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Harris, Emhoff bid Pences farewell from Capitol steps

Harris, Emhoff bid Pences farewell from Capitol steps
© Pool

Vice President Harris spoke briefly with her predecessor former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Pence to narrate Limbaugh documentary series for Fox Nation MORE on the steps of the Capitol as he and his wife left President Biden’s inauguration ceremony Wednesday. 

In what appeared to be a congenial sendoff, Harris and her husband, 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, were seen in video footage posted on Twitter exchanging words with Pence and former second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceCan a common bond of service unite our nation? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - House boots Greene from committees; Senate plows ahead on budget Pence announces post-White House office, plans to move back to Indiana MORE outside the Capitol.

The couples appeared to share a laugh, though it was not clear what was said between them. 

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Harris and Emhoff then remained on the steps and waved goodbye to the former vice president and his wife as they entered their vehicle to leave. 

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The exchange marked a moment of civility following Biden’s inaugural address in which he called for Americans to unite across the political spectrum. 

“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 after he took the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States. 

While Pence was present at the inauguration ceremony, former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE was not in attendance, having left for Mar-a-Lago earlier Wednesday morning. Trump arrived in West Palm Beach, Fla., moments before Biden took the oath of office. 

Following the 2020 election, Trump refused to concede the election to Biden, though he acknowledged he would no longer be president after a violent riot roiled the Capitol on Jan. 6. The mob of Trump supporters sought to halt Congress’s certification of Biden’s Electoral College win. 

Trump has been impeached by the House and faces a trial in the Senate. He is charged with "incitement of insurrection" at the Capitol. 

Pence spoke to Harris by phone last week to offer assistance ahead of the inauguration, and he also reportedly left a handwritten note for Harris at the White House, according to a source familiar with the decision.

The move by Pence marks a contrast to Trump, who broke tradition by never calling Biden or meeting with him following his election victory.

Former first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMissouri pastor faces backlash after suggesting wives should lose weight, strive to look like Melania Trump The 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 MORE also did not host incoming first lady Jill Biden for a traditional “tea and tour” at the White House to mark the transition of power.