tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 19, 2021 10:00am-11:01am PST
fear. unity of purpose over conflict and discord. thanks for joining us today. i'll see you tomorrow during our special coverage of the biden inaugural. don't go anywhere. brianna keilar picks up our coverage right now. i'm anderson cooper alongside brianna keilar. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, this is special live coverage of a historic 48 hours in american history. >> the end of one presidency, the start of a new one, but this transfer of power is unprecedented in a country divided like never before in modern times. washington, d.c. is under lockdown with streets and bridges closed. >> two weeks earlier, the
capitol was stormed. normally it's a peaceful display of transfer of power. 25,000 national guard troops are on the streets to help a peaceful transfer of power. mitch mcconnell talked about the capitol. >> reporter: the last tiwo week the capitol was stormed. the mob was fed lies. they were invoked by the president and other powerful people. and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. the elections did not hand any side a mandate for sweeping idealogical change. americans elected a closely divided senate, a closely divided house and a presidential candidate who said he'd represent everyone.
>> soon you will see joe biden speak in his final hours as president-elect as he travels to washington. we'll, of course, bring that to you live. we're also staying on top of president trump's final day in office. he is expected to issue dozens of pardons and we have new details on both. but we begin now with some breaking news. a major arrest in the siege on the capitol. an apparent leader of a far right extremist group. it is the first time federal prosecutors have levied a significant conspiracy charge connected to the riot. the justice department is charging this virginia man who is a leader of the oathkeepers with, quote, planning and coordinating the capitol breach. cnn senior justice correspondent evan perez is with us live on this story. evan, tell us, who is this man and was he at the capitol on january 6th? >> brianna, he helped organize these people called the oathkeepers. this is a far right militant group that the fbi says was very much involved in sort of a
command and control aspects of the this ooperation. he led about eight to ten people, he scoped out hotels, and he essentially helped direct some of the operation you saw in some of those videos. his name is thomas caldwell. he's 65 years old from virginia. he's charged with four counts, including the conspiracy charge which you pointed out. now, what you're seeing play out in court documents is an effort by prosecutors to tiptoe towards this sedition charge. we've heard from mike sherwin, the acting attorney here in washington, that that is the goal. they want to bring sedition conspiracy charges against some of these people, because that is what happened on january 6. so what you're seeing in some of these court papers, including against mr. caldwell, is this idea that there was a broader planning operation that led to the violence that happened on january 6. he's charged along with two other so-called oathkeepers.
again, this is a group that is on the far right, they're militants, they believe that the government is in some sort of conspiracy to take away their rights, and they specialize, brianna, in recruiting members of the military, people with training, and some of that you can see in the videos and the pictures that we saw emerge from january 6. >> yeah, they want training and people with access to weapons. it's no coincidence. evan perez, thank you so much for your report. anderson? >> we're also learning two army national guard members were just removed from inauguration duty. this is a result of that vetting process of all 25,000 members deployed to the nation's capitol to ensure no one was tied to extreme u.s. groups. it's not clear at this time exactly why the two soldiers were removed or if they knew each other. but as these men are being vetted, some members of qanon have said they are going to pose as members of the national guard
to impose the ceremony. what does the fbi know about these potential plans? >> followers of the conspiracy theory qanon who talked and discussed about coming here to washington, d.c., some of whom, anderson, had been here at the january 6 riots at the capitol, coming here and posing as national guard troops. as you said, there are 25,000 national guard troops expected to be on the capitol grounds. you've seen these people want to be g.i. joes in this military guard. to the untrained eye, many of them could get away with it, so forces on the street are keeping a keen eye for anybody who is not wearing the right uniform. that was according to the "washington post" reporting on an fbi intelligence briefing that took place yesterday. but there are no specific threats that we know of. what the fbi has said, the director of the fbi, chris wray, said they are picking up concerning online chatter, but no specific threats.
