, I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they will have great success. They have the foundation to do something very spectacular,” Trump said.

As he closed the remarks, Trump indicated he would maintain a public presence.

“A goodbye, we love you, we will be back in some form,” Trump said. “Have a good life, we will see you soon.”  

— Morgan Chalfant

'My Way' plays as Trump leaves on Air Force One

8:59 a.m.

Frank Sinatra's "My Way" is being played at Joint Base Andrews as President Trump leaves on Air Force One.

The moment created a strange spit-screen, as cable cameras also showed the scene outside the Washington, D.C., church where Joe Biden will pray before taking the oath of office later today.

— Ian Swanson

Thousands of National Guardsmen occupy Capitol complex

8:37 a.m. 

Hours before Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Capitol complex is swarming with National Guard troops exactly two weeks after a pro-Trump mob carried out an insurrection here that claimed five lives and injured countless others.

Dressed in military fatigues, Guard service members are occupying every corner of the sprawling complex — the Capitol itself plus surrounding House and Senate buildings — as well as patrolling the fenced-off grounds surrounding the area.

Inside the Dirksen Senate Building, dozens of troops, likely responsible for the overnight shift, could be seen sleeping in hallways and common areas, holding their weapons and often using their packs for pillows. 

Scores of others were standing in line waiting to grab a cup of coffee and a hot breakfast from the grill at the Dirksen cafeteria. 

Everyone attending today’s inauguration will need to pass through multiple layers of security screenings, as is typical during such events. But the sight of 25,000 Guardsmen protecting the Capitol has been jarring and unsettling on a day when power will be transferred from President Trump to Biden.  

— Scott Wong

Trump leaves White House for final time as president

8:17 a.m.

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President Trump left the White House for the final time just before 8:15 a.m., taking Marine One to Joint Base Andrews, where he will deliver a farewell speech to supporters.

Trump told reporters it has been a “great honor” to serve as president and said he just wanted to say “goodbye” as he departed the White House with first lady Melania Trump, adding he hoped it wouldn’t be a long goodbye.

Trump is skipping the inauguration of Biden in a break with historic tradition. Vice President Pence, other former presidents and officials will be in attendance to witness Biden and Harris being sworn in.

— Ian Swanson and Morgan Chalfant