tv The Inauguration of Joe Biden CNN January 20, 2021 2:00pm-5:30pm PST
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welcome to our special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden. i'm aaron burnett along with wolf blitzer. it is an inauguration day unlike any other in american history, amid a pandemic, in a city that's become a fortress because of heightened security threats. kamala harris sworn in as the first woman and the first woman of color to be the vice president of this nation. her husband, of course, the first-ever second gentleman. and joe biden sworn in as the 46th president of the united states. his clarion call for unity, vowing to be a president for all
americans. just a short time ago, vice president harris swearing in three new democratic senators moments ago on the senate floor, officially giving democrats the control of the senate floor since 2014. president biden is wasting no time. in a few minutes, wolf, of course, he is expected to be at business, signing up to 17 executive orders. >> a true, true, historic first day in the white house. those 17 executive actions, erin, are expected to include a mask man at a time on federal property and reversing some of former president trump's decisions. for instance, rejoining the paris climate accord, ending the travel ban on predominantly muslim countries as well. we'll take you inside the white house for that. also, unfolding this hour, the president is expected to swear in some of his political appointes during a virtual ceremony. another example of how this deadly pandemic has altered this truly historic day. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, the newly appointed white house press secretary, jen psaki, will hold
her first press briefing. great change here in washington. we'll bring it to you live as it all happens. >> we want to start with our own k kaitlyn collins, our own new chief white house correspondent. what's happening inside the white house behind you now? >> reporter: thank you for that, erin. joe biden has entered the white house not too long ago for the first time. we do now know that he is in the oval office. president biden is. this is the first time he has been there since being sworn in at the capitol earlier today. of course, we know that letter from president trump was waiting for him on the resolute desk. so are a lot of other things he has on his agenda. we're already seeing officials try to use the power of the west wing to shape their policies. and one of the ways that that is being done is by the chief of staff, ron klain, basically
stops all pending rules at agencies in their tracks that are still being put into effect, maybe last-minute orders by president trump and his administration that haven't actually gone into full effect yet. ron klain is telling agency heads to stop them. they could review them. it could very well mean that a lot of rules that the president tried to put into order before he left office and before he was officially no longer president of the united states at noon today may not actually happen at all. and, of course, we know there are many other things on the way, as wolf just mentioned, with these executive actions that we are expecting president biden to take any moment now, where he is going to be also not only trying to do things in substance but symbolic actions. of course, you know about the president's muslim ban. several other things that the president did in -- that president trump did in his first few days in office. you'll see them try to reverse that. what is the man thing we're hearing from sources inside the white house that they're focusing on right now is the pandemic, and making sure they have a much different message, they say, from what we have seen
from the trump administration. >> kaitlan, thank you very much. phil mattingly also at the white house. as you're covering this, another first today. the first press briefing in a few hours. by the way, i think we are all just going to be -- stark contrast of what we're going to see versus what we have been accustomed to seeing will be lost on no one watching, even the fact that jen psaki is going to hold a briefing tonight is sending a message. >> it's a new era and not a subtle message. they're obviously the executive actions, legislative proposals but a lot of symbolic things are occurring, whether it be covid regulations they're putting in place at the white house, mask mandates that they'll put in place in federal buildings as well, but their posture. i think it's been a shift in terms of substance of things,
but to call the biden administration new era is interesting in the sense that he has been in washington or a washington figure for the better part of four decades. this is a very clear turning of the page. it won't necessarily be a happy-go-lucky event here. what is coming next? what is the administration, how will the administration, to put it better, be able to implement on the legislative side very ambitious proposals they want to put in place when, as you just noted, they might have a majority but it's 50/50 with the vice president as a tie breaker. when you have a house majority it's very slim, slimmer than it was the last time around. there will be a lot of questions about that, about what's going to happen going forward. as kaitlan noted, this is as much about symbolism as it is about policy. this is a turn of the page, new era. and the administration wants to make very clear on all the key issues they're focused on, none more so than the issue of the
pandemic, things are different now. i would note, erin, they've made clear, this is not going to change overnight. it will be a long road ahead. as many biden officials said, it's going to get worse before it gets better. that's a message you'll hear, certainly, from the press secretary in a couple of hours. the measures that they are working with congress to implement will be crucial to changing that dynamic. we'll see how things go. no question about it, they want to make clear, it is a different time, a different era. there is a turn of the page. we'll see how that goes in a couple of hours. >> we certainly will. we'll see what steps they take and what it all entails. wolf? >> 7:00 p.m. eastern, erin. in moments, president biden will sign his first executive orders. we're expecting, get this, 17 in total, moving quickly to reverse several of former president trump's signature policies. i'm here with john king, as always. joining us also are nia-malika
henderson and john smerconish. the changes we're seeing on this first day, the biden administration versus the trump administration already so dramatic. >> change, all caps, bold face, underlined, and the pendulum swinging back. donald trump trying to erase barack obama's policies. erased the words climate change from agency websites. joe biden with the stroke of the pen is going to change the coronavirus approach, including reactivating, re-engaging with the world health organization. president trump pulled out. change climate policy. acknowledge climate change as a fundamental, global issue. again for four years we, the united states, have been on the sidelines in a critical conversation. wipe out immigration policy, stopping construction of the border wall. as phil and kaitlan noted, review every order that the
trump administration tried to embed in the agencies in the last few days. joe biden is trying to send a signal right out of the box. trump tried to erase the administration he previously served in. he's going to try to swing the pendulum back with what he can do with executive power. then comes the bigger chag challenge, what can you do with legislative power? >> nia, it's clear that the new president of the united states wants to make sure it's not just a change in substance but in tone as well. you heard that in his inaugural remarks earlier today. he wants unity and he promises, he wants to work for those who supported him but also those who didn't support. >> i think we'll see today when he signs these executive orders a real display of what the values of this administration are. certainly a contrast from the last administration. a value on science, for instance. a value on diversity. a value on inclusion as well. you see some of the reversals
from trump's policy around immigration, as john noted with the environment as well. rejoining who, for instance, in terms of dealing with covid. so i think that's what you'll see. there is sort of a symbolism here. phil talked about the idea that you have a very divided congress. the country is also split. so, this is a way, right out of the gate, they can get to work and really show the country what this administration is going to focus on, where they see the spots that they really need to really bolster in terms of work on all of these crucial issues around the environment, around covid, around the economy, around immigration and inclusion as well. that's what we'll see today. it's easy to forget that inauguration day, with all the pomp and circumstance is also a workday. but this is obviously an administration that has a pile of work to do, given the shape of this country, given where we are with the pandemic, taking so
many lives, thousands of lives every day. so they are showing today that they want to get to work right away in reversing what we saw from the previous administration. >> president biden, you're absolutely right, is making it clear that dealing with problem number one, the coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 400,000 americans, that is the top priority right now. michael, what was your big takeaway from the president's inaugural address today? >> end the uncivil war. as soon as he said that line, i wrote it down. i tweeted it. i said that is the takeaway. the plea for unity, epitomized by that word choice. end the uncivil war. so many of us believe that in the last few weeks, the nation has been driven closer to a civil war, literally a civil war, that at any point since the real one. i thought that word choice was particularly profound. the other observation that i had, as an old advance man i was
privileged at a young age to do advance work for then vice president george herbert walker bush. i thought today was flawless. i thought that today, amidst a very difficult environment, everything, the speech, the presen presentations, the singing, the parade, the tribute at the cemetery. i just think everything has run like clock work. it didn't hurt that the sun was shining. it has really been a spectacular day. and that's not a political statement. that's just me as an observer and one who appreciates good speeches and good staging. >> the sun was definitely shining, as john king and i can testify. it may have been a bit chilly out there as well. it was a little windy, little chilly. the sun was, in fact, shining. and i thought it was significant that he did something immediately. he went to arlington national cemetery at the tomb of the unknowns. he wanted to pay his respect to the men and women who have fallen on behalf of all of us. >> an important signal to the
country and to the world to go to that hallowed ground where so many american heroes, people who gave their liveses so we could be free. respect for the institutions, and president bush, a republican, president obama, the vice president of the obama administration, president clinton and secretary clinton. very important she was here as well. she was at the trump inaugural four years ago, respecting tradition, the process, respecting institutions. the word "respect" means a lot to joe biden. can he carry this out? can he unify the country? that's a long-term challenge. nobody should think -- nobody should be so idealistic to think this was going to vanish right away. the choreography of today, the messaging of today very important to make the effort. the challenges immediately before the new president, speed up the vaccine rollout. that's for all americans, whether you voted for trump or biden, that's for you. republican governors will welcome that help. if this administration can actually use government effectively, do something that
the trump administration refused to do, all hands on deck, respect science. respect doctors, improve and revitalize the relationship and coordination with the states, that helps everybody. if you can get a new stimulus program, small businesses get more help from their government, americans get more money from their government. they won't check if you voted for trump or biden. in the giant challenges there's some opportunity to show people respect for government, a competent government can help all americans. lot of big partisan fights to come. he said he wanted to unify the country today. he's about to reverse a lot of things that the trump base likes. he campaigned to do this. he has to keep his promises. but this will not be easy. today, michael is exactly right. the choreography, the messaging is as close to perfect as you can get. the challenges of governing will test this and test it quickly. >> certainly will. nia, we're about to get video of the new president in the oval office, signing some executive -- some new executive
orders right now. let's just get a sense of the substance of what the new president is doing, nia. explain to our viewers how important this is, because some of these executive orders completely reverse decisions that the former president put into effect. >> in many ways it's kind of back to where the country was under obama. you think about rejoining the paris climate accord. that was a big deal for donald trump, a real pledge to his base that he would get out of that. he made a big show of getting out of that recently. pulling out of w.h.o., right? he complained that w.h.o. wasn't great in terms of the way they dealt with china and covid as well. rejoining w.h.o. and putting dr. fauci in a prominent position in terms of being the ambassador, the leading figure in terms of our relationship with w.h.o. other things. stopping the building of the border wall. being promised from this former president and now we see from biden, stopping that on day one.
>> we're going to get that video. we'll see the new president in the oval office, signing these executive orders. stand by for that. the president also focusing in, obviously, on the pandemic. focusing in on immigration, the environment. how much push back will he get from congress as he tries to move his agenda forward? much more of our special live coverage is coming up. girl is . and i'm taking her home. "news of the world" is a tale of another time in america that couldn't be more important for these times. she needs new memories. pain hits fast. so get relief fast. only tylenol rapid release gels have laser-drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief. tylenol rapid release gels.
think some of the things we'll be doing are bold and vital. and there's no time to start like today. so what i'm going to be doing, i'm proud of today's executive actions. i'm going to start by keeping the promises i made to the american people. long way to go. these are just executive actions. they are important but we'll need legislation for a lot of things we're going to do. the first order i'm going to be signing here is -- relates to covid and it's requiring, as i said all along, mandating masks be worn, social distancing be kept on federal property and interstate commerce, et cetera. this is the first one i'm signing. and second one i'm signing here is the support for underserved
communities. already we are going to make sure we have some bedrock equity, equality as how it relates to people in health care and other things. third one i'm going to sign, something i'll do while you're all here, is the commitment i made that we're going to rejoin the paris climate accord as of to today. >> mr. president -- >> let's go. please. go. >> the president wrote a very generous letter. because it was private, i will not talk about it until i talk to him, but it was generous. >> on climate change, you are rejoining the paris agreement. >> let's go you guys.
press, let's go. let's go. >> very normal, reporters shouting questions over each other and then the president's staff asked the reporters, it's over. and they leave. we did learn that the president thought that the former president, president trump, did leave a very generous letter. because it's private he will not disclose until he speaks, at some point, presumably, he will speak to the former president. he did call it very generous. john, three important executive orders. this is what the president can sign. it's not legislation. he can sign it. it goes into effect right away, as president trump used to sign a lot of executive orders. this president, for example, on the paris climate accord, he can reverse it right away, and he just did. >> he just did, wolf. we were outside earlier, i was getting texts, and i'm sure you were all day, from foreign governments, governments around the world, saying it's good to see america engaged back in the world. america first is how donald trump described it.