now, there is this extraordinary security presence here on the streets of d.c. where what you're looking at here is the national guard as well as police on pennsylvania avenue. this street goes straight to the capitol. we should note this is just shy of five square miles, according to the mayor's office. that is a very concentrated area that represents less than 7% of the entire city, so the concern that we've heard from secret service and from the mayor is that because all of this security, all this extraordinarily high security is centered down here on the capitol, around other federal buildings, that that leaves much of the rest of the city vulnerable, more than 90% of it. so the mayor has said, secret service has said there could be other targets in the city, and that is something that was mentioned in that intelligence briefing according to the "post" that these qanon followers were sharing and downloading maps of other sensitive areas in d.c. the mayor of d.c. has also said
that could lead people, this high intensity in security, could lead people to attack state capitals around the country. but beyond what you're seeing in the streets, we have bridges and streets that have been shut down, boats in the potomac river, subways that have been shut down. an extraordinary level of security for this inauguration. anderson, you did touch on the vetting of the national guard. we have those two national guard troops who were kicked out of their inauguration duties. we have heard confidence from the top of the pentagon, from the acting secretary of defense chris miller, saying that there is no intelligence indicating that there is any sort of insider threat among these 25,000 troops. obviously now we're seeing two examples of that. the fbi leading the vetting of all of these troops ahead of the inauguration tomorrow. this inauguration historic on so many levels including, anderson, beefed security preparations. >> hard to vet 25,000 people in such a short amount of time.
alex marquardt, appreciate it. i want to talk about laura coats. let's talk about the conspiracy charge. this is a man who appears to be a leader of the so-called group oathkeepers. he was in charge of planning and coordinating the breach. how serious are tohose charges? >> very serious. a conspiracy charge could give you 25 years and it doesn't give you the actual crime, what you were conspiring to do. if you have a conspiracy charge, you can try to charge the co-conspirators and there is much less of a high evidentiary bar about getting their statements in. it also invites more scrutiny, not only if you committed the actual crime that you conspired to plan, but if anyone committed what's called an overt act in furtherance of it, then everyone
can be held liable unless somebody alerted the authorities or anything else. we don't have any evidence of anyone trying to withdraw and invites cooperation of co-conspirators. >> does it create a legal opening for the federal government to scrutinize the oathkeepers and other groups beyond just their actions on january 6? >> it could, if the conspiracy is more than just a planning of that particular event, but a coordinated event of a series of things. maybe there was a domino effect intended in some way. you don't have to accomplish what you planned in order to be held liable for it if what you're planning is unlawful. this could be the opening of an investigation of any conduct that they were engaged in or planning for past events, future events, even ones that have not yet been realized. it will also open up to figure out just how extensive is this web of the oathkeepers and what have they engaged in? has there been some other form of exploitation or moderate
behavior? the magnifying glass is on, justifiably so. >> what does this do for president trump? >> if he was a co-conspirator, but there are many people right now following some sort of directive. does that mean the directive, the ringleader is president trump, or was it this person who was arrested? it does enable the investigators to figure out who were the main ringleaders and what directive they were following. it could help to exonerate president trump to some extent if they find they were actually following this person as the ringleader. then again, it could lead to more reliability on president trump if they find out he was somehow part and parcel to the overall plan. >> laura coates, appreciate it. brianna? president-elect biden's daughter is speaking today about first lady melania trump and her
failure to reach out to her mother, the incoming first lady, jill biden, during the lead-up here to the inauguration. ashley biden says that her mother has not heard from mrs. trump in the course of the transition, which usually includes customary interactions during this handover period from one administration to the next. the most visible of which is for the sitting president and first lady to greet the incoming first couple and give them a tour of the white house. the obamas graciously provided these kurtcourtesies to the trun their inauguration day in 2017 as did first families before them. >> i don't think what they're doing is traditional protocol, which is unfortunate, but i think we're all okay with it. well, i will not have a job with the administration. i will, however, hopefully use this platform to advocate for social justice, for mental health to be involved in community development. >> cnn political correspondent
mj lee is in delaware following president-elect biden. mj, tell us, it is a different kind of year. what are jill biden's plans in the final hour before her husband becomes president? >> we should see the president-elect saying goodbye to delaware. this is where he spent the majority of his time as he finished out the campaign, the dnc was held here, and frkof coe his transition work has been based here in wilmington the last couple months of the pandemic. after that he is going to head down to washington, d.c. initially he had really hoped he could make that trip via the amtrak train, a train ride he has taken so many times throughout the course of his career, but they are no longer doing that because of heightened security concerns. once he arrives in washington, d.c. this evening, we should be seeing him and vice president-elect kamala harris attend a memorial of sorts at the lincoln memorial reflecting
pool. this is to honor the many, many lives that have been lost in america to the covid-19 pandemic, and is sure to set a very somber tone as he prepares to take the oath of presidency tomorrow. and i do want to make a note about his schedule tomorrow morning as well in washington, d.c. we know that he is going to be attending church sfervices and e actually invited members of the congressional leadership to join him, and among those joining him are republicans kevin mccarthy. they are going to show unity and respect, something joe biden has not received from the out going president, president trump. brianna? >> mj lee, thank you so much. anderson? the president is spending his last few hours in isolation. he has enot been seen for a wee. he is skipping joe biden's inauguration, foregoing formalities.
