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

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on the steps of the US Capitol after he was sworn in as the 46th US president.
  • President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in just before noon Wednesday.
  • Security was tight after the January 6 riot by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
  • Follow Insider's coverage of key moments and highlights of the historic day.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former President Donald Trump officially departed Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning and his successor, President Joe Biden, was sworn in shortly before noon.

Biden's inauguration marks a historic end to Trump's rocky presidency and a tumultuous transition period in which the outgoing president refused to acknowledge his election loss and incited a violent insurrection at the US Capitol that resulted in five deaths.

Watch the inauguration ceremony below:

Scroll down for live coverage of the event:

Biden enters White House as president
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President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden pose for photographs on the North Portico of the White House.

Biden officially entered the White House as president on Wednesday afternoon. He was joined shortly afterward by Harris. 

US presidents have traditionally invited their successors to the White House to meet before Inauguration Day. This is in addition to making sure that president-elects receive daily briefings and national security intelligence.

Trump, however, refused to acknowledge his election loss and not only delayed these critical briefings, but also didn't welcome Biden to the White House beforehand. The pair didn't meet or speak before Trump left for Florida ahead of the inauguration ceremony.

 

Harris, Emhoff, and their extended family walk down Pennsylvania Avenue
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Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (C) along with family members walk along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House in Washington, DC.

Shortly after, Harris walked into the White House for the first time in her new role as vice president.

Bidens walk to the White House
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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden along with their family walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Biden, with his family, walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Biden's inaugural committee hosted a virtual inaugural parade in lieu of the usual in-person festivities.

Biden, Harris, former presidents and former first ladies attend ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Congressional leaders present gifts to Biden and Harris
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi arrive in the Crypt of the US Capitol.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gifted Biden and Harris flags shortly after the inauguration.

Biden also signed three documents as part of inaugural tradition: an Inauguration Day proclamation, nominations for Cabinet positions, and nominations for sub-Cabinet positions.

 

Biden posts his first tweet as president
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Former Vice President Mike Pence, right, applauds as Joe Biden embraces first lady Jill Biden after being sworn in as the 46th president.

The official presidential Twitter accounts are now in the hands of the Biden administration.

"There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face," Biden tweeted Wednesday from his new Twitter account, @POTUS. "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 supporters celebrate in Washington, DC
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Supporters of President Joe Biden celebrate as they listen to him speak during the presidential inauguration.
Protesters gather at the Capitol during Biden's inauguration
Protesters near Union Station in Washington, DC

A small group of people holding anti-abortion and "Jesus saves" signs gathered north of the Capitol building. A man with the group yelled offensive and false attacks about Biden and Harris.

Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads a moving piece at the ceremony
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Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

"For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us," said Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet laureate whose historic speech has gone viral.

 

Garth Brooks sings "Amazing Grace"
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Garth Brooks performs "Amazing Grace" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Biden: 'We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured'
Biden speech
President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

"Let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another," Biden said in his inaugural speech after being sworn into office. "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured."

"Disagreement must not lead to disunion," he added. "I will be a president for all Americans. And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did."

Biden went on to call for a end to "this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal," adding, "We can do this if we can open our soul instead of hardening our hearts."

The president also said he would work to "repair" the US's global alliances.

"We will lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example," he said.

The Biden family embraces after the president's swearing-in
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President Joe Biden with his family First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley.
Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden, who was sworn in on his family's Bible
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President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

It was a large Bible.

Singer Jennifer Lopez performs "This Land Is Your Land" and "America, The Beautiful"
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Jennifer Lopez performs at President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in to office by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on a Bible that belonged to legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall
kamala harris inauguration
Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Harris "stands on the shoulders of so many on this platform who have forged the way to this day," Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said while paying tribute to the historic nature of the former California senator's position. "When she takes the oath of office, little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible."

Lady Gaga, a longtime Biden ally, sang the national anthem
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Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Biden and Lady Gaga worked together when he was vice president to campaign against sexual assault on college campuses.

Biden also introduced the singer at the 2016 Academy Awards.

 

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence attended Biden's inauguration
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Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence arrive to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The Pences were among several prominent Republicans who went to Biden's inauguration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also attended.

McConnell and McCarthy skipped Trump's departure ceremony and instead attended mass with Biden before the inauguration, while Pence missed Trump's departure due to logistical issues.

Trump lands in Florida
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Donald Trump gestures as he arrives at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

In his final hour as president, Trump issued a pardon to Albert Pirro Jr., the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.

Former presidents and first ladies attended the inauguration.
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Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama arrive to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush were all seen at Biden's inauguration ceremony.