it was often america alone, walking away from world health organization. joe biden sending a very important signal of his agenda, which is to re-engage, as he said in his inaugural address, to lead by the power of example. not just american power but the power of our example. this is being welcomed around the world because of the previous president's opinion that climate change is a hoax. there should be a debate over what to do about it. there should not be a debate that there is a climate crisis in the globe. important first step. 100-day masking. he doesn't have the power to impose a federal mask mandate but on federal property to encourage mask use, he does. unity in the inaugural address, and he means that. that's in his dna. look at those two, paris climate accords, masking. essentially you're challenging your effort to reach out to the trump base because they are such divisive issues. that's the test of leadership, selling things that people don't
want to hear. >> erin, it's very significant that the first executive action, the first executive order he signed dealt with the covid-19 pandemic, the coronavirus pandemic. where he does have the authority as president of the united states. you have to wear a mask on federal property, for example, or interstate travel. and you have to engage in social distancing. that was the first executive order he signed of significance. it marks a dramatic difference from the previous president. >> absolutely, to make the point that i've got a pile of 17 and i want this one to be first and i want to make that point. and he did, indeed, do so. joining us now is presidential historian doris kearns-goodwin. as the president signs these 17 executive orders, he also said that he had gone in the desk and gotten the letter from the former president, donald trump. joe biden, ever gracious, said that it was a very generous letter, but that he would want to speak with the former president before he shared
anything in it. he made the point of saying it was a very generous letter. what does that say about joe biden and the man that he is at this moment? >> yeah, it really does show a certain clashing and, as you say, graciousness. all these little traditions that were not followed this year matter. you know, they used to invite you to a tea so that the families could see the white house before they got there. the idea, of course, most importantly, that the former president would appear with the president-elect at the inauguration, to show that the election is over and, most importantly, conceding the election. but at least finally this letter has come through and maybe that signals some desire on the part of the trump people to understand that the election is over and to begin to move forward. so i think it's a good thing that the letter was left. >> yes, it is. hopefully, if it is shared it creates this unity and healing that joe biden has made clear that he wants to do for this country. you know, as part of this
transition of power, we all know president trump was not there, right? he wasn't able to be there, after everything that he had done. he snubbed the bidens, refused to be there today. yet we did see former presidents there. not jimmy carter, obviously, because of his age and the pandemic, but you did see the clintons, the bushes, the obamas. they were all there. and i understand, doris, when they went to arlington cemetery, they actually recorded a video that we're all going to see tonight as part of the prime time national celebration that they're putting out there, sort of a free-flowing sort of conversation. how significant do you think that that is, seeing them all together, as the whole country now will do, at arlington cemetery in sort of a natural conversation? >> i think it's absolutely terrific. the most times you usually see former presidents together are at the opening of a library of one of them or the funeral of somebody else. for them to use this occasion for a joint video, which i have heard will be talking about democracy and the peaceful transfer of power, maybe that
will begin to move the needle. you know, when we talk about unity, what does that really mean? if president biden, by everything that happened from last night's understanding of covid and giving tribute to the people who died, to that joint session this morning when the leaders of congress came to the mass, to the whole speech and the sense of what the speech was, to going to arlington, it means you're going to try to move the needle. because he signed the first executive order on covid, if he can get the covid under control, if he can get the virus under control, get the 100 million vaccines into the arms, get a covid stimulus bill passed with more than the 50/50, to begin to move some of the republicans on his side, he will build a foundation, i think, that can then -- all he has to do is get away from 50/50. if he gets to 53, 54, 55, that's how you build unity. you solve a problem and then have a foundation to get to the more systemic problems that you want to reach. >> doris, i want to ask you about something else. many have spoken about the
president's inaugural speech and a few of the lines that really stood out. the uncivil war being one of them. and then, of course, he referenced abraham lincoln again. the line that stood out the most to me is my whole soul is in there. whether you voted for joe biden, whether you like joe biden, whether you agree with anything he said, i don't think there's anybody who could have heard him say that, who did not know that he meant it. >> i couldn't agree with you more. >> he, of course, was harkening back to abraham lincoln. does that break through, doris? when you look at history, divided moments when you have tens of millions of people who don't want president biden to be their president, does this break through to them? >> i think the most important thing that might have broken through today was the authenticity of the man. the fact that he was speaking his heart when he said my whole soul is in this desire to bring this country together. the fact that you could possibly trust his word and that he was going to speak the truth. if people can see him as a person, with a temperament that may be fitted for this time.
in a peculiar way we used to talk about age being a liability for him and he might be a transitional president. because he's facing all these crises and has the chance because of the person he is, the experiences he has had, not just the experience of being in government, but that matters. he was there when there was biparti bipartisanship, so he knows what that was like. the experience of having suffered loss as he talked about today fate can come in and deal you a hand at every moment. knowing that, i think, makes you want to use this moment of ambition to do something for the country. if people trust that, if we get trust back in the government, the government is us, maybe there could be collective action moving forward in the future. >> doris, there are so many going to these inaugurations, one after the other, right? we're usually positioned along the parade trail and we see the president walk by, get out of the car. today, obviously, there weren't -- everyone wasn't lining that trail. they did get out. they did walk. and that was an important
tradition. and there were others, right, which president biden began his day by going to church with congressional leaders from both parties. then after the speech, leaders pr both parties came up to him. these sort of images of unity. i point them out simply because forget images of unity. all we've seen are images of war and disunity and words of dis disunity for the past four years. do those words mean anything tomorrow? >> i think they do. i found myself emotional during the gift exchanging ceremony. i thought what's wrong with you? you feel good. if that translates to the legislators themselves and if they can get more than 50/50 for that covid relief bill and the stimulus bill and get the economy on track, it's the actions that are going to matter. these images create a hard change in people. the majority of people are
hungry for leadership. they want this covid thing to be under control and want to see equities in society more. i'm not sure we're talking about such an important part of the base. we have to figure out, how big is that base and how big is the people that can be persuaded to go forward in a positive way? a lot of actions that the house of representatives even passed were agreed to by the majority of the country. we've already got a center progressive group there. if you can message it and educate public sentiment. the main thing he has to do is carry forward the message of not just of unity by why these bills he wants passed are important that the whole country will feel, as a whole, we're moving together in unity. especially if he can get the virus under control. just as franklin roosevelt solved the banking crisis in that first emergency session of the crisis, they solved it in like two days. that's what they were able to do. then he said this congress is in emergency session. i'll keep them here. that became the hundred days. because he solved that first crisis, he had power then to go
to the deeper things and to the systemic reforms that needed to be made. >> very interesting analogy to make will. doris, thank you. >> i'm glad to be with you on this day. it's a pretty exciting day for the whole country, to have a new understanding of direction. that's what inaugurals are. >> yes, it is true. it is true. and a moment to celebrate america. you go to those in washington, you see people, who knows what their political perfect situation are. the joy of being part of the process. and virtually, we hope people can feel that and see that. as president biden calls for unity in his first speech as president, now the rubber meets the road. how does he unite a country that is the most divided since the civil war?
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look at the live pictures coming in from the white house right now where president joe biden is about to swear in appointees, individuals who will be working in his new administration but do not need senate ratification or approval confirmation. kaitlan collins, tell us more about what we're about to see. this is a significant moment as well. >> it is, wolf. much like everything else you've seen today, it is altered by the pandemic. this will be a virtual ceremony. there in the state dining room right now. we're told by reporters in the room president biden has not arrived in there yet. there are screens set up where you'll see the political appointees that he is swearing in, on day one on the job. typically that's something you
will see be done in person, wolf. but the pandemic is shaping so much of biden's first few days in office. his first year, probably, will be solely focused on what's happening with the pandemic. it does show you this is another stop on his schedule since he arrived here. he signed three of those executive actions. we are still expecting over a dozen more to come down from the president today. and that's ahead of more action on coronavirus tomorrow because officials have basically addressed this desire that they want to set a different tone than what they believed president trump and vice president pence set about the pandemic during their time in office. we are going to get another briefing with the residency secretary today. it's the first time we've gotten one from jen psaki, the new white house press secretary for joe biden. she's going to be taking reporters questions here at a short time. wolf, we're going to see the president again later on this evening. that's when he and the first lady will come out of the residence part of the white house on that blue room balcony,
where cameras will be there on the south lawn, waiting for them to come out. that's the first time we'll see them come from the south lawn of the residence, where you saw president trump leave earlier today. we have a lot more to go for on the schedule for the new president today, wolf. >> a long day already for the new president and still a lot to do before he wraps things up. stand by over there. john king, we see that marine guard standing outside the door over at the west wing of the white house. that means that the president of the united states is working. he's not in the residence. >> we covered the white house together for quite a long time. back in the clinton administration. i stayed on for some of the bush administration. again, this picture, every day i walk down that driveway, i just cherish the opportunity, the honor of working at the white house. obviously we were working in our little office space in the basement. but to see the marine, the history, the tradition, whether you're democrat or republican, we were focused mostly on the capitol earlier today. we're looking at the new president in the early hours, in
one of the shrines of american democracy. we'll have much more policy debates than we had in the trump administration because this president has an active agenda. we should also take some time today to respect the institutions, the system, the tradition and the service of the fine marine you see standing right there and the many people you don't see behind the scenes who keep the government up and running. i get a little corny about it sometimes but every day i walked down that driveway, it was an honor and privilege to work at the white house. >> we see the marine, we know the president is in the oefbl office, he's working. that's what's happening right now. david chalian is with us, our political director. we're told there will be a bunch of what they're calling theme days coming up this week, starting, of course, with the number one issue facing the country right now, the coronavirus pandemic. tell us a little bit about that. >> no doubt about it. i welcome john's corniness, by the way. what a celebration of america.
for people who voted for biden or not today, it was a celebration and invitation for all of america to participate in this experiment. i join you in that, john. wolf, you're right. they are going to separate out sort of messages each day of what they can accomplish before those big, huge policy fights that john is talking about that will largely take place on capitol hill in terms of executive action. tomorrow is covid. then economic relief will come on friday. you'll see january 25th next week, the buy america agenda. equity and inclusion efforts will be next week as well, as will climate, health care, immigration as we know. they're sending a bill to the hill, trying to open up a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants here. that will certainly be a big policy battle up on the hill. then in february, we know this will be a big part of the address to the joint session of congress in february, restoring america's place in the world and joe biden's vision for how
america operates on the world stage. wolf, covid being tomorrow, his first full day on the job, obviously it is the crisis immediately in front of us, but it is also going to be the proving ground, i think, for whether or not this is is going to be a successful start to the biden administration. you heard jen psaki earlier today, on our air, sort of set expectations for the american people, saying it's going to be months before we see progress. that's trying to buy some time. and the reality of getting this virus under control, getting the vaccine distribution process up and running to a place, and getting the economy rebuilt through his $1.9 trillion package that, obviously, we've seen an economy in tatters in many ways due to covid. it is the immediate challenge in front of him, but it is also going to be the measuring stick here because everything is going to go through covid initially for this administration. it's unclear in these divided
times, wolf, if joe biden is going to get much of a real honeymoon. and yet if he can, and his team, wrap his arms around this covid crisis, actually stem the spread, get that vaccine process up and running in more -- in a more dramatic fashion than it has been to date, he may buy himself some goodwill with the american people and give himself a runway for the rest of the agenda. on the other hand if he fails to do so, if this pandemic continues to rage even after biden puts his plans in place, if the vaccine process is a mess for months to come, then i think he will have a real hard time getting enough of a runway to get the rest of his agenda through. it is through this immediate crisis facing him that i think perhaps the totality of his four-year term will sort of rest in the balance with. >> and, john, you know, he has promised there will be 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days. so, we will know within the first 100 days if he can live up
to that commitment. >> he has a very specific agenda, including that promise right there. it is their job to meet the metric or explain why they can't. it is our job to hold them accountable. to follow up on what david said, number one, just the organization. can you post the calendar again if you wish. the organization of this team. the biden team with deep white house experience, deep government experience. you were asking the trump administration what was the agenda today? aides would tell you they were waiting for the president to tweet. organization and planning does not guarantee you policy success. it's a start. at least it's a building block. day one, less of the chaos we saw in the prior administration. back to the bigger point david was making. joe biden is trying to test a premise here, that if government is doing some things well for all americans, like speeding up the vaccine rollout, like having a follow-up stimulus and covid aid package, something that benefits all americans, something that republican governors, for example, like and want, better cooperation from washington to get more shots in the arms in americans around the
country. can you do those things and cooperate? yes. having disagreements over things like the keystone pipeline, over immigration policy. can you have policy agreements and policy skirmishes, or do we go through the last four years where every day seems like a war in that's the test of the biden approach. y yes, we're going to disagree about things. within the democratic family they'll have disagreements about things. can you do that, can you disagree without being disagreeable? can you disagree but keep respect? can you disagree on one issue while having productive conversations in process on other shalls? joe biden believes you can get back to that world. you and i have been in this town long enough to know in fits and in starts that world can exist. can he at times? that's the question for the administration. to david's point, on the things that matter to everybody, covid and the economy, if joe biden starts there, doris kearns-goodwin, if you turn the temperature down a little bit, is that a start? that's the test of the next several days.
>> what do you think, michael smerconish, and nia-malika heardson are still with us. michael, what do you think, number one priority is covid, number two, the economy? >> you mentioned there are 17 different initiatives he will be signing, taking on his first day in office. there's a lot of choice because there are far more than 17 areas of disagreement between president biden and former president donald trump. i've got to get used to saying all of that. i'm sure a lot of thought went into what should we prioritize on day one? covid, an absolute no brainer? i'm sure that president biden himself a product of a senate career would rather go a legislative route but in a 50/50 deadlock not a reality. >> president biden said one of
the executive orders he was signing would deal with the un underserved communities. what did he mean by that? >> the black and brown communities. some of those communities don't necessarily have a pharmacist nearby or hospital nearby. you see the terrible effects on those communities with the death rates that are really hitting those communities hardest. we're up to 3,000 to 4,000 deaths a day, 4,000 american deaths from covid so far. if you were this white house, to get covid under control, you really need to figure out how do you have an all hands on deck approach to getting vaccines to those communities primarily, and fixing this rollout that's been so terrible? also ppe and all the ways in which these communities have been harmed greatly.
not only in terms of health, in death and sickness, but also in terms of the economy. so, again, you see biden really trying to focus like a laser on the communities that are suffering the greatest in these dire times. >> everybody, stand by. we're continuing to follow all these historic, dramatic moments. we're also standing by for the first white house press briefing. you're looking at the press briefing room. haven't had one of these in a while. new press secretary, jen psaki, will be going over to that lectern, making a statement, answering reporters' questions. get ready. we'll have live coverage. we'll be right back.
welcome back to our special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden. moments ago president biden signing three executive orders in the oval office telling reporters, i thought with the state of the nation today, there's no time to waste. get to work immediately. that's the quote. the first three orders requiring masks on federal property, ensuring racial equality and rejoining the paris climate award. sanjay, let me start with you. he made a clear point saying that the first orders were going to be about the coronavirus, covid, and in particular stopping united states withdrawal from the world health organization and requiring masks to be worn anywhere on federal property. obviously he wants to make the point that that is his number one focus. on a practical basis, how much impact will those have? >> well, they will certainly have impact, it's just that it will take some time.
you know, when you look at a federal building and federal mask mandate, you're talking a couple million people. federal lands make up 25% of the overall land in the country. obviously a lot of people at home right now, but it will make a difference. masks in some ways make a quicker difference, speedier difference than even vaccinations which is something he's talked about for his covid rescue plan overall. with the world health organization, this is an important step, not only to rejoin or at least not leave the world health organization but also to join the global vaccination effort. one thing we keep getting reminded of is an infection anywhere in the world is an infection everywhere in the world. a part of supporting vaccination efforts in low income countries is important. the goal is to get 2 billion vaccines to low income countries by the end of next year. erin, your point is a good one.
