Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump will not be in attendance Wednesday to watch as his successor Joe Biden is sworn into office, but his absence will have little impact on what may be one of the most important moments of Inauguration Day, the handing off of the “nuclear football.”The “football,” which contains the equipment that Trump would use to authenticate his orders and launch a nuclear strike, is carried by a military aide who accompanies the President at all times — up to the second he officially leaves office on January 20.Typically, the football would be handed off to another military aide standing on or nearby the inauguration viewing stand as Biden takes his oath of office.
But on Wednesday, that exchange will happen a bit differently as Trump is currently expected to depart Washington, DC, for Florida before Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
The nuclear football will likely travel with him, experts say, meaning there will be at least two briefcases in different locations, presenting a unique challenge of ensuring the transfer of authority goes smoothly.
While that process may play out slightly differently than it has in years past, there are safeguards in place to ensure a seamless transition of nuclear control from one president to the next, regardless of circumstance, according to Stephen Schwartz, a nonresident senior fellow at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.
The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.
All 50 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) are on alert for possible violent protests this weekend, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
National Guard troops have been sent to Washington DC, to deter any repeat of last week’s deadly riots.
The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump supporters at all 50 state capitols.
In DC, Capitol Police arrested an armed man at a security checkpoint.
Police confirmed on Saturday that a Virginia man had been arrested a day earlier with two handguns and 509 rounds of ammunition, as he tried to access a restricted area near the Capitol in a pick-up truck.
He was carrying a “non-government issued credential”, police said.
Responding on Twitter, Representative Don Beyer of Virginia said “the danger is real”, and urged people to avoid the Capitol area.The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
President Joe Biden will have both houses of Congress in his corner — by some of the narrowest margins in history — but that is not a free pass, experts say.
“Unified government isn’t enough to let a party pass their legislative dreams into reality,” James Curry, a congressional scholar at the University of Utah, told The Post.
When Georgia’s runoff races flipped two red Senate seats blue Tuesday, Congress’s upper body split 50-50. With soon-to-be-veep Kamala Harris as Senate tie-breaker, Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer will assume operational control — but only barely.
“The Georgia results make Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jon Tester of Montana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia the most powerful people in America,” said Ryan Girdusky, a writer on populist politics.
As the most moderate Democrats in the Senate, they’ll be deal-breakers on party lefties’ most progressive agenda items. And with their staunch support of the filibuster — the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to pass most legislation — Schumer’s bills can’t be too extreme for at least 10 Republicans’ liking.
Executive Orders on climate and more
With no help from Congress, Biden will unilaterally sign back on to the Paris Climate Accords, rejoin the World Health Organization, end travel restrictions on some Muslim countries, and reinstate DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects young illegal immigrants.“Trump got those things and more done through executive orders and regulatory changes,” said David Lublin, a professor at American University. “Biden will follow Trump’s lead.”
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump tweeted, making formal what many had long assumed: that Trump would eschew the traditional step of personally demonstrating the peaceful hand-off of power to President-elect Joe Biden. He’ll be the first outgoing president to skip his replacement’s inauguration in more than 150 years.It came as Trump faces an uncertain final stretch in office. His top aides delivered a blunt warning to him Thursday as he sat sullenly in the West Wing and watched as his Republican allies, Cabinet secretaries and former senior staffers criticized or denounced him one by one.His daughter Ivanka Trump, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, chief of staff Mark Meadows and others told Trump there was a real chance he would be removed from office — whether by his own Cabinet or lawmakers — if he did not more forcefully denounce the actions of his supporters who attacked the US Capitol the day before.Trump did not initially want to issue a video decrying the loyalists whose actions he largely supported — and whom he said he “loved” a day earlier — but he told aides to prepare a speech and then he would decide.Once he read over the brief script they had prepared, Trump agreed to record it Thursday evening — a relief to the senior staff, though concerns lingered he could backtrack during his final days in office given his actual position has remained unchanged: that he lost the election unfairly.
China just landed a spaceship on the moon – the same China that Joe Biden, as recently as May, claimed represents “no competition for us.”
Robert Gates, secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama, has written that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Add underestimating China to the list.
While senator or vice president, Biden’s bad impulses – like opposing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – had little impact. But, assuming he becomes president, his wrongheaded instincts will put our nation at risk, especially when it comes to dealing with China.
Biden’s inability to rein in an increasingly belligerent China starts with his naïve confidence in the United Nations, which has done exactly nothing to punish Beijing for its military aggressions, its widespread theft of Western know-how or its illegal crackdown in Hong Kong.
Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned Biden in a recent briefing that China may well move to take back Taiwan, using its increased military capacity to shower “Taiwan with rockets.” He asked, “Are you really prepared to fight for Taiwan?”