president obama extended those formalities to him in 2016. what is pluresident trump doingn his last full day as president? >> he's been saying his goodbyes to his staff, preparing these pardons, he's preparing for a sendoff we'll see at andrews air force base tomorrow morning. as he prepares to leave office in less than 24 hours, anderson, one of the things we can tell you right now as we're speaking is they're start to go set up for some of the television coverage for joe biden's inauguration. that is why you see the bright lights over my shoulder and some of the tv lights coming in. it's like your house being renovated for the next homeowner while you're still living in that house. that is what donald trump is going through right now. he is watching all these organization preps unfold in front of him in realtime. the list of pardons we're expecting to see by the end of today, perhaps into the wee hurz
-- hours of tomorrow, inauguration day, we're not expecting to see the president pardon himself, we're not expecting him to pardon his own children, but we're hearing that he's been agonizing over whether or not to give his former chief strategist, steve bannon, the conservative fire chief, a pardon. one of the reasons why, i'm told by a source, is that the president believes steve bannon has been one of the conservatives defending trump right up to the very end. it will be interesting to see weather steve bannon makes it on that pardon list. we're told he's not expected to be on that list, but the president has been agonizing over this. in terms of this departure ceremony tomorrow, as you and i have been speaking about this, white house aides have been trying to make this a sendoff you would see for a departing head of state leaving washington. they've been trying to send out invitations to people to bring guests to the ceremony, but people like the former white house chief of staff john kelly,
the other former chief of staff reince priebus, they're not expected to attend this ceremony. on top of that, i'm hearing from former senior administration officials, anderson, that they just have mixed feelings about whether or not to attend this departure ceremony for trump. they feel like this presidency is ending on a very sour note, on a very violent note, some of these officials feel, and they don't want to go to this departure ceremony because they don't want to be seen as being associated with this president. it's a terrible way for president trump to go out, but he's invited it, anderson. >> it's shocking that he would invite kelly, who he has bad-mouthed. i'm not sure his level of loyalty to this president. is mike pence going to attend? >> reporter: that is something we're trying to get to the bottom of. i've been told by a couple sources close to the vice
president that it is going to be difficult logistically for the vice president to attend this departure ceremony, so signs are pointing to no, that we may not see vice president pence at that departure ceremony at joint base andrews. one thing we should point out, anderson, there will be some sort of departure or sendoff for the president over here on the south lawn of the white house. the president will depart on marine one. i'm hearing he could potentially do a flyover of washington as he heads to joint base andrews. they're saying at the white house that is not unlike you've seen other former presidents do on their last day in office. of course, the president has maybe extended all these courtesies, but he's not extending the courtesy of attending joe biden's inauguration. he and his wife melania trump are not extending that courtesy of inviting the bidens into the white house for that tour that we see every four years or every eight years when a new president comes into office, and so the president is going to be extended all these courtesies, all this pomp and circumstance,
even though he is leaving office as this disgraced figure who obviously is not doing what so many presidents have done before. >> it's extraordinary to think he might fly over washington, d.c., and he will be getting a bird's-eye view of the terror that has been wrought and the lockdown that is in place because of his lies. >> reporter: that's right. in a country that's rejecting him at moment. >> jim acosta, thank you very much. >> sure. president trump is walking out of the white house tomorrow and leaving in his wake a country that hasn't been this divided since the civil war. plus, as the nation is poised here on president trump's final day in office to cross the grim milestone of 400,000 americans dead from coronavirus. there is new cnn reporting that the biden team fears they're not being told everything they need to know from the trump administration. moments from now, the president-elect speaking live on
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go pro and get double the protein for just $2 more. when president trump departs the white house tomorrow, he will leave behind a legacy of division. the capitol riot that he helped to incite with his rhetoric and lies will be the symbol of his four years in office. senior editor for the atlantic, he just wrote a piece for cnn.com that makes the case that president trump leaves america in its most divided since the civil war. ron, it's always good to see you and that is a scary headline