the cdc just released their ensemble forecast. a few weeks they go into the future. they said by february 13th we hit 400,000 tragic deaths. they think we would hit half a million by february 13th. it takes a while for any of these programs to have an impact. >> it's unbelievable with the deaths. it comes, sanjay, i want to ask you one more question about this here, as the biden administration is dealing with, you know, the vaccinating issues, right? and that's crucial. job number one. but we also got the news today, a new study saying someone might be able to get infected with some of these new variants of coronavirus, specifically the south african variant. there are still so many questions and fears and even if you can pull this together, whether it will do what people want it to do, which is to give them their lives back. >> right. and that's going to be a scientifically driven sort of
investigation for some time. do the antibodies that you generate in your body in response to a vaccine, are they going to work against these variants. so far i will tell you some of the news has been encouraging about that. the virus as it spreads more and more mutates more and more. that's another reason you've got to curb the spread. we've also got to do surveillance in this country to be finding these mutations early. right now we don't do nearly enough surveillance so we're caught by surprise. this is one of those things where it could be a booster shot that is necessary, the vaccine. we could get yearly shots like you do with the vaccine but we have to know what we're dealing with in the first place. hopefully that's something they will double down on their efforts to follow that. >> right. which, of course, the president making very clear, right, his primary focus from the order in which he did those executive orders. dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. david, on that front. he comes into the oval office
and the image is powerful. a stack of folders. every one he's going to open up and sign. he went through a few of them tonight. 17 in total will be signed in the first days of the administration. you point out that this greatly exceeds his predecessors. >> yeah. didn't used to be like that. when i covered president george w. bush, there were a few executive orders. bill clinton just a couple. so it's really a sign of the times and it's two things. one, if you're president biden, you want to signal right away that you want to set a different standard, a different tone, a different direction than his predecessor and he does that with an executive order. and it's also a sign on the virus that's so important is to signal that the federal government is going to set a different direction in terms of federal coordination with the states. it's not going to be, you know, sent out to the states kind of
delegated to the states to make their own rules. there's going to be a lot more coordination. >> right. >> the other piece is, congress moves slowly. there's difficult politics. so modern executives, modern presidents want to use the full power of their executive authority to signal change. in this case it's a signal to the left of his party that president biden's going to come through for you and mark my words, the right, the republicans are going to be watching that very closely saying, oh, yeah, this new president's going to be a captive of the left. look at those initial executive orders. those fights will start rolling out as we get going. >> anna, we see today marco rubio not at the inauguration. he has to do more due diligence on the nominees. there's a lot of talk of unity and there's a lot to change in congress for that to happen. when you start off with a slew of executive orders, what does that do to the republicans in congress that president biden
needs so much? >> well, you ruined my inauguration joy by bringing up marco rubio is beyond me. there is no republican, frankly, who has a leg to stand on after the last four years knocking executive orders. they just can't. the hypocrisy -- if you could die from hypocrisy, they would all be on life support right now. i think part of what you're seeing with these executive orders is also -- look, we are at a somber moment. we are at a moment of urgency in the country and you've seen this, the biden administration is setting the tone and setting the example. there's no doubt that if donald trump had won, there would have been a big, normal inaugural and there would be balls today. look, in normal times i can tell you bacarri and i would be going to the people of color balls today. i'd be trying to squeeze myself
in a spanx and they are refraining from that. what the country calls for is urgent action, urgent getting to work and getting things done. i think they understand the power of the messaging. we would have invited you, by the way. >> bacarri? >> yeah, no, i'm missing that. i am missing the balls tonight, but one of the things that we know is that this president has prioritized covid-19 and stopping this pandemic. that's first and foremost, and the juxtaposition between president joe biden and former president donald trump is stark. >> yeah. >> you had a president who didn't believe in science, who didn't believe in wearing masks. you had members of his own party, and this is the hypocrisy that anna's talking about, you had members of their own party who were bastardizing and politicizing wearing a mask but they were the first in line to get a vaccine in their arm. they turned themselves into
pretzels. you have joe biden sitting behind the resolute desk showing his priorities and showing what they are. they're the existential crises that we face. they are a lot like the same crises that dr. king talked about but we had the issue of a pandemic and the economy that goes along with that. you have an issue of climate change and you have an issue of race. and so his race equity executive order, all of these things tie in and, you know, at the end of the day, i mean, he's showing that he's going to be a leader for all of this country and try to move us forward. >> right. >> last point i'll make is finally we have some procedure protocol and respectability back to the office. we're not talking about the crowd size at the inauguration. >> i don't think -- that is not what we're going to get in about an hour when we hear from the first time from the white house press secretary, jen psaki. all of you stay with us. next, our special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden continues. we are standing by for that
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welcome back to cnn's special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden. i'm wolf blitzer along with erin burnett. it is truly an historic day and m monumental change in washington. joseph r. biden now the 46th president of the united states. he's already at work. joining him in washington, kamala harris, the first female, black, south asian vice president. we're waiting what will no doubt be an extraordinary event, the biden administration's first press briefing. live pictures coming in from the white house briefing room. the newly appointed press secretary jen psaki expected to take questions from the news media in about an hour. we'll have live coverage of
that. following the briefing, a virtual television event will take place. hosted by tom hanks, john bon joe have i, john legend, justin timberlake, demi lovato will be taking place. erin, we will have live coverage. >> yes, we will. >> wolf, a short time ago biden signing a whole slew of executive actions undoing what the former president and his administration spent four years doing, among other things that includes rejoining the paris climate accord. very significant change there. ending the travel ban on predominantly muslim countries. biden also talked about the letter he received from president trump and he called it, generous. now this, of course, follows an inauguration unlike any we have ever seen. biden took his oath before a small crowd in a city that is shut down because of coronavirus and worries of another extremist attack following that
insurrection on the capitol just two weeks ago today. in his first speech as president, biden repeatedly stressed the need for unity. that was the hallmark message of his campaign. we have so much to get to on this historic day as we bring it to you live as it happens. as wolf mentioned, soon we'll have the white house press briefing. i want to start with phil mattingly. phil, as we get ready for that press briefing, what are you learning about what is happening right now in the white house behind you? >> reporter: erin, it's a flurry of activity. obviously we saw the president sign the first three executive orders just a short while ago. administration official tells me he has now signed all 17 actions that he planned on taking in his first day. that is, as you noted, rejoining the paris climate, revoking the presidential permit for keystone pipeline, eviction moratorium. mask mandate for all federal buildings, air travel, train travel as well. what you're seeing or what you saw up to this point is the
administration laying out its baseline, trying to make clear from a policy perspective, to the extent they can from the stroke of a pen, also from a symbolism perspective. these are the priorities. this is what the administration wants to focus on. these are the issues of day one. there are a lot of basic things going on in the background as well. aides trying to get access to emails and tech. covid is playing a role in all of this as well which has limited the number of aides and advisers actually inside the white house. erin, in a short moment you are going to hear about the president's swearing in some of his political appointees. a pretty weighty moment as they take their job in the white house. the president did it earlier. it will be their turn. in an hour jen psaki, the white house press secretary, will take questions for the first time. it will again be symbolic to some degree. this administration saying they want to be up front and tell the truth and make very clear what their positions are even if they're hard to hear. this will be the first test of
that when jen psaki faces reporters in a short while. >> right. such a stark contrast to what we've heard recently, which is nothing from the press outfit at the white house and the president's day consisted of many calls and working long at night, right? i mean, just that as ffarce tha have seen recently. we await what it will look like tonight. what are you rerng about what is coming up tonight? because part of this whole inauguration itself and the festivities that the president of the united states and the vice president want to share with the country include this program tonight. >> reporter: yeah. it's titled celebrating america. look, i think it's important to note, this is a historic day. the pomp and the circumstance matters. the transition of power matters. the recognition of the change of the guard in washington, not just in the white house but also in the united states congress matters. what you're going to see in the ceremony tonight is something made for television for a reason. it will be virtual because of the times that we live in, because of the pandemic. it will be hosted by tom hanks.
there will be a series of big name music stars from john legend, demi lovato, the foo fighters. the president and vice president will speak and what they have to say closing out the day, a historic day and what it means for the days in the future and ahead. it will be notable. that will be something to pay attention to after we get through the press briefing that starts at 7 p.m. >> thank you very much, phil. that press briefing obviously the next big item on the agenda. at the capitol, business going on. manu raju is there. manu, we are learning, literally, business going on. you've got to have the balance of power. it switched to the democrats today. are there going to be approvals? the director of national intelligence is likely to get confirmed this evening. is that the case? >> yeah, it could be agreed to on a unanimous basis here in the united states senate. there will be an effort to get
her confirmed. she will be the director of national intelligence. this came after tom cotton of arkansas announced he would drop efforts to block her consideration quickly because he said she answered a question about the cia's interrogation program to his satisfaction. he's ready to move forward. it appears joe biden will get one nominee confirmed on his first day in office. that is different than past predecessors including donald trump who had two on the night of the inauguration day. barack obama had six approved. george w. bush had seven confirmed on day one. a bit of a slower start for joe biden. this comes also as the top democrat and republican leaders, mitch mcconnell, chuck schumer, are still haggling over how to formally share power in the 50-50 senate. if there's not a deal on how they share power, the senate will not be able to officially organize on the committee level. that means that other nominees may get stalled as they wait for those larger negotiations to go
forward. joe biden could be waiting for a while for much of his cabinet to be formed until the two guys cut a deal on settling the senate and scheduling votes. >> when you talk about the difficulty of power sharing and what a crucial step this is going to be, right? biden can't do anything until this is figured out. that's hugely significant. in addition to that challenge, you also have the impeachment trial, right, in the senate? what more are you learning about that? right, nancy pelosi was going to send over those articles and that, of course, brings the donald trump impeachment trial and whether he can ever serve in office back to the floor of the senate. >> yeah. democrats are trying to make today all about joe biden, all about inauguration. they don't want to make the focus about donald trump's impeachment trial, which is why nancy pelosi has said very little about the timing, when she will send the articles of impeachment from the house to the senate that will begin the impeachment trial. it will be divisive and
different tone than what joe biden tried to push on day one here in office. one reason why the white house has not been eager to see this impeachment trial move ahead but nevertheless it is going to move ahead. there are still questions but an expectation, erin, that that trial could begin in a matter of days. also a question of how it would take place, who would preside. whether the chief justice would preside. there's a possibility that the new president pro tem of the senate, patrick leahy, could potentially preside over that because it's a former president being tried, not a current president. there's some questions about the rules. leahy told me moments ago he doesn't know if he'll preside. waiting for john roberts to make that decision. a lot of questions about the process, the timing, whether or not the republicans will break ranks and join democrats to convict donald trump for inciting an insurrection. >> the politics so crucial. manu, thank you. wolf? >> john king is with us, michael smerconish. john, what do you think if they
start this trial, the impeachment trial on the floor of the senate. all 100 senators have to be there for this trial. how much is it going to set back potentially the agenda that the new president has? >> i think you raised a great question. it just adds to the dizzying number of events and the collision of things that are going to happen in the new washington. yes, a democratic president. yes, a democratic president as well. the impeachment will stir up the partisan tensions and questions. we've talked about the big open question is how much can joe biden cooperate with republicans at least on some things. mitch mcconnell gave a floor speech where he says he hopes it's possible to cooperate on some things. that would be progress. on a covid or stimulus, that's possible. mcconnell doesn't agree to what the president wants. the rules are for the impeachment you have it in the afternoon. it's a former president.
it may not be the chief justice but most of the republican senators have said they do not think it's feasible to do what the new president wants. joe biden wants meet in the morning, consider my covid package, consider my cabinet team, move on with new business and have the trial in the afternoon. republicans have resisted that. chuck schumer needs to negotiate this with mitch mcconnell. even though the democrats have a majority, it's the narrowest majority. they have to have a power sharing agreement. it's a potential quicksand or time bomb moments as joe biden tries to get off with unity. >> michael smerconish, you've done a lot of thinking about this because i've heard you talk about it extensively. what do you think? can they do two things at the same time, deal with the substantive issues at the same time decide whether or not to convict trump who was impeached for the second time? >> to john's point, they would need a rule change because currently they've got to focus solely on impeachment once that
trial begins. there's also this very important, we lawyers say, jurisdictional question that needs to be resolved as to whether you can try a former president for impeachment in a senate trial. i thought that yesterday was a very significant day on this issue because when the thein sein nate majority leader mitch mcconnell stands up and says that the president, meaning president trump was to blame and the mob was fed lies, i think he's laying down a marker and he's giving permission for republicans notice senate to vote for impeachment. more specifically, i'm still dubious as to whether they can get to 17 and if i'm president biden, boy, i'm not sure i want the oxygen taken out of the room again with focus on my predecessor as i'm trying to initiate all the things i promised. >> one other thing, nia, that's significant because i covered biden, mitch mcconnell for a while, they have actually worked closely together over the past
30 years on several important issues when biden was a senator, later when he was vice president of the united states. they seem to have a relatively decent relationship, right? >> listen, that is what president biden is counting on, that his friendly relationship with not only mitch mcconnell but there are other senators there, gop senators that he served with. i think it's 13 gop senators that biden actually served with. so he is counting on that too bring some of that bipartisanship to these dealings that he wants to broker. we'll see if that happens. remember, mitch mcconnell was also the person who said that he wanted to make obama a one-term president. certainly he wants to get the control of the senate back. he wants to be the majority leader again so he's got to figure out what his priorities are, what the priorities of his caucus are. remember, his caucus is full of people who are going to be up for re-election in '22.
2022 and he wants to run for president in 2024. we'll see how the friendly relationships, what they mean once the rubber meets the road and they're trying to cobble together some bills, some legislation around these big issues trying to spend billions and billions of dollars to inject money into the economy, to inject money into some of these states. so we'll see. you know, obama was very skeptical of this. he talked about the idea that, sure, you could be friendly with mitch mcconnell but then he goes back to his caucus and his own priorities and something different happens. so this is a real test for biden's -- his whole philosophy, his whole approach to governing in success really relies on mitch mcconnell and his ability to actually do something that obama wasn't necessarily successful at doing which is to bring mitch mcconnell along and to carve out some type of bipartisan deals to move the
country forward. listen, you're going to inject real partisan ranker into the senate with this impeachment trial of this former president that some people still want to cling to, people like lyndsey graham, rand paul, joni ernst. maybe people thought would vote to convict. saying, listen, it's unconstitutional to try to convict a former president so a real, real challenge on biden's hands as he tries to move the country forward as it's in deep, deep crisis. >> deep, deep crisis is accurate, indeed. everybody stand by. coming up, pressure from the left. senate impeachment trial. what are the biggest challenges facing president biden now that he is president of the united states? there's new information coming in. we'll share it with you when we come back. the inauguration of joe biden is brought to you by cisco, the bridge to possible. there's a bridge.