Supreme Court justices arrive
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Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett arrives at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump-appointees Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were among the inauguration's attendees.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump's most loyal attack dogs on Congress, attended the inauguration
Rep. Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan.

"This is as close to pageantry as we get in America," Jordan told The Washington Post's Erik Wemple. "This day – this and the State of the Union address – I just think it's important that, that you attend those events."

Lawmaker says she and several other House Democrats wore body armor under their jackets at Biden's inauguration
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Flags decorate the National Mall ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump's most stalwart defenders, was seen arriving at the Capitol for Biden's inauguration
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Sen. Ted Cruz arrives to the inauguration.

Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley led the congressional crusade for Trump's effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Biden's motorcade was seen arriving on Capitol Hill shortly before 10:30 a.m. ET
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Preparations are made before inauguration.

 

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan was spotted arriving at Biden's inauguration ceremony
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Former House Speaker Paul Ryan arrives for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021.

Ryan had a rough tenure as House Speaker in the early days of the Trump presidency before he left public service.

 

Several thousand armed military personnel and law enforcement officials stood guard along an inner perimeter - an 8-foot tall fence topped with razor wire - surrounding the Capitol
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Soldiers stand guard as supporters of Joe Biden gather outside the Capitol building during the inauguration.

Biden's inauguration comes as the nation's capital is heavily fortified amid continued threats from Trump supporters to disrupt the transfer of power. Around 25,000 troops have been deployed to Washington, DC, ahead of the inauguration, which is more than the number of US service members in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The FBI warned law enforcement authorities that some violent extremists, including followers of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, may try to pose as guardsmen to get through security at the inauguration, USA Today reported, citing two people familiar with the briefing.

On Tuesday, a dozen National Guard members were removed from protecting the inauguration after authorities discovered questionable behavior. Two out of the 12 had possible ties to extremist groups, The New York Times reported.

After Trump departed on Air Force One, Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended a Catholic mass service at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral
Bidens church service
President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend services at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with Congressional leaders prior to the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony.

A number of congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, joined the Bidens, Harris, and Emhoff for the service. 

The former president and first lady waved a final goodbye from Air Force One before heading to Florida
Donald and Melania Trump
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.

The Trump family took off for Florida as Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played over the loudspeakers to the crowd assembled at Joint Base Andrews.

 

"We were not a regular administration," Trump said during a short speech touting his accomplishments
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President Donald Trump speaks before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.

"Have a good life, we will see you soon," Trump said as The Village People's "YMCA," one of his favorite songs at his campaign rallies, played over the loudspeakers. 

In his speech, Trump thanked Vice President Mike Pence (who was not present at his farewell event), and wished the incoming administration luck without mentioning President-elect Joe Biden by name. 

After saying goodbye to attendees, the Trump family boarded Air Force One and headed to Florida. 

A crowd, including members of Trump's family and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was waiting for him at Joint Base Andrews
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Ivanka Trump, husband Jared Kushner, their children, Eric Trump, and Donald Jr. and Trump family members stand on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Marine One did one final lap around Washington, DC.
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Marine One with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump passes the Washington Monument as it departs the White House.

The Trump family flew from the White House to Joint Base Andrews aboard Marine One.

Shortly before 8:15 a.m. ET, Trump and former first lady Melania walked across the South Lawn to Marine One with only a small crowd of reporters present to see them off
Trump Melania leaving
Outgoing President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak to reporters before leaving the White House.

 

Shortly before 8 a.m. ET, Marine One landed on the South Lawn to take Trump to Joint Base Andrews.
marine one white house trump biden
White House staff members carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump leaves the White House.

Trump's departure from the White House was slightly delayed as was his farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.

Previously...

Wednesday's proceedings will begin with remarks from Father Leo J. O'Donovan, the former president of Georgetown University and a longtime friend of the Biden family. The ceremony will feature performances from prominent celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, and will wrap up with a benediction from Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman.

In a stark contrast with previous presidential inaugurations, Trump and former first lady Melania Trump skipped Wednesday's inauguration.

Ahead of Wednesday's ceremonies, Biden made an emotional speech bidding farewell to his home state of Delaware and paying tribute to his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

"Excuse the emotion, but when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart," Biden said, in reference to the Irish poet James Joyce's famous quote in which he said Dublin was written on his heart.

Biden then mentioned Beau, saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret, that he isn't here, because we should be introducing him as president."

Trump, meanwhile, taped a 20-minute farewell speech that was posted to the White House's YouTube channel because the president has been banned on every major social media platform.

Though he acknowledged that Biden will take office on Wednesday, he did not mention his successor by name and did not concede that he lost the November general election.

"This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word," Trump said.

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