there. but is this something, the division, did president trump create did or did he just exploit it? >> he accelerated it and he took it in new directions. we have one longstanding issue that long predates him, which is the idealogical and geographic and demographic sorting out of the parties. there is no question, really, going back to the late 1980s the parties have pulled apart. they have bigger differences in their voter base who they represent, what they want for their country. you see that reflected in the decreasing ability of presidents in either party to win support across the aisle for what they want to do. that's a longstanding trend. but under president trump, not only did that accelerate, but he also provided oxygen to the far right extremists at the fringe of the republican coalition, and he accelerated within the mainstream of the public coalition a willingness to use anti-democratic means to try to maintain power in a country demographically evolving away from him. i think if you talk to experts
in democracy, it's that new element, the centering of anti-democratic sentiment and activity inside one of our major political parties that makes this moment so frought. >> ron, just last hour, this is more than two weeks now after the incitement at the capitol, senator mitch mcconnell put blame on president trump and members of his other parties that objected to the election results. >> we have just reclaimed the capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop congress from doing our duty. the mob was fed lies. they were provoked by the president and other powerful people. and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. >> ron, you can't help but listen to what mcconnell says
there and think about this looming impeachment trial. does it tell you anything about what to expect from senate republicans? >> well, there are two points. one is that it is important that senate majority leader mcconnell is saying these hethings and drawing these lines, but you can't ignore his role in getting the party and the country to this point. donald trump did not get to the point of january 6 overnight and he did not get there alone. he got there because in four years in which he took a succession of actions that pushed the rule of law, that weaponized the postal service, tilt the census, everything that happened after the election to undermine the election, and he pushed further and further in large part because republicans in congress refused to sanction or constrain him any step of the way. so he did not get here alone. but mcconnell's comments do signal that this, in fact, may be a breaking point for some of them.
if you look at the polling, it is true that three-quarters of republicans say that trump won the election, it was stolen, they see nothing wrong with how he's behaving. that's an ominous number for the stability of society, but if a quart either or a fifth of republicans are uneasy with the party, that's an extreme number for election politics. >> do you think with the country being as divided as it is, ron, that joe biden can make progress on uniting the country? >> to a point, yeah. obviously there are -- as we talked about at the beginning, there are longstanding structural changes in the electorate that makes it much harder for a president to win voters in the other party. but there is no question that we have seen, starting in 2019 and 2020, first of all, a share of voters that leaned republican being uncomfortable with the trump definition of the party and pulling away, particular until those white collar suburbs
oup outside the major cities where trump declined even more than he did in other cities. and this by mcconnell and murkowski does perhaps make for a broader band of those voters, the question of whether they still believe they belong in the same coalition with people with furry pelts and zip ties and stormed the capitol and are being encouraged by the president and, indeed, members of congress. i think a portion of the coalition may be unusually loosened by these events and willing to give biden a hearing. it will depend how he plays his hand and how republicans in congress play their hand. if they fall into lockstep opposition to everything he wants to do, will some voters see that as an attempt to continue to brand him as illegitimate by other means? >> ron, it's a great new columnment thanks for being with
high expectations but also largely positive marks for how he's been handling the transition. a brand new cnn poll is out giving a brand new look at how many americans are viewing biden right now. talk to me more about what americans are thinking about how biden is handling this. >> two new american polls, 66% approve of how biden is handling this transition, 29% disapprove. biden is in the category with bill clinton and george w. bush, clinton at 67%, bush at 61%. they are not down here at 40% which is where the country had donald trump's approval rating four years ago. one thing to note, anderson, joe biden's favorability rating is