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so they focus on a couple of areas. covid, you now have an executive order which requires americans to wear masks in all federal buildings and land. requires the state withdraw and a moratorium on evictions. asking fannie mae and freddie mac to extend foreclosures. on climate, big switch here. undoing president trump. biden rejoining the paris climate accord. on racial equality, instructing agencies to have a baseline review of systemic inequities in their programs and to deliver action plans to reverse the findings. on immigration you had daca and more. as i said, 17 is a lot, but a lot of focus on covid, the economy. those are big areas. obviously racial equality a big one and immigration. david and anna navorro and
bacarri back with me. he was noting simply that this is not how it used to be. having to do so many of these, 17 is a lot, exceeds his predecessors. 9 of these are a direct turnover, repudiation of a trump policy. >> yeah. i think you have grouped them, categorized them well in a sense, erin, that there's a covid component but then there's just sort of the values component, biden staking out his ground that he's president now and taking the country in a different direction in some key areas, such as immigration, climate change, racial inequality. so the covid piece, both on the mask wearing but also on the economic pieces that he is putting in place, or as you said, ending the moratorium on evictions if you like, that is going to be the bread and butter of what the initial days of the
biden administration is about. >> all right. some of those, nationwide moratorium on evictions, student loan payments is something that's in place even though some of them are overturning what president trump did. wolf, the president right now busy and now swearing in members of his staff. >> yeah. this is a ceremony we just got the tape. i want our viewers to see. this is the president swearing in various personnel, white house personnel and it's significant and i'll tell you why right after we hear from the president of the united states. >> hello, kathy. >> hello, sir. good evening, everyone. on behalf of the white house office of presidential personnel, i am delighted to welcome you to the swearing in of the day one appointees of the biden/harris administration. we are joined by hundreds of white house staff and hundreds more agency appointees. all of us here have the great privilege of serving our country and joining you, mr. president,
in restoring our nation. i was privileged to hear many of your stories during the hiring process. some of you have worked in government before and thought perhaps your days of service were behind you until finding yourselves in this moment of national need. others have never worked in government and will bring new perspectives to the work that lies ahead. some of you are the first in your family to graduate college. you are veterans who have worn our nation's uniform. you are the daughters and sons of immigrants or you're immigrants yourselves. some of you have interviewed for your job while you were wrapping up work on presidential campaign and others interviewed while you were fighting off covid or caring for family members who were ill, but all of you share in the hope we have for the biden/harris administration and each of you has answered the call to serve. having worked in government, i know that no public servant does this work alone so i would like to welcome and acknowledge the friends and family of all our
appointees who will support the work ahead. and now it is my honor and privilege to introduce a true public servant for whom i was so lucky to first work for more than three decades ago who will administer the oath of office, the president of the united states. mr. president. >> thank you, kathy. hello, team. and i mean that sincerely. we're one team. jill and i and kamala and doug are enormously humbled by today's inauguration, and it makes me realize what an obligation we have. and what a tremendous opportunity we have. i'm looking at all of your photographers and i'm supposed to be looking ahead. i want to look at you when i'm talking to you. i really mean it. we have an obligation but we also have a great privilege. very few times does an individual get to do something that can fundamentally positively impact other people's lives, not only here but around the world.
you're engaged in and you're working with the most decent government in the world, and we have to restore the soul of this country and i'm counting on all of you to be part of that. it's not hyperbole. the only thing i expect with absolute certain tud is honesty and decency the way you treat one another, the way you treat the people you deal with. i mean that sincerely. remember, we -- people don't work for us, we work for the people. i work for the people. they pay my salary. they pay your salary. they put their faith in you. i put my faith in you. and so we have an obligation. we ran on a promise that this administration would look like america looks. that taps into the best of our nation. that opens doors and includes a full range of talents we have in all our people, and that meant asking you and your families to
serve. we're honored that you accepted the call and i'm not being solicitous when i say this. we owe your families. we owe your families because those of you working in the white house, those of you here, those working in other agencies, you're going to work like the devil. we all do. we put in long hours, and it shouldn't be something that you should do unless you really care about it a great deal. there have been a few moments in our history in my view when our nation has been more tested than we are now. few in public service will matter more, when it will matter more. history is going to measures and our fellow americans will measure us by how decent, honorable, and smart we've been in terms of looking out for their interests. you know, to contain a pandemic, to administer a vaccine, it's going to be the most consequential logistical thing that's ever been done in the
united states. it's going to take a lot, an awful lot. rescue an economy, but we have so many opportunities to build it back and build it back so much better. i've said from the beginning that when the american people given half a chance, they have never, ever, ever, ever, ever let their country down. that's not hyperbole. you know, some thought in our party, my party, and some thought in the country and some thought in the press when i said i was running for three reasons. i said i was running to restore the soul of american. by that i mean just common dec decency, honor, your word, doing what you say you're going to do, treating people with respect. my dad used to have an expression. he said everyone, every single person regardless of their background is entitled to be treated with dignity. i expect you to do that for all the folks you deal with, all the folks we work for, the american people. and they're going to try to keep
us safe and secure from the threats and the unseen, to root out systemic racism. we've reached a point, in my view, where the american people had to -- the blinders have been taken off. they've been taken off and realize -- they didn't realize before just how much systemic racism still exists because they didn't live in circumstances where they were with large minority populations whatever the background was. and all of a sudden they see what happened to george floyd with his nose being pushed up against the curb, suffocating and murdered. they said, my god, that happens. a piece of technology changes. a young man stood there for 8 minutes and 44 seconds and took that picture and the whole world responded. the whole world responded. we have a chance. we have a chance to change things. the reason i got involved in politics when i was a kid at 26 years old running for local office, to try to change, red line. i really mean it.
so you shouldn't be doing this unless you feel it. i always say a simple proposition, i trust people more who the idea and the concern starts in their gut, goes to their heart and is able to articulate it by a good brain rather than the person who thinks of it intellectually but never feels it. people you can count on are the ones that it starts from the gut, works the way to the heart and has the intellectual capacity to do what needs to be done. so, folks, we have a lot going on. we have a lot of opportunities. we can meet this existential threat of climate change. i really believe it. the world has figured out, the united states has figured out, whoa, it makes a gigantic difference, makes a gigantic difference, these unseen threats, air you can't breathe living on fence line communities and the like. so much more we can do. we have such an awful lot to do, but i know you. i know your heart, your dedication, your commitment to this nation and i know you can
do it. we're going to do it by leading with one core american value, humility and trust, could he leej yalt at this, diversity, competency and family. i want to thank your families for the sacrifices, but i'm not joking when i say this. if you are ever working with me and i hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, i promise you i will fire you on the spot, on the spot. no if, ands or buts. everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. that's been missing in a big way the last four years. kathy's gone through all of your backgrounds, talked to me about you. i'm confident you have the capacity to do it. we're going to be judged. we're going to be judged whether or not we restored the integrity, the competency of this government.
i need your help badly. last thing i'll say, i'm going to make mistakes. i'm going to make mistakes. when i make them, i'll acknowledge them and i'll tell you. i'll need your help to help me correct them. we're not going to walk away, we're going to take responsibility. that's what we do. that's what you do. that's what so many of you have done throughout your career and i expect you to do it again. so i'm happy. happy we're starting. happy to join all of you. there's almost 1,000 of you on this call and your families. so thank you, thank you, thank you very much. that in this nation everyone, and i mean everyone is given an opportunity. those -- that's who we are as a country and that's who we've always been thought to be. i was asked a long time ago when i was with xi jinping and i was in -- on the tibetan plateau. he said, can you define america for me?
i said, yes, i meant it. i said i can do it in one word, one word. possibilities. possibilities. we believe anything is possible when we set our mind to t. unlike any other country in the world. possibilities. you're my possibilities. you're the way we're going to get this done. i'm honored now to administer the oath of office to each of you, and if you will raise your right hand and repeat after me. i, state your name do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that i will bear true faith and
allegiance to the same, that i take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which i'm about to enter so help me god. thank you. welcome. as my mom would say, god love you all. we've got a lot of work to do. a lot of work to do. thank you for being willing to join. bye-bye. okay? >> so there you have it, about 1,000 presidential appointees. john, these are individuals who will be working right away for the president, whether in the white house or other agencies of the u.s. government who do not need senate confirmation so they can start working immediately. >> and what a remarkable shift
in tone and in character from the president of the united states right there. donald trump was reflexively comb combative. joe biden is reflexively optimistic. he talked about the challenges, covid, the climate, systemic racism, new words, new policy priorities. dignity, respect, integrity. again, the proof is in the pudding. the proof is in can you perform but just a different tone from an incredibly different president than the one we just watched leave town today. the reflexive on to optimism of biden. treat each other with respect and dignity. i'll fire you on the spot if you don't. we've been reading tweets in which the former president of the united states violated what we just heard from the new president of the united states. it is a different ethos which joe biden is bringing back respect for others. >> they were all muted which is why we didn't hear them utter the words. >> it's significant those of us
who have covered biden as vice president or when he was in the senate, he's bringing into his administration so many individuals who worked so closely with him over these many -- ron klain, his white house chief of staff, has been working together. jeffrey zions. en sjen psaki, so many others. he knows these people. he trusts these people and that's why they're going to be working with him. tony blinken, the incoming secretary of state, he's been with biden since the senate foreign relations committee. >> such a great point. he said to so many of you who have been here answering this call to service again, i thank you. and their families. he referenced those new to it. it is clear. this is sort of the culmination of a career for him and he is bringing back those he trusts the most. as part of this, wolf
mentioning, right, the volume was off so you couldn't hear them taking the oath of office, but there were at least 1,000 of them you heard him reference that are now formally sworn in. a lot of work being done in these hours. we're waiting to see if we get a nomination out of the senate. in the meantime, the executive orders i want to make sure you understand what happened there. david, before the president swore in all of his staff and all of these individuals, you were talking about these executive orders. we mentioned 17 of these orders and actions in all, 9 of them directly overturning things the president has done, one of them related to the keystone pipeline. the president of canada expressing his dismay with that. it is interesting in the context here, david, that 9 of these are basically by executive fiat overturning a trump policy. >> yeah. we were talking before about the covid focused ones, but there are some that are clearly designed as just a clean break from the trump era, such as
halting down on the band -- the travel ban from majority muslim nations. stomping down on any continued construction of a border wall. those were two signature iconic trump policies. he ran on them in 2016. they helped fuel his victory. he tauted them as president and within a few hours of taking the oath of office joe biden is stomping down on those. there's a new president, a new leader and a new direction when it comes to some of these policy areas that he is setting out. some of those thousand people you just saw the president swear in, throughout this transition period they were working on these executive orders, teeing them up to make sure the president could hit the ground running. >> what does this mean for the left and right? first of all, bacarri, to you, not only in the executive orders
is there a reporting of quality or equality and systemic racism. he mentioned it specifically. now our eyes are open, you can't unsee what you've seen. how significant is this? these are words but you now have executive orders behind them. is this what's necessary? >> well, yes, it's necessary and it's very significant. i think that you can include in that same category is ending the muslim ban. let's just level set with the american people. the muslim ban was racist, zdeno phonetic, bigoted and offensive even to the statue of liberty. that's how donald trump started his administration. repealing that allows people to breathe and have a sigh of relief. we're no longer espousing the policy and the beliefs of that. to go even further, if people want to know why it's
interesting, erin, the imagery is better. just two weeks ago, 14 days ago there was a confederate flag marching through the state -- through the united states capitol, a confederate flag. that confederate flag was marching along with people who were wearing six wme shirts. the most anti-semetic rhetoric. they were echoed and they were cheered on by rudy giuliani and the president of the united states. what you see in these executive orders is a complete 180 degree turn and the last point i'll make, i know my good friend anna navorro will agree to me. stephen miller ain't in the white house no more. that's so evident by these executive orders. >> you mentioned hawthorne, he
signed a letter to joe biden and asking to work together. in that how much goodwill does joe biden have when the rubber meets the road? >> i think he has quite a bit of goodwill, actually. i've talked to senator mcconnell about their friendship. heard him say things like i'm going to treat him a lot better than chuck schumer ever treated donald trump. it doesn't matter as much in the house. but in the senate it does matter. they could do some things by simple majority. i do think the long standing friendship matters. back on the executive orders if i might for a moment, erin. the ones that jump out for me are the keystone pipeline. that is a punch in the face to canada. and by the way a punch in the face to several unions that had endorsed that program. the others are daca and
expanding the wall construction. donald trump at one point had democrats. tapped and he could not close the deal. joe biden gets to acts. >> it's an interesting point. i'm glad you raise it. this is only possible because trump turned down that deal, right, where he would have had funding. the democrats were going to give it to him. thank you all very much. we are less than 30 minutes away actually from the administration's first press briefing by the press secretary jen psaki. what can we expect? how long will this be? how many questions? we're going back inside the white house after this.