The tweet didn’t sit well with several critics, including Ian Bremmer, president of consulting firm Eurasia Group, who accused Kelly of missing an opportunity to participate in, at the very least, an attempt to encourage unity in a fractured nation.
“Maybe a good time for everyone with influence to try leading by example,” Bremmer wrote. “That means responsibility for what we each write. Respectfully, @megynkelly, you can do better.”
Kelly then tangled with a former Obama speechwriter, who hammered her as “truly pathetic” for her jab at Biden and accused her of sounding “like Donald Trump spreading conspiracies about a basement.”
Again, she hit back:
A born internationalist, Blinken will seek to soothe the frayed nerves of western allies
Tax filings revealed Joe Biden’s cancer charity took in millions of dollars but devoted none of that money to grants or actual cancer research. Newly discovered federal tax data shows the charity paid out $3 million of their $4.8 million in staff salaries.
Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, established the organization in 2017 to help develop treatments for cancer. However, the charity reportedly never gave out a single grant to research funds.
Additionally, multiple former Obama administration health officials received salaries from the charity, which exceeded the amounts they were making during their time at the White House.
The group’s president, Gregory Simon, was one of the highest earners in the company. He raked in almost $430,000 in the 2018 fiscal year, which doubled his nearly $224,000 salary of 2017.
Spokespersons for the group have stated the main point of the charity was not to give out grants, however, its mission statement remains ambiguous, stating the company will provide “urgent” solutions to the treatment and prevention of cancer.
The charity quickly fell apart after just two years of operations in 2019, following Biden’s decision to focus on running for the President.
Now, the charity has paused operations and Simon said without the Biden’s at the helm it has become increasingly difficult to gain traction.
By Charles Lipson:
It’s important to remember that conventional wisdom is not always wise. It emerges, after all, from a cloistered echo chamber in New York City and Washington, D.C., and is constantly reinforced, not corrected, by the chattering class that promotes it. This insularity was perfectly captured by Pauline Kael’s puckish comment after Richard Nixon’s landslide reelection. The New Yorker’s famed film critic was an early observer of America’s growing culture gap. “I only know one person who voted for Nixon,” she said. “Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”
Today, elites smell them. That is what disgraced FBI man Peter Strzok actually said after a trip to Walmart, and he and his ilk recoil, naturally, from the plebian aroma. But theirs is the nose of a sommelier, not a hunting dog. It failed to sniff out the social movement that elected Donald Trump in 2016, and today it is missing the rage sweeping about half the country. The fury comes from folks who don’t subscribe to the New York Times, let alone the New Yorker, and who don’t habituate yoga studios while carrying NPR tote bags, either. These “deplorables,” to use one memorable description, watch pro football, know when deer season begins, and think they are being badly governed by an unelected caste whose education, expertise, and ideology have not improved the lives of ordinary Americans. They are convinced that corporate suits who are currently lecturing them about race relations have outsourced their jobs and used the profits to buy political influence, as well as grandiose mansions. They know in their gut that this elite class has only contempt for them.
They knew it when they looked at Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, and Beto O’Rourke (but not Bernie Sanders). They like Joe Biden a lot better, perhaps even enough to lift him over the finish line. Joe himself recognizes this appeal and trades on it, emphasizing his working-class roots in Scranton, Pa. When voters think of the tragedies he has suffered, they do more than sympathize. They recognize that pain like his is the great leveler of the human condition. It makes him one with all of us who suffer and still try to live on.
But their doubts about Biden are rising as they learn more about corruption scandals surrounding Joe’s son Hunter and brother, Jim. The conventional wisdom — on both right and left, among political strategists in both parties — is that voters care much more about the economy and COVID-19. That’s correct. They do, and the polls show it. But that doesn’t mean the scandals are irrelevant. They matter politically for several reasons, all of them bad for Joe Biden. They imply the following:
- Biden is just another grifting politician who got rich in office;
- Uncle Joe’s persona as average, lower-middle class guy is just a cover story;
- His self-enrichment makes him the “Washington Swamp” incarnate, no different from all the other politicians turned lobbyists; and
- The media is so crooked it won’t honestly tell the public about these problems, lest they vote the wrong way.
More masks, more tests, more scientists: Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election will flip the United States’ coronavirus pandemic response to what doctors and scientists hope will be a long-overdue, full-throated, nationally coordinated effort that will save lives.
But the president-elect is being handed an unprecedented health crisis with no easy fixes. On his predecessor’s watch, the coronavirus infected upwards of 9 million Americans and killed more than 237,000. Access to a vaccine is likely months away. Public confidence in federal health agencies has eroded.
Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are surging across the country, more than two months before Biden will take office.And despite winning the election, Biden will need to persuade the 70 million-plus people who voted for Trump to accept his more aggressive strategy to combat the pandemic.