at 59%. that is a high water mark for joe biden in 2008 when he was elected vice president. >> i also understand you're hearing from people what kind of job they think president-elect joe biden will do. >> six out of ten americans think he'll do a good job. 59% say he'll do a good job, 38% say he'll do a poor job. take a look at specific initiatives and you see the vast majority of americans think he'll get it accomplished. 83% say he's going to get the additional stimulus pass, 74% restore relations with allies around the world, 70% say the 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days promised will be delivered upon. 64% establishing a public option for health care in america for obamacare. they think that will get done. the one place of joe biden's agenda, reducing the political divide in america. 44% say he'll get that. a majority, 53%, do not think he'll be able to accomplish
reducing the political division in america. bill challenge for him. >> david chalian, appreciate it. brianna? anderson, we have more breaking news. capitol riot investigators are narrowing in on extremist groups and military coordination as the investigations come in. it is unclear whether vice president pence will attend president trump's departure ceremony as invitations are getting rejected by former staffers. aaaand welcome back to guess the price. sal. what do you do? oh, i'm a retired postal worker. fantastic. are you ready to play? oh, heck yeah. ok johnny, tell him about eargo. these top of the line hearing aids from eargo are straight out of the future. they're rechargeable and virtually invisible in your ears
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at any moment president-elect joe biden will deliver remarks before departing his home state for the inauguration as the president spends his final day in seclusion. joining me now is gloria borger, nia-malika henderson. gloria, this is going to be an incredibly historic 48 hours in our nation's capitol and for our country. >> it is. i don't think -- i know we haven't seen anything like this before. you have a country paralyzed by a pandemic and a nation on edge as they worry about the possibility of violence during an inauguration. you have a country politically divided, a sitting president who
refuses to attend the inauguration of the person who will succeed him. it is quite remarkable because what we are used to in this country is a peaceful transfer of power, and washington, d.c. right now looks like a fortress. and so i think the pictures will tell everything. and i think, you know, you have a president who wants a great sendoff that he's probably not going to get as big as he wants. and you have a nation waiting to hear what joe biden has to say, because we know what he wants to do is unite the country, and there are a lot of people really skeptical about that. >> nia-malika, what do you make of what mitch mcconnell did on the senate floor, blaming president trump for the riot and saying it was based on a lie? >> well, listen, he spoke the truth. here's a man in mitch mcconnell who basically made lots of excuses for donald trump over these last four years, but at this point with this president going out of office, at this
point in what we all saw and witnessed at the capitol on our televisions, mitch mcconnell is speaking the truth. what that means for what mitch mcconnell does going forward in terms of convicting this president and what the other republicans do, whether or not they're going to be able to amass 17 republicans to rebuke this president, to convict him and to ultimately say he can't run for office ever again, that remains to be seen. from what we have seen from these republicans, they already seem to be making noises that, oh, maybe it's unconstitutional to convict a president that's no longer in office. i think we in some ways see the same behavior we've seen all along, which is them going along with donald trump because of the hold he has on republicans nationally. but we are really in for it in terms of this dueling kind of, you know, split screen of joe biden trying to enact his
agenda, get cabinet officials confirmed as well as an impeachment that will unfold in the next days in this country once nancy pelosi sends that impeachment article over to the senate. so a real historic time. average americans have real anticipation about tomorrow. there is fear, as gloria is saying. i'm sitting in the capitol here and had to go through a military checkpoint to come into the office. but i also think americans want to hope again, right? they want to be able to look forward to something, they want to look forward to covid being handled in a way that it hasn't been so far, a smoother vaccine rollout. you saw in those polls that david rolled out there, there are americans who feel hopeful about joe biden getting his agenda passed even though they are less hopeful about one of the things that joe biden wants to do, which is to bring the country together and bridge that political divide. so that is going to be a big challenge for this incoming