welcome back to our special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden. we're getting new details right now about the inside of president biden's oval office. a bust of caesar chavez, for example, sitting behind the resolute desk along with statues of martin luther king jr. and robert f. kennedy. you can see those. let's discuss with john king and kaitlyn collins. caitlyn's our new chief white house correspondent. let me get to john first. we spent a lot of time as we were reporters in the oval office trying to shout guess. what do you think of the new
decor? >> it is joe biden's new stamp. the gold drapes and blue carpet, those were there in the bill clinton's presidency. cesar chavez there behind the resolute desk. rosa parks. martin luther king. andrew jackson portrait is gone. franklin roosevelt. washington and lincoln. mr. jefferson is in there. roosevelt, washington, lincoln, jefferson. alexander hamilton. inviting the idea that great patriots can disagree. hamilton and jefferson disagreed about a lot but it is just fascinating. >> the decor is certainly different than under president trump. caitlyn, we're about to get the first white house press briefing. jen psaki is going into the press briefing room and obviously make a statement and answer reporter's questions. set the scene for us. >> reporter: wolf, this is
notable. we have not been getting the daily press briefings before. in the final days of the trump administration they had all but stopped doing them after kayleigh got coronavirus. this is the first time we are going to hear from the incoming press secretary. on day one she will take the lectern. they have a number of questions facing them about the challenges and the issues facing this administration. what we should note is we expect these to be daily briefings. we expect them to bring them back. whether or not they're going to bring coronavirus briefings back as well. those will be some of the questions she will be facing. that's a notable break given the relationship between the previous president's press secretaries and the press. this is a relationship with a little bit of tension. we are asking questions they do not want to answer. you saw it go to a new level with the previous president's
press secretary. we will be watching to see how this one does, wolf. >> john, caitlyn is our new chief white house correspondent. you and i have been there. weunder stand what she's about to go through over the next few years. do you want to give her some advice? >> who put that together? >> that's amazing. >> i was very fortunate when i switched from print to television. >> stop laughing. >> i love this so much. >> caitlyn, do you think we've aged? is that what you're laughing about? >> you look better than ever. >> do we look a little better than we did in the early '90s. >> aging like a fine wine. >> give her one little piece of advice, are you going to be in the briefing room asking reporters questions? >> not yet. the coronavirus rotations we've been doing are going to stay in
place. so just a few reporters will be in there. it won't be as packed as normal. we'll be in there for the next few days. >> a lot of people are watching us. especially trump supporters are watching us. we need to hold this administration accountable, ask tough questions, give him grace out of the box. he was inaugurated today. it will be interesting to watch the reset of this relationship. >> excellent advice from john king. we'll be watching you every step of the way! we love those earlier pictures from 1990s. all right. up next, the presidential inaugural prayer service. an important tradition. reverend william barber is standing by live. he'll discuss his new message for the president.
reverend. what message will you send tomorrow morning? >> well, first of all, i'm humbled to be asked to join the clergy. you know it's amazing how relevant scripture can be. there's a scripture in the old testament, isaiah 58 that is honored by muslims, jews, and christians. that talks about when you come out of a time of lies and greed and narcissistic leadership? it says the first thing you have to repent and own it and own it's the history of it and then the scripture said there's a way for repairing and rebuilding and revival and renewal, if we lift from the bottom. if we end the words of injustice, we can become what the bible calls --. what i want to suggest tomorrow is what a day it would be if we come out of this greed with more grace. what a day it would be. we come out of this hate and lies with more love and truth. what if we come out and we pass
a full covid relief and lift 140 million poor before covid and millions after out of poverty into wealth. what if we raised the minimum wage? if have we renew the voting rights act? it could be an tint where the pain we have seen is not the pains of the death of democracy but the pains of the birth of a third reconstruction. >> so, a major theme of president biden's campaign and his inauguration speech that we heard this morning was unity. here is a clip, reverend. >> shown the way. the way of unity. we can see each other not as adversaries but neighbors. we can treat each other with dignity and respect. stop the shouting and lower the temperature and for without unity, there is no peace only bitterness and fury.
no progress, only exhausting outrage. no nation, only a state of chaos. >> reverend, joe biden is a man of great faith. how do you think his dedication to religion will serve him in office? >> i think he's walking in those deep, deep wells of truth and love and justice and mercy and concern which is the only way for, ultimately, a nation to be healthy in the sign of god and to be a better nation. you know, when i hear him talk about the unity, i hear exactly what he's saying. he also said meaning there's enough of us. he's not naive meaning unity is 100%. what if enough of us believe if you establish justice, you can ensure domestic tranquility. what if enough of us believe, that this is not a time of our right and left and conservative versus liberal or republican
versus democrat, but this is is a time to embrace the deep issue of faith and the deep issues of our constitution. what if enough of us believe that we must deal with addressing systemic racism, system poverty, the denial of health care, the war economy, and the false -- religious nationalism. the remnant of people and i enough of a remnant of people unified can actually transform a nation. we've seen it before in moments of great pain. after the assassination of abraham lincoln, the reconstructives there. after the killing of kennedy, we saw the civil rights aect and te voting rights act. we've seen it before and saw it with roosevelt. got to the gilded age and ran this country into the ground. we can do it again. >> reverend, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you. god bless. >> all right. and our special coverage of the inauguration of joe biden
continues. stay with us! the administration's first press briefing is literally moments away. we'll be right back. research shows people remember commercials with nostalgia. so to help you remember that liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's one that'll really take you back. wow! what'd you get, ryan? it's customized home insurance from liberty mutual! what does it do bud? it customizes our home insurance so we only pay for what we need! and what did you get, mike? i got a bike. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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the united states. he and his vice president kamala harris already at work. we're standing by for the administration's first press briefing. it's expected to ginny moment now, wolf. >> let's see if it's on time. it will be, erin. the new press secretary jen psaki taking questions. this is something we haven't seen through the final weeks, indeed, months of the trump administration. >> all right. we're joined by our new senior white house correspondent phil madingly. obviously, reporters are in there. coronavirus restrictions on the spacing and how many can be in. what are you learning about what we can expect tonight from the press secretary? >> reporter: i think a lot of what we're going to see is the sbe iteration of the points the president made today not only the speech but taking action. we saw the 15 executive orders and agency action that have been signed by the president today. regarding a number of different issues, whether it be covid related, whether it be
environmental related, or racial inequities issues like that. but i think you're going see jen psaki attempt to do something we've seen from the administration throughout the course of the day and that's set a new tone. turn the page moment. a new era moment. i think the white house press operation is attempting to match up with their boss when it comes to trying to present that to the american public in the wake of how their predecessor, at times, operated. we'll see whether or not it's effective. i want to say biden advisors made clear over the course of the last several weeks, they're going tell the hard truths. they're going to make clear that things are going to get worse before they get better. this will be a test of that position. there are certainly no shortage of challenges this administration faces. i think the other thing, you have to get used to a little bit here, as well, there won't be a lot of diversions of message. you know, the message is what it's going to be for each day. i think today that message is, obviously, starting big on day one with executive actions, the knowledge this isn't as big as
legislation. congress will be necessary. each day after, we're being told, over the course of the next week or two, erin, you'll see one issue per day. tomorrow it's clear it's going to be covid-related executive actions and covid-related messaging, health care, foreign policy in the days ahead. so a laser-focussed operation and message you'll hear from the president on down. i think you'll see that shown from the white house press secretary today. >> and the stark contrast. we remember with the trump administration, right, they had infrastructure week. they didn't do it by day. they did it by week but they were never able to have any discussion about it because the president of the united states was not on the same page. right. he would go off and do something different. but you're making the clear point here that this is from the top down, right? very, very planned and coordinated. >> reporter: yeah. and, you know, somebody told me something a couple of days ago i thought was interesting, you know, there were conversations we don't want any of our people tweeting they're own thoughts
throughout the course of the next couple of weeks inside the administration and the general response was there's no way it's going happen because of kind of the tone being set from the top down. so i think you make the point that the top down matters here but there's also a reality here. that's that no matter how buttoned down a press operation is, no matter how buttoned down the white house is, they don't get to control everything going on. there are going to be problems arising. there are going to be issues that no one can see coming over the next days, weeks, and months. the challenge will be whether or not they can try to control those and maintain the message. the challenge for us, as reporters, to get answers to those issues that have arisen that maybe fall out of the prepared response. >> right. >> reporter: that the white house had in advance of any briefing. >> right. the press wants to know about "y." our chief correspondent kaitlyn collins standing by. as i know, you and phil are awaiting this press conference. what are we expecting in the
next few moments in how many questions we think jen psaki will take or the length of press conference we'll get today? >> reporter: i think if we have learned anything from today, they are trying to do things the opposite of the way the trump administration did them. i mean, that's what joe biden signalled with the executive orders. he's basically trying to conduct this assault on what the president was trying to do well into late last night with some of the executive orders. i think that this press briefing could be part of that. they're trying to hold a press briefing on day one with reporters. they want to cool down the temperature. i'm told we've got a two minute warning of jen coming into the room. sometimes the things slide a little bit. i think they're trying to take a different approach on a big scale level when it comes to what the president's agenda was and what president trump's agenda was. but, also, on a smaller scale when it comes to the briefings. we're told we should expect them to hold them on a daily basis. to take our questions and we should not expect them to be as combative as they were when it
was kaighley. as we learned with sean spicer, you can set the tone for the relationship between a white house and a press corps. on day one and sean spicer did that. he set that tone for his entire tenure and so we'll be looking to see what tone it is that jen comes out. >> yeah. and by nature, it's an adversarial relationship. it's questions they don't necessarily want on days they don't necessarily want them. but i think it's interesting something you said there, kaitlyn, they're intending to do it on a daily basis. that's a complete break from what we had from the trump administration. i know you were saying, you know, once she had coronavirus, they essentially stopped. but, you know, even before then it was sporadic and combative. you never knew who was going to show up when they had one. but you're saying they're, indeed, going to do them daily? >> reporter: yes. you're right. sometimes when we would get a press briefing from the trump administration, they would nlt
take questions or would be selective about which reporters they could call on. we have coronavirus restrictions in place, as you can see, there are not seats filled. you have 12 to 15 reporters 234 the room. there's time, of course, to go around, to call on everyone, and so we didn't often see that. that's another thing to look for is how that operates. you can see there, that's so unusual from over a year ago what the briefing room used to look like. it used to be filled on the sides, every seat was taken. people in the back where tin front of -- photographers were. there's questions and follow ups what the bide administration is going to look like and what they're hoping it's going to look like on day one and the pandemic, we're told, is their number one priority and handling it differently than the administration that left earlier today. >> and the press secretary is coming out, we're awaiting, there are questions on the legislative agenda, the executive orders, but, also, i'm sure questions, perhaps, on the
impeachment trial on the senate and what role that can play and if they can be doing it at the same time as the legislative things. no doubt -- here comes jen psaki. let's listen into the press secretary. >> good evening. thank you for joining us on this historic day. it's an honor to be here with you. when the president asked me to serve in this role, we talked about the importance of bringing truth and transparency back to the -- briefing room. he asked me to ensure we're communicating about the policies across the biden/harris administration and the work his team is doing every day on behalf of all american people. there will be times when we see things differently in this room. i mean, among all of us. that's okay! that's part of our democracy. we building trust with the american people will be central to our focus in the press office
and in the white house. every single day. so we had a very busy and active day today, as you all know. i wanted to take a moment to go through the 15 executive actions or highlights of them, i should say, and some of the steps that the president asked agencies to take today. you should have received copies of the executive orders as well as the accompanying fact sheets, but i want to take this moment to highlight them for the american public who are watching at home. it combat the deadly virus, the president launched the 100-day masking challenge asking americans to do their part and mask up for 100 days. he's doing this part, as well, issuing a mask mandate that will require anyone visiting a federal building or federal land or using certain modes of public transportation to wear a mask. he signed an executive order reversing trump's decision to withdrawal from the world health organization. this will strengthen our own efforts to get the pandemic under control by improving
global health. tomorrow we're not wasting any time, dr. fauci will participate remotely in the meeting of the world health organization as the u.s. head of delegation. president biden also officially appointed a covid-19 response coordinator, a position and team we had previously announced but made it official today to create a unified national response to the pandemic. he reestablished the national security team responsible for global health, security, and bio defense. the covid-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis. he took immediate action to confront the crisis and asked relevant agencies to extend nationwide moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. the pandemic has also increased the hardship of millions of americans who owe federal student loans. in response, the president asked the department of education to extend the pause on student loan payments and interests.
he rejoined the paris climate agreement putting the united states back in a position to exercise global leadership and advancing the objectives of the ambitious agreement. sorry. a second broad executive order will roll back harmful regulatory reversals made by the previous administration to protect public health and the environment. this protects our nation's -- by reviewing the boundaries for several national monuments, places a temporary moratorium on oil and national gas in the arctic national wildlife refuge, and reestablishes the interagency working group on the social cause of greenhouse gases. he launched a whole of government effort to root out systemic racism from federal programs and institutions. he directed the secretary of homeland security in consultation with the attorney general, to take all appropriate actions to preserve and fort fie
daca, which provides temporary relief from deportation to d.r.e.a.m.ers, young people brought to this country as children. the president put an end to the muslim ban, a policy rooted in zone phobia. he signed a proclamation immediately halting further funding for the border wall and terminating the so-called national emergency use to wastefully divert billions for wall construction. also, today president biden sent an immigration bill to congress. the u.s. citizenship act modernizes our immigration system, it provides hard-working people who've enriched our communities and lived here for decades an opportunity to certain citizenship. the president's priority reflected in the bill are to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from central america, and ensure america can
remain a ref -- refuge fleeing prosecution. for that, i would love to take your questions. >> reporter: wehen you were up there, do you see yourself as the primary role promoting the interests of the president or provide us the unvarnished truth so we can share it with the american people? >> let me say, zeke, i come to this podium having served both in the white house and at the state department as the spokesperson there and i traveled the world on trips to promote democracy. where i saw the power of the united states, and of course, the power of this podium, and the power of truth and the importance of setting an example of engagement and transparency. so i will state, because you gave me the opportunity, i have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy, and for the role all of you play. as i noted earlier, there will be moments when we disagree and there will certainly be days where we disagree, umm, for
extensive parts of the briefing, perhaps, but we have a common goal which is sharing accurate information with the american people. if the president were standing here with me today, he would say he works for the american people. i work for him. so i also work for the american people, but his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truths back to government to share the truth even when it's hard to hear, and that's something i hope to deliver an in this role, as well. >> reporter: we're short on time, when will president biden begin making -- on the initial through the transition he didn't speak with president putin. does he plan on doing that? is he going to discuss retaliation for the attack on federal government? >> let me try to get to those. since zeke mentioned it, i know you have to got to another event this evening. we'll have longer briefings in the future but try to get to as many question as possible. his first foreign leader call is
on friday with prime minister trudeau. i expect they'll discuss the important relationship with canada as well as his decision on the keystone pipeline that we announced today. he -- i don't have any plans or any plans to read out for you in terms of a call with president putin. i will note for you, i would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. he feels it's important to rebuild those relationships and to address the challenges and threats we're facing in the world. on solar winds, we've spoken with this -- about this previously a bit prior to his inauguration, i should say, today. we are, of course, we reserve the right to respond at a time and manner of our choosing to any cyber attack. our team is, of course, just getting on the ground today. they're just getting on to their computers. so i don't have anything to read out for you or to preview for you at this point in time. peter, go ahead.