Any COVID relief funding he’ll want to pass to boost the economy will depend on a deeply divided Congress, with control of the Senate resting in the hands of Georgia voters in a double runoff in January.But with Biden in charge, the country at least has a chance of containing the outbreak, according to medical experts. They expect to see a night-and-day difference between him and President Donald Trump, who told the world not to fear the virus even when he was infected with it.
The Trump administration’s strategy consisted mostly of banking on a vaccine while giving up on preventing or slowing infections, flouting the guidance of his own top federal health officials.In contrast, Biden “respects scientists, he respects doctors,” Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, told BuzzFeed News. “That’s something that will be refreshing, for sure.”
The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris campaign announced more information Sunday about its planned Monday “barnstorm” of Pittsburgh and the state.Former Vice President Joe Biden will mainly visit western Pennsylvania, with a canvas kickoff in nearby Beaver County, a Pittsburgh drive-in event with Black community members, as well as a final Pittsburgh drive-in event with his wife Jill and pop star Lady Gaga.
Jill Biden will go to a canvas kickoff in Erie, a rural get-out-the-vote event in Lawrence County, a get-out-the-vote event in Allegheny County with suburban women and the Pittsburgh drive-in event.
Exact times and locations are to be announced.
The Bidens’ visit to Pittsburgh follows several Saturday events from Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary. He visited Oakland’s Schenley Plaza and held events in nearby Washington and Hampton Township.
- Joe Biden ended up getting tongue-tied during a rally in Michigan on Saturday
- Just as he was about to lay a blow against Trump about healthcare he ended up tripping over his words as described it as ‘badakathcare’
- Biden has made a number of gaffs during the campaign, but so has Donald Trump who has regularly mispronounced words throughout his presidency
Speaking to a socially distanced crowd in Philadelphia, Biden said: “I was very happy to have the moniker of being known as Pennsylvania’s third senator.
“I know Philadelphia well. I married a Philly girl by the way.”
Biden’s supporters immediately started honking horns in their vehicles to show their approval.
Then, looking down at his jacket, Biden adds, “by the way I got my Eagles jacket on.”
This public blunder prompted a swift rebuke on Twitter.
Zach Parkinson, the deputy director of communications for President Donald Trump’s campaign, tweeted: “This ‘Eagles’ jacket Biden claims he’s wearing to try and show how much he’s in touch with Pennsylvania?
“It’s a Delaware Blue Hens jacket.”
Biden attended the University of Delaware, graduating from the institution in 1965 with a double major in history and political science.He wrote about playing in the uni’s freshman football team in his memoir Promises to Keep.
The New York Post began running a series of exposés expanding the public scope of Biden family corruption based on material from a laptop retrieved from a Delaware repair shop. The computer, suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden, was first found by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who then turned its contents over to the authorities and the Post.
Here’s everything you need to know about the bombshells altering the dynamics of an already contentious race two weeks out.
Questions about the former vice president’s son’s overseas business activity had been present for years but attracted wider attention over last fall’s sham impeachment when Democrats went nuclear to protect their presidential frontrunner from close scrutiny. The Democratic witch trial ultimately backfired with Republicans emerging triumphantly from the partisan proceedings, during which important information emerged that pivoted the focus back on Biden.
Joe Biden went on to brag about the role he played in Shokin’s ousting during a 2018 event with the publication Foreign Affairs. Biden said he threatened to withhold $1 billion in loans to the Ukrainian government if they did not fire the prosecutor looking into Burisma.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in’ — I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling the Ukrainian president at the time. “Well son of a b-tch, he got fired.”
In September, Senate investigators released a long-anticipated report wrapping up a more than three-year investigation into the Biden family’s conflicts of interest while in the upper echelons of government. The Senate’s findings include an alleged $7 million bribe that Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky paid to Ukrainian officials to shut down an investigation of the firm following Hunter Biden’s hiring. The payment set off red flags in the State Department and the Justice Department, which referred it to the FBI.
“I raised my concerns that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest,” Kent told House members during a private deposition last year. “The message that I recall hearing back was that the vice president’s son Beau was dying of cancer and that there was no further bandwidth to deal with family-related issues at that time… That was the end of that conversation.”
Since jumping into the presidential race last year, former Vice President Biden has vehemently denied ever discussing his son’s overseas business ventures with his son, “or with anyone else,” and even fat-shamed an Iowa voter pressing him on the issue during a December town hall.
Less than three weeks before the general election 10 months later, the New York Post dropped its first bombshell report on Oct. 14 revealing emails that contradict Joe Biden’s repeated denials of discussing his son’s business. The emails show that Hunter Biden introduced his vice president father to a Burisma senior adviser named Vadym Pozharski and the three had an in-person meeting.
Yet throughout the entire election, the former vice president maintained, “I don’t discuss business with my son.”
Hunter Biden’s business in Ukraine, however, only tells half the developing story of the Biden family’s apparent pay-to-play dealings.