president, and we'll see what he says in his inaugural tomorrow about it. >> can i just add something onto what nia is saying? what mitch mcconnell said to me was remarkable, because here is a man who has supported donald trump. we know that personally he doesn't love him, but he actually said the mob was provoked by donald trump and that it was fed lies. we know that privately he has told people that what donald trump committed was an impeachable offense, and how will this affect how he manages that debate on the floor for impeachment and what stand he eventually takes and what impact he will have on other republicans, i think we're seeing this today. this is further than he has ever gone, and i think he's sending some kind of signal, perhaps, about what he's going to do on the floor of the senate. >> arlette, i wonder what we can expect from biden here in the lead-up to the inauguration, and also what his goal is going to
be during his speech which, no doubt, is going to stand in stark contrast to what we heard from president trump four years ago. >> reporter: well, i think what you are likely to see from the president-elect in just a short bit is a sendoff, a farewell to the state that brought him here to washington where he served for 36 years in the senate. but the president-elect will also, a little bit later today, as he flies down here to washington, he will be coming to a very different washington reality than when he left the white house just four years ago. the country is more divided than ever in this moment, and in his inaugural address, he is really expected to touch on those tones of unity, trying to bring the country together amid this crisis of not just the pandemic but also that insurrection we saw up on capitol hill just last week. you'll remember from the start
of his campaign, the president-elect framed himself as a person uniquely positioned to be able to wage this battle for the soul of the nation, as he described it, and his advisers have long thought that he is the person for this moment. and i remember speaking with one of his top advisers, ken coffman, before biden even entered this race. he told me at that point in 2019 that they knew if biden were to be elected that he would be inheriting potentially a very divided country, and that they expected that the president, even back then, might put up roadblocks to him as he would take the white house if biden were to win. and that is the reality that really had set in here over the course of the past few months. but what we expect biden to talk about tomorrow is really this need for the country to come together, and he's hoping that he can be the one to help deliver that in this moment. >> and, nia, i mean, we've known here in the last couple weeks
that there's been some distance from the vice president and the president. normally there is not, at least publicly. we've actually learned that the vice president may not attend this departure ceremony that the president has constructed at joint base andrews. what do you make of that if that is a real possibility and if that's what happens? >> that is a break for this vice president. you know, it comes after the vice president was cowering, essentially, in fear because the mob on the capitol that day was after him in part, and chanting his name. the president name-checked him in the moments before that mob descended on the capitol. and during that time when pence was holed up in the capitol and a mob was descending, the president never reached out to him to check on him or check on his family. that is the kind of relationship they have had. it has always in some ways been
a one-directional with pence being very loyal to this president and this president not being so loyal in the end to the vice president. so we do know that the vice president plans to be at the inaugural. that will be an important message to be sent around the world. it's something that joe biden prefers, of course, rather than having the outgoing president there. but it is a real break in terms of their relationship. and i think at some point, mike pence was always going to have to part ways with president trump, the idea that he was going to be kind of heir to donald trump's base and donald trump's legacy, i thought, was always sort of not to be believed. and so here in the end, you've got mike pence who likely does want a political future. whether or not he will actually have one, well, it's clear now that he's going to have to make his own way and have his own identity that's separate from this president, because this president has thrown him under the bus in the last, you know, hours and days of his
presidency. so we'll see how this all unfolds tomorrow. the president clearly wants a big cry-out. he's sent a lot of invitations to folks and a lot of them aren't even in washington anymore. they've gone home to places where they'll live out the rest of their lives, so we'll see how this plays out for this president whose ego is incredibly fragile and wants in these last moments the kind of pomp and circumstance in the presidency that he is going to sorely miss when do. test. wheeze down in florida. >> it is a dilemma for mike pence to know what to do. he literally has thrown him under the bus. i guess there's a departure from the white house, perhaps pence, an option for pence to say good-bye there. it will be fascinating to see. >> yes, i think he will say good-bye to the president there.