>> reporter: i have a question on policy. first, a quick housekeeping question. president biden said he received a very generous letter from president trump. he said it was -- he will not talk about it until i talk to him. is president biden planning to call now former president trump to try to put the two in touch? >> i think, peter, it was a reflection of president biden's view. i was with him when he was reading the letter in the oval office before he signed the executive actions. was that this is a letter that was private, as he said to you all. it was both generous and gracious. it was just a reflection of him not planning to release the letter unilaterally. i wouldn't take it as an kpangs of pending call. >> you talked, obviously, your role is in terms of delivering the best information to the american white house. the battle for truth, maybe, as tough a fight as the battle against coronavirus.
how do you and president biden plan to combat disinformation that, in many ways, lead to that assault we witnessed two weeks ago today on the capitol? >> well, i think, peter, there are a number of ways to combat misinformation. one of them is accurate information and truth and data and sharing information even when it's hard to hear. even when it, umm, is not meeting the expectations of people at home who are separate for this crisis to be over. we'll have more to share with you, umm, in the next few days. hopefully before the weekend. what we plan to do is not just return these daily briefings monday through friday, not saturdays and sundays, i'm not a monster. but, also, to return briefings with our health officials and public health officials. we want to do those regularly, in a dependable day, baked with data, shared with you and the public so they can track progress we're making on getting the pandemic under control. >> reporter: if i can, quickly,
we know president bide -- what is your understanding how quickly those confirmations will happen? when should we expect additional nominations and ambassadorships to be announced? >> well, peter, the desire to get his cabinet in place and get his team confirmed is front and center for the president. it is an issue, a topic, he discussed with members of congress from both the republican and democratic party today. during the course of the day and the course of events. i think as we were coming out here, haens should be on her way to confirmation. i don't know if it officially happened yet but she's on the way. we have prioritized getting our national security team in place given the crisis we're facing, gichbl the importance of keeping the american people safe at this time. but we are eager for those to move forward quickly in the coming days. ideally tomorrow, by friday, we would like to move them quickly.
it's something he's raising in his conversations, as we all are, with members of congress and their team. >> reporter: thank you. >> thank you. >> reporter: as president biden invited congressional leaders to talk about the covid relief measure? >> he's been discussing the covid relief measures the entire package that has, as you know, unemployment insurance, relief and assistance for the american people, it also has money to reopen schools, which i know, as a mother, impacts all of us. but he's been discussing that with democrats and republicans since long before he was sworn in today. today was a day where he had conversations about working together in terms of getting his team in place, on his agenda moving forward with but i expect he'll be picking up the phone in the coming days and having more of those conversations. in terms of when he'll met in person,ly say soon. we hope to have more of an update on that for you soon, as well. >> do you expect him to -- the negotiations? there was a lot of questions about the familiarity with the senate? how involved will he be in that process?
>> he'll be quite involved. there is -- the issue that he wakes up every day focussed on is getting the pandemic under control. the issue he goes to bed every night focussed on is getting the pandemic under control. this package is a pivotal step to doing that. it has assistance for the american people to make that bridge financially, it also has essential funding for vaccine distribution. he will be very involved. he will not be the only one. we have a whole team of senior staff, of course, but as you noted, he's not a stranger to the senate. he served there for 36 years. many members on both sides of the aisle he served with over that time and i expect he'll be quite involved in the process. go ahead. >> reporter: umm, so, on this covid relief package, ah, senator raomney was saying he doesn't see the need for another
relief package. how long are you trying to work to get republican support before going through the budget? >> well, as you know, because you all cover it and as i've stated a couple of times today, we're in the middle of an urgent crisis in the country. it's not just impacting democrats. it's impacting republicans, it's impacting red states and blue states. this plan is intended to address the suffering of the american people. so we hope and, frankly, we expect republicans in congress and democrats to support assistance that will bring relief to the people they represent. this is a conversation. he, of course, gave a prime time address, as you know, last week -- it seems like a long time ago but it wasn't -- to annoyance his specifics and he already had a number of conversations with democrats and the republicans. those will continue. his clear prevention is to move forward with a bipartisan bill. there's no question about it.
we're also not going to take any tools off the table for how the house and senate can get the urgent package done. we're only less than a day has he been president of the united states, but he's going to continue to work with members of both parties to get it done. francesca, go ahead. >> reporter: i have a question about reopening schools but i want to pick up where she left off and note that republicans, including lindsey graham, who is expected to be the senate budget committee ranking member have said that the price tag on the president's proposal is too high for them. is any any wiggle room on the number? has he begun negotiations with mitch mcconnell? >> well, umm, first, the package wasn't designed with the number $1.9 trillion as a starting point. it was designed with the components that were necessary to give people the relief they needed. so what is challenging is what are you going to cut? are you going to cut funding for vaccinations? cut funding for unemployment insurance?
are you going to cut funding for reopening schools? but it was laid out as his proposal based on recommendations from economists, recommendations from health experts, and as you've seen, there have been, also, an outpouring of support from bernie sanders to the chamber of commerce for the pack and an components in it. this is a discussion. it's a conversation. he is no stranger to the process of bill making. so we're at the beginning of the pro process and as we continue, there will be conversations with members of both parties what will be in the final package. rarely does it look like the initial package proposed. >> reporter: regard to reopening schools, what level of testing or vaccinations does the administration think would be appropriate in order to meet -- that the president set? >> in is a great question. as i noted at the beginning, as a mom myself, i want to know all the details, as well. we're going to have more to share from our health experts in the coming days.
i will venture to get them in here to give you a briefing on the spechblgs -- specifics. we want to lean into them on their expertise on that front. go ahead. >> reporter: so, president biden promised to end all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands when he was a candidate. the order that you just mentioned that he signed today was much narrower. a temporary moratorium. there's debate about whether he has the legal flexibility to even follow through with his promise. does the administration still have that commitment today? >> we do and the -- umm, the leases will be reviewed by our team. we have only been in office for less than a day. to confirm for you, all of our executive actions were reviewed by the career staff at the olc. we went through that process in
advance of releasing them. that took a great deal of work from the policies teams but it was a vital part of the process, for us, as well. >> talk about the preparations for getting the white house ready and safe for the new president. it's been reported that you did a $500,000 worth of deep cleaning. can you talk about the measures you took to ensure the president is safe? >> well, i would refer 0 you to the general services administration who oversees any steps like that. what i can speak to, if interest of the steps we're all taking to make sure that we're safe, he is safe, you are all safe, those include daily testing when we're in the white house. it includes wearing n-95 masks. i wore it out, of course, here today and will continue to do that. it includes stringent rules about social distancing. the president asked us to be models to the american people and that's vitally important to us, as well. there are a number of new covid
steps, precautions we have put in place as of today. all the way in the back. >> reporter: thank you so much, jen. thank you for doing this innovative -- so climate change being one of the priorities. how does president biden plan to work with brazil? biden criticized brazil deforestation and the brazil president criticized biden back. what is the expectations for their relationship. does he plan to speak with the brazilian president? >> well, i don't have anything to predict for you or advance for you in terms of a call or conversation. what i can convey on climate change, of course, and addressing the climate crisis it's one of the four crises that he's identified will impact his administration, impacting not just the american people, but the global community is that rejoining the paris climate
agreement is a vital step toward doing that. the united states was one of the only countries in the world, as you all know, that has not been -- has not had a seat at the table in the last few years. a little technical step there is we have submitted that to the u.n. secretary general and it will take proximately 30 days to take place. i use that as an example because that's one step. we know we need to be models at home as we're addressing an issue like that. the united states continues to be one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases and we need to put in place policies and take steps to address it, as well. but i'm sure we'll have more to discuss on brazil in the coming months. go ahead right there. >> reporter: what are the next steps when it comes to iran? does the president have any plans to rejoin the nuclear deal? >> well, the president has made clear that he believes that through diplomacy, the united
states should seek to lengthen and strengthen nuclear constraints on iran and address other issues of concern. iran must resume compliance with significant nuclear constraints under the deal in order for that to proceed. i will say that as i noted a little bit earlier, we would expect that some of his earlier conversations with foreign counter parts or foreign leaders will be with partners and allies and that we would certainly anticipate that this would be part of the discussion. >> reporter: could you give us some color what was like for him going into the oval office? he's been waiting for so long. what was his reaction? >> well, you know, i spent a little time with him earlier and he had an incredible sense of calm. some joy, of course. he spent the day with his family and children and grandchildren and that always has an impact, i think. he also said he felt like he was coming home. remember, he spent eight years here as the vice president
playing an important role as a partner to president obama, and, you know, that was the emotion that overtook him today. he's egger to get to work. he was asking questions about policy and covid and what's next. you know, that also reflects his desire to roll up his sleeves and get going. i'm sorry i told you i was -- i skipped over you. >> reporter: that's all right. i'll take it now. if president biden wants a theme of his president to be unifying the country, does he think that nancy pelosi and chuck schumer should drop a probablily divisive senate impeachment trial? >> well, he spoke today, as you all saw, about unity in his inaugural address and the importance of unity and bringing the country together and a resolve of the american people in helping to get through this
moment. we're confident, though, just like the american people can, the senate can also multitask and they can do their constitutional duty while continuing to conduct the business of the american people. his view is that the way to bring the country together is to address the problems we're facing. so that means getting this covid relief package through, having democrats and republicans take a serious look at that and have conversations with each other about how to move it forward, and he's going to leave the mechanics, the timing, and the specifics of how congress moves forward on impeachment to them. >> reporter: on president trump's inauguration day, he filed paperwork to run for re-election. does president biden have any plans to do it today late or in the coming days? >> having talked to him today, his focus is not on politics. it's on getting to work and solving the problems of the
american people. so, as he noted on the campaign, he will wait until sometime into his first term to speak more about his political plans moving forward. go ahead. >> reporter: yeah. president -- prepare alliances. has he planned his first foreign trip yet? >> we're only seven hours in here. you're ready for the foreign trip. i'm ready, too. i don't have any details on a foreign trip to lay out for you, at this point in time. hopefully we will at some point in time. go ahead all the way in the back. >> reporter: congratulations your new position. duobig concerns for pro life americans the hyde amendment, of course, keeps taxpayer dollars, as you know, paying for medicaid apportions and the mexican city policy which expanded to keep the tax dollars overseas paying for abortions. what is president biden planning
on doing now? >> well, i think we'll have more to say on the mexico city policy in the coming days. i will take the opportunity to remind you he's a devout catholic. he started his day attending church with his family but i don't have anything more on that. go ahead. >> reporter: yeah, as president-elect talked about the possibilities of -- the defense production act to ramp up the production of vaccines. having looking at more data, does he feel it was necessary? was that included in anything he signed today? >> stay tuned we'll do it again tomorrow and there may be more specifics to share on plans on covid tomorrow. i expect there will be including more details on the defense production act. he absolutely remains committed to invoking the defense production act in order to get the supply and the materials needed to get the vaccine out to
americans across the country and remains committed to his goal of getting 100 million shots in the arms of americans in the first 100 days. go ahead. >> reporter: thank you very much. the president talked about unity today. i've heard from people who say, well, that's just talk. they want to know what kind of action. peter mentioned impeachment. can you tell us what kind of action we can see that will ensure people he wants to reach out to people who voted for him and people who did not. >> sure. first, i think anybody who covered president biden for some time or worked for him or spent time with him knows he is somebody who always sees the optimistic side of working with people who may disagree with him. people across the aisle, and that's long been his commitments and desire through his many decades in public service.
so his own history tells you how committed he is but, you know, part of it is his words, which he shared today with the american public on quite a big stage. also his actions. he reached out to not just democratic members of congress but republicans. not just democratic governors but also republicans. not just democratic mayors but also republicans. he said today in his speech the biggest platform most presidents have through the course of their presidency that he will govern for all americans. that has to be backed up by actions, as conveyed, but he's going to venture to do that in every policy he pursues. he feels we can come together, we'll be a stronger country. go ahead. >> reporter: a death penalty moratorium under this administration? >> the president, as you know, has stated his opposition to the death penalty in the past. he remains -- that remains his
view. i don't have anything more for you in terms of future actions or mechanisms, though. i can circle back, if there's more i can share with you. >> on a later note, will he keep donald trump's color scheme change? >> that's a good question. i haven't had the opportunity to dig into that today. i will venture to get you an answer on that and maybe we can talk about it tomorrow. >> reporter: does president biden think that president trump needs to be held accountable for the insurrection a couple of weeks ago it be barred president trump from holding future office? >> he has spoken very firmly and fiercely publicly about his views of the horrific events on the horrific events on january 6th.
and he's also, of course, spoken with members of congress about that, as you all know. but he is going to leave it to members of congress to carry out their constitutional duty and determine what the path forward is and what the mechanisms will be, what the process will be, and what the time line will be. and, certainly, he ran against donald trump because he did not think he was fit to serve in office. long before the events of january 6th. he is here today because he decided to run against him, but we're focussing on moving forward. we're focussing on addressing the issues facing the american public. as you know, that means we're focussed on our covid package. go ahead. >> reporter: if i can follow up, is the president being updated, first of all, on the progress of the fbi investigation? do we know the fbi is leading the investigation into the assault on the capitol. does president biden have confidence in the fbi director? >> well, peter, as you noted, there's an ongoing investigation
which we certainly support. i'm not sure he has received an update today on anything about the investigation, but we certainly support those ongoing and we will, i'm sure, be receiving updates in the day ahead. >> confidence in the fbi director? >> i have not spoke within him about specifically fbi director wray in recent days, peter, but i'll circle back if there's more to convey. >> reporter: jen, the president did not mention the word "trump" today. what was the intention behind not making any direct address to the predecessor? >> i think the intention was not to make the speech about any individual, elected official, any current president, former president, but make it about the american people. and the moment we're facing in history right now, the struggles that millions of americans are facing who don't have jobs. the fear people have about the health of their grandparents and their cousins and their brothers and make it more about the
strength of the american people when they come together. and not about any individual. as you saw, it was forward looking. not meant to look back on the past. >> reporter: how does president biden plan to -- the united states image around the world? what is his priority globally? >> well, his priority is, first, we building our partnerships and alliances around the world and regaining america's seat at the global table. and you can see that as evidenced in his rejoining the paris climate agreement, rejoining the world health organization, his plans to engage with partners and allies and work together to address many of the threats and issues we're facing around the world. but i think that is what you will see as his focus in the weeks ahead.
