The Latest: Biden speech to look forward, not dwell on Trump News Staff

WASHINGTON — The Latest on Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration (all times local):

7:45 a.m.

Two of the Biden administration’s top communications officials are describing the incoming president’s inaugural address as a forward-looking speech that will make little to no mention of his predecessor.

Communications director Kate Bedingfield told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that President-elect Joe Biden’s address would “speak to the moment that we are in, but it will also lay out a vision for the future.”

Biden press secretary Jen Psaki tells CNN that Biden’s inaugural address is “definitely not a speech about Donald Trump” and she “wouldn’t expect” to hear about him in it.

Bedingfield says Biden had not had any contact with the outgoing president.

Asked why Biden had invited political opponents including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to join him at a Mass on Wednesday morning, Psaki said it “felt important to him personally to have members of both parties … and use that as an example to the American public.”

Bedingfield says Biden will sign 15 executive orders in some of his first moves as president.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JOE BIDEN’S INAUGURATION AS THE 46TH U.S. PRESIDENT:

Joe Biden swears the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States, taking the helm of a deeply divided nation and inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.

Read more:

— On Day One, Biden to undo Trump policies on climate, virus

— Biden’s first act: Orders on pandemic, climate, immigration

— Biden charts new US direction, promises many Trump reversals

— DC on lockdown and on edge before Biden’s inauguration

— Vice-President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

— Analysis: For Biden, chance to turn crisis into opportunity

— What to Watch: An inauguration unlike any other amid pandemic, unrest

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

7:35 a.m.

As the sun rose over Washington’s Freedom Plaza between the U.S. Capitol and the White House ahead of Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, clusters of soldiers in full battle fatigues clustered inside metal barriers erected to restrict access to the procession route.

Some yellow placards on the barriers read “Biden-Harris 2021,” while others carried the seal of the presidency or inaugural insignias. American and District of Columbia flags flapped in high winds.

Traffic has been blocked off nearby in all directions. Revelers have been told to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Most offices in the surrounding buildings are closed, many boarded up with plywood to prevent damage in case violence breaks out Wednesday.

But one tall office building in view of the procession route has been fitted with towering signs reading “Welcome, Mr. President” and “Welcome Madam Vice-President,” for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

After being sworn in, Biden is set to inspect the readiness of military troops in a traditional “pass in review.”

The Associated Press




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