you can't be in two places at once so they have the excuse of saying he's got to be at the inauguration, which will also anchor the president. the president if he had his druthers would rather say, why isn't my vice president doing what i'm doing? doesn't he believe it was a rigged election just like i do? so i think trump will get angry no matter what, but as nia was saying, this is kind of a declaration of independence. and mike pence's own understated way, because i think if he wants to have a political career, there are questions that he has, as all republicans have, about how much distance they can put between themselves and the president of the united states as he goes off to mar-a-lago. >> let's listen in now to joe biden. >> thank you, governor. and tracy and all of my friends that are near, everything you've
done for me, and for my family throughout the years. tommy, you've been a friend a long time. i look out there and i see mikey. i'm glad you're healthy and i'm glad you're here, pal. i'm really glad, mike. look, this is kind of emotional. for me. look, through my whole career, through the good times and the bad, i want to thank you for everything, from my fellow delawareans on bow ehalf of the entire biden that's here today, i want to express what you mean to each and every one of us. in our family the values we
share, the characters we strive for, the way we view the world, it all comes from home, it all comes from delaware. the state that gave my mother and father a home and livelihood when they needed it most. the state that made my brother and sister and i, both of whom are here, understand we can do whatever we dreamed of, whatever that was. and it gave me a chance when i was just a kid to elect me and believed in me and sent me to the united states senate before going to the county council, after going to the county council, where jill and i found one another and she made he strong, as ernest hemingway wrote, in all of the broken places. and the state that loves her children and our grandchildren and loved our beau and he said loved you right back. general barry, when the
headquarters was name after beau, i told general level at the time it means everything to me, hunter, ashley, to jill, to our whole family. but beau would be the first to say the honor goes with the men and women of the delaware national guard and their families, who gave so much, were true patriots, defined by the courage of their character. so it's deeply personal that our next journey to washington starts here, a place that defines the very best of who we are as americans. i know these are dark times, but there's always light. that's what makes this state so special. that's what it taught me, it taught me the most, there's always light. when i came home after graduating from delaware and going on to law school at syracuse, i get home after law
school to wilmington, to our co county. it had gone dark. dr. king was assassinated. wilmington had been in flames. the national guard patrolled the streets. and that turmoil inspired me to become a public defender, a step never anticipated would lead me toward this improbable journey. 12 years ago i was waiting at the train station in wilmington for a black man to pick me up on our way to washington where we were sworn in as president and vice president of the united states of america. and here we are today, my family and i, about to return to washington to meet a black woman of south asian descent to be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states.
as i told beau on that station waiting for barack and hunter i said, naturally, don't tell me things can't change. they can and they do. that's america. that's delaware. a place of hope and light and limitless possibilities. and i'm honored. i am truly honored to be your next president and commander in chief and i will always be a proud son of the state of delaware. as tommy, better known as chairman carper, senator carper, knows my colleague in the senate used to always kid me for quoting irish poets. they thought i did it because i'm irish. i didn't do it for that reason, i did it because they're the best poets in the world. james joyce was said to have told a friend when it comes his time to pass, when he dies, he
said dublin, dublin will be written on my heart. well, excuse the emotion, but when i die, delaware will be written on my heart. and the hearts -- the hearts of all of the bidens. we love you all. you've been there for us through the good and the bad. you never walked away and i am proud, proud, proud to be a son of delaware. and i am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the major beau biden facility. ladies and gentlemen, i only have one regret, that he's not
here, because we should be introducing him as president. but we have great opportunities. delaware's taught us anything is possible, anything is possible in this country. so god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. thank you. jill told me not to become emotional. i'm jill's husband. >> thank you. >> please welcome rabbi michael fields to deliver the benediction. >> you just heard president-elect joseph biden, very emotional, personal talk as he's leaving delaware to head to the inauguration, joined brianna
keilar and others. we've seen joe biden's emotional before. this is clearly moving for him. >> joe biden is an emotional man. he always has been, and i think now even more so. when you consider the difference between donald trump and joe biden, it couldn't be more different. i once asked joe biden if he was the polar opposite of donald trump and he jokingly crossed himself and said, "i hope so." here you see it. he's someone who believes he owes an awful lot to the state of delaware. they sent him to the senate right from the county council when he was elected. he wasn't old enough to serve in the senate. he was one of the youngest people ever elected to senate and now one of the oldest to ever put his hands on the bible, to be sworn in as president. of course, the mention of beau biden and him saying that he only had one regret, that we
should be introducing him as president, meaning beau. he doesn't keep that a secret. he doesn't keep a lot of things secret when it comes to his emotions and his family and his love for his family. again, it's such a contrast with the person who is leaving the oval office because empathy, as we all know, is something that is very foreign to donald trump. >> and it's so interesting one of the first things the president-elect is going to do in washington is focus on and remember the lives that had been lost in this pandemic. almost 400,000 lives, and those lives haven't been lost, those are human beings who have died and those are fellow citizens. and to me it says so much about joe biden's experience with loss and grief that he understands the language of loss, and he doesn't -- unlike the last president who really did not talk about the dead, joe biden is