thank you, everyone. let's do this again tomorrow. >> thank you, jen. there it is. the first white house press briefing. some significant news there. i want to get to it but, john king, let's get to the major headline now. the senate confirmation of the first cabinet pick. the senate voted 84-10 to con con confirm avril hanes. 84-10. i think that's a significant development itself the first confirmation. >> absolute lie. a sign of bipartisan on day one of the biden administration. 84 votes for a biden nominee. that's significant. tom cotton, the republican senator from arkansas held it up because he want a question answered about past cia policy. he said the nominee and she answered the question and will be the director of national intelligence. historic as the first woman. you're seeing scenes at least on
personnel on the biden team -- when they were in the majority, there seems to be an effort to say, okay, we'll move your team forward. it doesn't mean all the policy conversations to come about climate, about the covid relief pack age and others will be couple buy ya but it's important on the first day. >> and it looks like the incoming of the -- at least the designated secretary of the treasury will be confirmed. tony blink looks like he's going to be confirmed. they're moving ahead. there will be other controversies but these are significant developments. let's go through some of the headlines we heard. she did say as far as the senate impeachment trial is concerned, she did say the senate can multitask. meaning they can do a trial but also do other critically important issues on the economy and on the coronavirus. >> that was one of the many very cautious answers from jen. she's a pro.
she has white house experience. she has state department experience. very cautious answers on several questions. she said, yes, the senate can multitask. reporters will feel out their relationship with her, as well. how best to ask her questions. we went through it in our days covering the white house. should the president be held accountable? does president biden believe former president trump needs to be held accountable? she punted and said it's up to the senate. he has spoken how abhorrent he found the attack on the capitol. it's a deflection. it's an age-old practice. she punted about the question federal taxpayer policy to the mexico city policy. that's going to those supporting abortion rights. she stressed his catholic faith not the support for abortion rights. some progressives not like that answer. we're in the early days of the relationship. you saw her binder. we covered the white house. it's a difficult job.
they're speaking for the entire united states government. she came prepared from all the agencies on day one. the other thing, wolf, the four most important words she spoke when it comes to this relationship, can you trust what she says? i was with him. during the trump administration, whe they often went out there and winging it. they did not have access to the president like jen has to president biden. they would try to translate trump tweets. in terms of trust and transparency in the government, you have your own prism, does this person have access to the president? there's no question. she has that vital relationship with the president of the united states. >> yeah. she got a lot of experience, too. she comes into the white house briefing room formerly with the communications department in the obama white house and the state department, as well. c
catlin collins, she opened up by promising truth and transparency in the briefing room. she said it's a major deployment rebuild trust with the news media. i expect we won't hear the president or the aids speak about the news media as the enemy of the american people which we had to hear over the past four years. she did say as far as this letter that president trump left for president biden, she did repeat what the president said earlier, president biden was gracious and generous but it was private. she wasn't going to go into details. she did suggest that there was no impending phone conversation, no impending call to trump that t the new president was going it make. >> reporter: yeah. biden said earlier he didn't want to reveal what trump had written in the letter unless he had spoken to him, of course. first, we know they have not actually spoken yet. she seemed to be saying that biden was being polite saying he's not going to go out and unilaterally release the contents of the letter and it didn't sound like there was any call set up between the two.
it's remarkable given the precedence that was broken by donald trump as he left office today. it doesn't appear any call there is happening. she did say biden is going to start calling other foreign leaders. he's going start with canada's trudeau on friday. that's something to watch as he makes his way into office. two other things i want to point out, wolf, when you were talking about no attacks on reporters. that's rare given what we've been dealing with for the last four years. before sean spicer came out and announced the calls that donald trump was going to have with foreign leaders, he first attacked reporters. so i want to note that. very different tone there in that briefing. but one other thing i have to take note of before we go, wolf, is that at the end she was asked if joe biden has confidence in the fbi director. she was asked that twice. she did not say yes. she did not say no either. but it does appear that potentially chris wray's fate could be unclear at this point. she said she has to talk to
president biden about that. we know donald trump wanted to fire him by the end of his term. it remains to be seen what will happen. >> she did stress receipt pet petedly -- repeatedly that dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is number one. the president signed a new executive order allowing the united states to become a member of the world health organization and gave us this headline. she said dr. fauci is going to be participating in a conference call as the head of the u.s. delegation with the world health organization right away. she wants the whole world, obviously, to get involved and help the united states deal with this pandemic. >> reporter: also, bringing up dr. fauci's name, knowing what credibility ratings he has with the american people. i think, also, it was notable given we often saw the white house try to discredit dr. fauci and bring up things he said in the past about coronavirus. that is something that seems to be a different page that they are taking here in the biden
administration. she said there are going to be more answers on their pursuit for coronavirus including whether or not they're going to use the defense production act. she did seem to reference those coronavirus briefings that president donald trump became famous for. the one that lacked in science and data by saying they'll be relying on data when they have the briefings, wolf. >> about a half hour briefing she had, john. half an hour. she promised there would be daily monday through friday, she's not going to do it on saturday and sunday. she said i'm not a monster. monday through friday she'll have the briefings. she promised they would be regularly scheduled health briefings on coronavirus. >> that's critical as we go through the vaccine rollout. as the administration tries to keep the promise not just to vaccine rollout but surge resources to states. some is just advice. some is an army to help with the vaccine rollout, and other steps in the public health crisis. she said it's important they're going to tell the truth. my words, even when it hurts. even when they have difficult things to tell the american people. they're laying down a marker on
day one and this relationship and the accountability between the press, the media, and the administration we're going to watch this play out. i would say, you know, the fact she came in, she could have said i'll see you tomorrow. it's a big day. she wanted to make a statement on day one. we'll be assessable. i think kaitlyn raised an important point about christopher way. that was a punt. you know the question is coming. they decided not to answer it today. that's a question jen knows and the president knows you can't leave it hanging out there too long. the director of the federal bureau of investigations is so critical to this moment. >> she punt order the sensitive issue whether the u.s. would once again rejoin the iran nuclear deal, which president trump walked away from. she said there's work to do and he's going to be talking to world leaders involved in that to decide what is going to happen but she made it clear that the u.s. would strongly oppose any nuclear ambitiouses that the iranians might have. we have a lot more on all of
these developments. up next, the vice president of the united states, kamala harris, making history tonight as the first black and south-asian-american to hold that office. one great source of support for her over the years is her sorority. the oldest black sorority. up next, two of her sorority sisters are standing by. they'll join us. look at them! they're beaming with pride as they should be !
moments ago the first white house briefing from the new press secretary, something so normal in past administrations but something we haven't seen in a long, long time so it felt very abnormal. david gregory, jen saki started about the importance of bringing truth and transparency to the briefing room. she took questions for about half an hour. how did it go in your point of view as you look at this is something that will be daily father or mo from the press secretary. >> let's talk about something that's the biggest picture point which is a commitment to truth. the reality is jen saki, president biden and others in washington understand that our institutions are in disrepute, that americans are losing faith in politics, institutions, the media across the board. it's a reason why donald trump happened as a political figure and the fact he lied so often,
others within the white house lied gave an opportunity for this new administration to say no, we'll stand up for telling the truth for dealing with the press and the press is not always right and the press has baggage and makes mistakes. >> yeah. >> but to have a representative of the government say look, i'm going to level with you and level with the american people and therefore you can hold us accountable. it very important because we're living in an age with so much misinformation and so many lies in the blood stream of the country and we have to pull it back. >> it interesting it comes across as a breath of fresh air when of course, joe biden himself has been around a long time and many of the people working for him are also very well familiar with the white house and the orders of government, yet, it feels very fresh. >> it does. he's not a picture of the future. at 78 years old, and yet, it does feel so much different. i mean, i just think the whole
day, i'm sorry, the absence of nastiness is something that we should just take a moment to comment on. because it's different. there are public discourse is different. i used to be in that room and when there were life and death circumstances on the line during the iraq war and post 9/11 covering the bush white house but never the toxicity and i think it's very difficult to watch and destabilizing for people that are viewers and sit zi -- citizens around the country. i don't care your politics or how you judge this administration, that is a great thing. the absence of toc xicity we should celebrate. >> david gregory, thank you. there are so many more events this evening for the president and vice president. we'll see them both much more ahead.
so tonight history has been made. kamala harris the first woman and black american and south asian american to be sworn in as vice president. i was an emotional and powerful moment for so many and we're joined by two women who know vice president harris extremely well. jill lewis and monique, sorority sisters from the oldest black so r sorority in this country. thank you for being with us. all eyes were on the vice president today and it was a
moment that meant so much for so many. both of you have known her for a long time during her college years at howard. today a big moment for women, for people of color, for children. all of these landmarks at these records being set. what is the significance for you of seeing her in this role on that stage today? >> this is the product of a lot of work, and not just the work that it takes to be elected into office, but the work that each of our ancestors did through civil rights and into the future, and this is just such a wond wond wonderful culmination. >> jill, you know, you've all been together for a long time, right? decades. and a friendship that lasts decades, you've known her for a long time. when we look at pictures, monique, you as well, you know, what qualities does she bring
that you have seen in her over decades? monique, you first. >> well, kamala certainly character istics is she's a leader. she's sincere. she's authentic. she -- those are all qualities throughout her time and her career as a public servant we've seen her working for people that are most vulnerable or mar margi marginalized. those are characteristics i'll see she will carry on as the madam vice president and work for all people of the united states. >> jill, there is one thing about her, you know, she's watching on the senate floor swearing in the new senators. when she had to announce senator padilla replacing herself, she
laughed. she said that feels weird amidst the controversy of "vogue" cover. she's on the cover in sneakers. there is a cause wellness to her and having interviewed her i noticed it, as well. a causalness that is genuine and people respond to positively. tell me about that. do you think she can retain that as she is in this very formal role, jill? >> it's certainly my hope for her, for her to keep her joy. she has been since the beginning of time, you can see baby pictures of her that still have that bright smile and when she hit the public stage, that's the thing that we sorority sisters noticed immediately, her laugh and her smile and ability to be relatable, she can't be anyone but her authentic self-.
i think she will because it's hard wired her ability to see joy and irony in all of those things in life. >> monique, you know, i'm looking now. you both have on your necklaces, your pearls, paris had her pearls on today, which are also very much a part of her brand it seems when we see her. is there a significance to this? tell me. >> absolutely. so as a member of alpha kappa alpha sorority incorporated, our pearls represent our founders. it also represents wisdom and refinement. and with that alpha kappa alpha sorority incorporated represents service to all man kind. it's all relevant. these are all characteristics of madam vice president harris and, you know, we look forward to the country seeing all of those various qualities as she carries
out her role as vice president. >> you know, jill, today the bells at howard university of usually her alma mater rang 49 times to honor her. she's the 49th vice president of the quunited states. what does this mean? for you it's personal but what does it mean more broadly? >> well, it means that hbcus have a seat at the table. when people are choosing colleges and wanting to know those places that can really enrich them and take thenm to their highest heights, they know hbcus are a place for that. >> jill, monique, appreciate your time. thank you very much for tells us about your friend. >> thank you. thanks so much to all of you for joining us but the night is still young. so much to come. the inaugural events continue with remarks from the president and vice president and
performances by bruce springsteen, justin timberlake, john legend, many more. >> i love all those people. bruce springsteen, can't wait, john bon jovi, all of them good, excellent, excellent coverage and it's only just beginning, erin. ♪ ♪ good evening. these are live pictures from the white house for a new president is leading this country. a new era is beginning in the nation's capitol and tonight, a star studded concert celebrating america is about to get underway. i'm anderson cooper. president joe biden and vice president kamala harris are going for a big finish to cap the historic inauguration that honored traditions and reinvented them. the celebration begins soon at the lincoln memorial and across the country. expect to hear from the
president and vice president along with a roster of a-list entertainers. kicking things off within the loss bruce springsteen and justin timberlake with ann clemens and performances by john legend a big biden supporter and katy perry who announced she'll be on stage tonight. i want to go to the white house and jake tapper. president biden has already got to work. it is now his administration. jake? >> reporter: that's right, anderson. tonight's concert will replace the traditional slew of inaugural balls because of safety precautions. there will be amazing music and a lot more and cnn will bring it live. there will be an appearance by lynn manuel miranda, former presidents obama, bush and clinton will take about the importance of this moment and strength of the american democracy plus host tom hanks will kick off a tribute to frontline worker whose have
risked and sometimes sacrificed their lives to care for us during this pandemic, but there is also a lot of news going on because we have a new president and he is making a lot of changes. so let's go straight to the white house where we just heard our first briefing from the new press secretary jen psaki. kaitlan collins who just started with her new title today, congratulations, has the details. what did jen psaki have to say? it was notable how different the first breiefing, no shouting or attacks on reporters but questions for the incoming white house press secretary about biden's first day in office and those executive orders that he signed when he's going to make his first call to a foreign leader, which we're told is going to happen on friday with canada's prime minister justin trudeau but also what he thinks about the senate trial and their pursuit of the impeachment article of president trump and what that's going to look like.
jake, a lot of questions for her today from reporters including one about the fate of chris wray and whether or not president biden has confidence in him. she did not answer that yes or no so we're waiting to see what that will look like. i want to note you saw joe biden sitting there in the oval office, that's when he was signing executive orders and asked about the letter president trump left him. he seemed to hint there could be a chance the two of them will speak. she said that was more of president biden being polite and there are no plans for them to speak as it goes now. about the executive orders he signed which are strictly aimed at basically undoing what you have seen donald trump do over the last four years but specifically over the last ten months or so when it comes to coronavirus given that is their number one priority, a lot of that has to do with mask requirements on federal grounds, eviction moratoriums, student loan payments. they said there is more to come because there are going to be more briefings tomorrow including conversations we're
expecting to happen with dr. anthony fauci, of course. one thing i do want to note, jake, about those executive orders that happened, jen psaki said they went through a comprehensive office of legal counsel process to make sure they were above legally sound and that's a far cry from the trump administration when of course, that muslim ban went into place and created chaos at the airports. you're already seeing a different approach not only in the bigger details but granular ones, jake. >> kaitlan collins, thank you so much. phil mattingly is also joining us and phil, the biden administration is kind of playing catchup here because the trump administration, because the president, former president trump refused to acknowledge reality and fought the results of the election, fought democracy tooth and nail. they weren't able to commence the transition process as
quickly as would have been good for them and more importantly, would have been good for the american people. tell us what that is like for the biden administration now that they're actually on the job. >> reporter: jake, i've been talking to administration officials as they land at their new departments and agencies and one thing i keep picking up is based on that transition process there is significant concern there are a lot of unknowns what they are walking into still at this point and this isn't agency by agency. some had better processes than others. the two administration officials say those concerns are standing issues to get a better sense landing teams and that's what is causing this. administration made clear from the president on down they want to start fast out of the gate, executive actions, legislative proposals and need agencies to
put into place a number of things, as well. earlier today ron klain sent a memo to every single department and agency head freezing and asking to resend any rule making that isn't through the process up to this point. that is pretty normal for a new administration coming in trying to get a sense of where things stand but one administration official i was talking to said it is particularly relevant at this point in time given the rocky transition process, given how little sense they have in some agencies what they are coming into. they want to ensure that nothing the trump administration did in the final days that they weren't aware of or that they could pull off the table before they have an opportunity to put their own policies this place actually goes through. that memo matters. that memo has teeth and under scores that the biden administration while it's full go and the president made clear they want to go fast out of the gate has a lot to get arms around in the opening days, jake. >> yeah, again, just to reiterate, it's not just about being nice to joe biden but what is best for the american people
and transition being able to begin as soon as possible is what would have been best for the american people. phil mattingly, thanks so much. there is lots of action at the capitol, as well, with new accept tor s-- senators being s in and a confirmation vote for director of national intelligence. let's go to manu. >> reporter: officially in the majority and first move confirming a biden cabinet nominee. al haynes to be the director of national intelligence confirmed an 84-10 vote. that was the only nomination confirmed so far. different than past presidents. donald trump had two confirmed on day one, barack obama had six, george w. bush had seven. just one for joe biden. there is one reason, big reason why other nominees haven't been confirmed is debate on going
between the top democrat, the new majority leader chuck schumer and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell how they will share power in the congress split 50/50 in the senate and kamala harris will break ties but there is disagreement about how to organize nietthe committ and as a result, the comkcommit process may get derailed meaning nominations may take time to be concerned in the senate. just as joe biden is demanding action on his nominees, it could take awhile for the senate to actually get to that point. still questions remain about whether or not a deal can be reached about whether, how to organize nietthe senate and one reason why is mitch mcconnell is demanding they spare the tactic and democrats say they won't agree to that. amid calls for unity on both
sides, call to turn the page uncertain about whether or not the senate can get its act together, get these nominations confirmed and allow joe biden's nomination cabinet to be formed here, jake. >> a lot of democrats do want to do away and get rid of the filibuster and mitch mcconnell is fighting that tooth manu raju, thank you. it's nice to see normal press releases and normal responses from republicans to democrats, for example senator ted cruz objecting to the fact biden is rejoining the paris climate accord saying it's just as i think trump said, he is valuing, biden is valuing the citizens of paris more than the citizens of pittsburgh. on the other hand, it was over two weeks ago senator ted cruz was voting to throw out the votes of not just the citizens of pittsburgh but the entire commonwealth of pennsylvania. i know there is an attempt to go
forward as if like okay, let's reset. it's back to 2012 or whatever. i don't know that most people in this town are going to be okay with just like plunging ahead and pretending the last two months didn't happen. >> right. but, you know, the message that we heard from joe biden in his inaugural address and since and certainly from jen psaki in the briefing room behind you is just that. they want to try to move forward. it's not as if these republicans don't have questions to answer still, it's not as if it would not be nice for them to acknowledge the reality that the election was not stolen but that isn't going to change things. what is something that they are all going to have to deal with, republicans in the senate is impeachment, and as much as the biden white house is focused so much on really assaulting the
trump legacy from get-go here on climate, on immigration, on diversity, on, you know, the whole approach to the covid issue and just even a mask man dad -- mandate for federal buildings, there is still a question whether republicans will vote yes or no on impeachment because a trial is likely to happen rather soon. >> will they use an impeachment as an excuse to hold up the biden agenda? that seems to be -- that's what seems to be being teed up here by some republican lawmakers who are basically saying no, we can't do both things at once. we can't push forward your nominees. we can't give you a covid relief bill if you also want to try to have an impeachment hearing for a president who is not even in office anymore. that's going to be a major challenge for the biden administration, which is, i think, one of the reasons that
joe biden himself has been a little ambivalent about in the first place but secondly, you know, you're already seeing some other republican senators trying to hold up biden's nominees based off policy disagreements with this administration and one thing that that just draws to mind is that, you know, you're going to start to see rep republicans holding joe biden to a higher standard than they held president trump to for the last four years on a lot of different issues but especially because, you know, president trump, you know, voiced support for all kinds of policy issues democrats hated and yet, you know, his cabinet was largely approved. his cabinet members, some of them had serious issues with their background checks, with other issues and they were put forward anyway and i do think there is going to be a little bit of a -- >> disconnect, hypocrisy.
>> some hypocrisy happening. that will be on full display. >> holding biden to a higher standard, they held comedians like kathy griffin and michelle wolf f to a higher standard tha donald trump. that wouldn't be a surprise. one thing that's interesting about impeachment, i 45heard fr republicans delaying the trial would be smart for democrats who by the way, the house democrats have not delivered the impeachment document to the senate yet. >> and haven't said when they will. >> and haven't said when they will do that. it not as though republicans -- it not as though anybody in the senate is sitting on this. the other thing is if there is an investigation, right, and we find out more that suggests that there was more involvement in what happened by trump and his associates than we know right now, that might make it easier to convict than right now if they did it. >> yeah, yeah, it could. you know, the calculous is difficult politically however
they slice it because i mean, everybody wants to move on, but democrats and some republicans feel that they really can't do it until the word they use is justice is brought to put a complete, you know, lid on the past. >> anderson, throw it to you now. coming up, bruce springsteen, john legend, justin timberlake, tim mcgraw, katy pep perry are some that will take part in the concert. we'll be right back. between what is hoped for and what can be, there's a bridge. between endangered and protected, there's a bridge. between chaos and wonder, there's a bridge. there from the beginning to where we stand today.
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we're awaiting the start of the concert in the nation's capitol that is supposed to begin at any moment in the lincoln memorial. bruce springsteen will kick it off and tim mcgraw and demi lovato and the list goes on. in addition to musical performances, we'll hear from a number of names eager to celebrate the biden administration and united states. there will be appearances from kareem abduall-jabbar and we expect to hear from the man and woman of the hour, we're
standing by for remarks on president biden and vice president kamala harris, as well. while we wait, let's go to kate bennett. kate, you're getting new enforen information where vice president harris is going to be tonight. kamala harris and her husband will not be moving into the vice president's residence right away. they will be staying in their current d.c. home. the vice president's residence was built in 1893. it is an old structure on the grounds of an observatory here in washington and needs repairs and they're saying they would best happen with nobody living there. there is no time frame for when they will move in but i assume as soon as repairs or renovations are done, the vice president and her husband will move in. news about the chief usher of the white house timothy was hired under melania trump in 2017. he came from the trump hotel in
washington d.c. the chief usher of the white house is out. the bidens will hire somebody new. timothy harless conducted the job for a very small amount of time in terms of how long chief ushers at the white house typically stay. the longest stayed more than 20 years. these are jobs that don't typically turnover with a new administration so it is unusual he's out. however, he did -- he has a trump hotel, trump hospitality background. the job of chief usher, though, sounds different. it's actually the general manager of the entire white house so it is a very important job. the bidens need to feel comfortable with the person holding that job so right now the current chief usher is no longer there. anderson? >> kate bennett, appreciate it as we wait for this event to begin tonight. let talk about the day we witnessed and still on going. van, you had hours to think about it.
>> it's just memorizing to watch a functional government doing functional government type things. i mean, just a press conference and a human and the person said words and the words made sense and then somebody asked a question and then the person answered the question and just crying, oh my god. and then biden -- >> this is like a "saturday night live" skit. >> unbelievable. >> biden -- >> how long will this go on? >> i don't know. it wonderful. thank elujah hallelujah, jesus, thank you. biden was just swearing in the people and telling them to be nice to each other and if you don't, i'm going to fire you. that was powerful. >> he also talked -- >> and a press secretary give a briefing on the first day and ended the briefing saying let's do this again tomorrow. we're going to do this again tomorrow. talking about truth. someone who was a white house
communications director before this, who worked at the state department, jen psaki i'm talking about knew what she was doing and talked about plans and actions and -- >> she did dodge some questions. >> she did dodge some questions. she didn't say whether the president had confidence in wray, the current fbi director. she'll get back to you on that. she did talk about how impeachment might proceed. there are problems with that in the senate. they can do inpeampeachment in morning and do more in the morning. it shows you what experience means and how it matters when you have to pick up running a government without a real transition and in a crisis. >> big picture, it's an extraordinary shift in -- >> one of the reasons joe biden was elected is he was the most
radical change in certain ways in terms of style, approach, personality, experience in every single way. let me say the thing in ref refl reflecting, george burns once said all you need to succeed and show business is sincerity. everything about this day was built in his believes, his personality and faith in this country, his faith generally and that was the other point i wanted to make. his deep, deep faith, which was so evident today was a great advantage to him even in the election because we have great cultural divides in this country and one of them is about between people of faith and people who -- there are people of faith that identify to the democratic party with secular and a guy
that is unapologetic about his faith and guides him and that's clear and that's a great advantage. the second thing is that scene at arlington with the presidents was important not just to show commanders in chief of both parties standing with the new commander in chief but biden's connection to the military because of his son is another cultural -- is another cultural bridge that he has built into parts of the country that might be suspicious of a democratic president. so there are a lot of cultural queues he cementsent in the spe with his presentations today that are very important to advance this project of unity he's speaking about. >> evan? >> it's interesting it's not just unity in the united states but the message we're sending to the rest of the world. part of this project right now, the whole world is watching. how is the united states handling this moment of
transition? if you look at the things they've done today, the first things they've chosen send a specific message. they rescinded the muslim ban and are beginning to put masks on people and all of these in one way or another are beginning to unwind the image that we have developed over the last four years. >> they will rejoin the world health organization and tony fauci is going to be the emasari to the world health organization. because biden has experience and relationships with heads of state, they told you who he is talking to on friday. he'll talk to the canadian prime minister on friday and get readouts of who he is talking to and this is all part of that kind of normalizing, i think, that we're seeing right now and it's kind of back to the future in a way, right? >> it is such a shift also just not to have the kind of unknown constantly hanging over our head
and this is the longest think as a country we've gone without saying the name of the former president. >> we can start now. that is part of what the world wants to see and that's why it's going to take time. the world is worried about america's reliabilitity now and biden has a project to reestablish america's liability. the business community, you know, tired of trump because there i said it, because he was so unpredictable, so many of the inls con institutions that we see and rely on, they want predictability. joe biden is like a swiss clock. he's predictable. >> also not trying to build a personality around one person to make the government work. the last thing i want to say is that i think kamala harris, i mean, people around the country, you know, are just really moved by her. >> historic in so many ways,
jake? >> one thing we'll definitely see this evening is the return of the involvement of hollywood and the entertainment industry in politics with the hand full of exceptions like kid rock and dean cane, most actors and musicians stayed out of the white house and the supporting of the president but joe biden is a democrat and of course, a lot of people in hollywood were rather horrified by the previous president. the cop ncert tonight will remi people of the obama years or cli clinton years before that. >> it will be a who is who of hollywood particularly on the music front. we'll hear from people like bruce springsteen, carol king, james taylor the list goes on and on and on and a lot of these cher even and a lot of people aren't just here -- they are
obviously in support of joe biden but a lot of them also worked really, really hard specifically to defeat donald trump and they want to come celebrate. >> yeah, i was going to say exactly the same thing. it been amazing to see so many people in the enter taptainment industry, some that might surprise you being drawn out and drawn into politics by this lasted a minute station. you know, taylor swift comes to mind as someone who i think people didn't think was a particularly politically inclined and been out spoken in the political spear. we're back to a new normal where hollywood is back, backing the democrats. these concerts are happening but what's different about this is this is in lou of what we would normally have tonight which is these massive inaugural balls, invitation only ball gowns and dresses. this is going to be a much more
affair that people can watch from home but not quite as exclusive as the previous inno inaugurations would have been. >> you can say president trump for this did succeed in draining the swamp because normally these inaugural balls and this day are part of sleazy politicians and of course, because of the threat of maga terrorists attacks and the pandemic, that is not happening so kudos on that small measure of draining the swamp. hollywood did get involved quite a bit in the election. i saw -- they did a lot of zoom events to fund raise for individual state parties. >> that's right. >> so wisconsin democrats, for example, or pennsylvania d democrats could get out the vote. it was some of the most effective use of hollywood that i've ever seen. >> they did table reads of old scripts from the '80s and '90s
and got the casts back together and we'll see then tonight. >> we the people concert. it is a star studded affair and let's turn to it right now. the star studded inaugural concert celebrating america. ♪ ♪ >> good evening america, i'm proud to be here in cold washington to see you tonight. i want to offer this small prayer for our country. this is "land of open dreams." ♪ taking in your suitcase, thunder is rolling down this track ♪ ♪ you don't know where you're going now ♪ ♪ but you know you won't be back ♪ ♪ darling, if you'r