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tv   America This Morning  ABC  January 20, 2021 4:00am-4:30am PST

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good morning, america. historic new day. joseph r. biden just hours away from being sworn in as the 46th president of the united states. >> i give you my word, i will draw on the best of us, not the worst. i'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. >> on a mission to unite and heal the country as the pandemic claims more than 400,000 american lives. and divisions rock the nation. now biden ready to take on this moment. this morning, the trials and the triumphs that brought him here. >> we must restore the soul of america. >> how he plans to usher in a new era of hope and the action he's promising the minute he takes office. by his side, kamala d.
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harris, the first woman and person of color to become vice president. >> every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. >> shattering glass ceilings, paving the way for future generations. >> i was raised by a mother who said that to me all the time, kamala, you may be the first to do many thing, make sure you're not the last. >> now some of the women who know her best, her howard sorority sisters are joining us live as kamala harris prepares to make history. and as the nation's new leaders take their place, the unprecedented good-bye. president trump refusing to meet his successor, the first president in more than 150 years to boycott the inauguration. throwing himself a military sendoff instead and the breaking news overnight, the president issuing 73 pardons and 70 commutations including his former chief strategist steve bannon, the fallout this
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morning. we're live in the capitol covering it all as the country now moves forward in an inauguration like we've never seen before. our powerhouse team in washington, d.c. and all across the country. good morning, america. great to be with you on this historic wednesday morning. that is a live look at the capitol. joe biden and kamala harris will be sworn in as president and vice president in just a few hours. george will be leading our coverage all day long from our inauguration headquarters there uptown where he is right now. it's going to be quite a day, george. >> it certainly is. inaugural unlike any other that has come before in so many ways. the tradition that won't be changed biden will take the oath his hand on his family bible around noon. it comes on the steps of the capitol stormed by domestic terrorists just two weeks ago.
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that siege has the capitol and the country on high alert this inauguration day. 25,000 national guard troops are patrolling the streets ofc.nd w statement that is about our times. we need a force that size to protect the incoming president. also we are standing by this morning as president donald trump is getting ready to leave the white house for the last time as president of the united states. he's going to be the first president not to attend the inauguration of his successor since andrew johnson in 1869 breaking tradition in so many ways. last night he issued 73 pardons and 70 commutations including his former chief strategist steve bannon. we'll have more on that in a moment, michael. >> let's take a look at this remarkable image of the president-elect and vice president-elect along with their spouses overnight at the lincoln memorial's reflecting pool. the 4 lights honoring the more than 400,000 people in this country who have died from covid-19, george. >> because of that pandemic the
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mall will be filled with flags instead of people. that represents the lives lost and the crowds who cannot attend the inauguration today. joe biden will begin his day at blair house across the street i cecilia vega starts us off at the capitol. good morning, cecilia. >> reporter: george, good morning to you. it is a very windy morning as you can see here. it is a very cold morning and as you said so much is different about what we will see here this morning but one tradition in this inauguration did stick. that is that overnight president-elect soon to be president joe biden spent the evening at blair house with his family across the street from the white house where they're waking up this morning and from that historic stop, this historic day begin, 9 first stop for the president-elect soon to be president is going to go to churn. i've been talking with many biden friends leading up to today and tell me one thing about him is certain, that he is very much a man of faith. he is, of course, a catholic and attends mass regularly. this is not a faith he wears on his sleeve, the second one in
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our country to be sworn in catholic and that speaks volumes about where this administration is headed. we are talking about a bipartisan group of friends who are going to be joining him. top republican leaders like mitch mcconnell, kevin mccarthy as well as nancy pelosi and chuck schumer and when biden arrives here on the hill for this ceremony, it won't look like the inaugurations that he has been to in the past. fewer dignitary, no crowds as you said. he will be sworn in by chief justice john roberts at 12 noon sharp. three former presidents, former first leads will be here to see had history being made, the clintons, bushes and, of course, the obamas. jimmy carter at 96 will not be here and, of course, as you said neither will president trump, the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor's inauguration. there will not be a parade but the president and first lady and kamala harris will be escorted down pennsylvania avenue by their alma mater marching bands,
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normally we'd see balls and huge parties at night. that is not going to be happening here this ye. there will be a show hosted by tom hanks and a number of other celebrities including a musical performance by folks like jon bon jovi. >> we appreciate you laying out the day. you are getting right to work as our new chief white house correspondent and after joe biden is sworn in he will get right to work as well. >> reporter: he will, robin. this tells you where his priorities are headed. the first thing, this national mask mandate and will require them to be worn on federal properties and interstate highways and a lot of action on covid relief out of the gate and something he talked a lot about during his campaign, immigration. we are going to see him promise a proposed path to citizenship for those 11 million undocume undocumented people in our country and wants to sign this executive order to protect dreamers, george, those young people who were brought to the country illegally as children. >> okay, cecilia, thanks very much. let's bring in jon karl for more
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on this right now and, jon, we have civic rituals to symbolize a peaceful transfer the power. the presidents usually meet and ride to the capitol together, not this morning. >> reporter: donald trump, george, has less than an hour left in the white house here. i spotted just outside the west wing one last moving truck as you mentioned. normally these last moments in the white house for an outgoing president are spent with the incoming president, around, none of this is happening. instead donald trump in a little less than an hour will board marine one on the south lawn and fly to joint base andrews and there is a little bit of a farewell ceremony with some military fanfare where president trump will make some final remarks, walk up the red carpet and take one last ride on air force one heading to florida. one note here, george, i noticed that the beast, the presidential
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limo is actually out by blair house where joe biden stayed last night. normally the beast would be the vehicle that the two incoming and outgoing presidents would take up to the capitol building. it looks like biden will get use of that presidential limo. that is something i've never seen before. usually it's only the actual president of the united states, biden will get a little bit early solo use of the presidential limo, it looks like. >> that is different, okay, jon. in the meantime, we did see pardons and commutations overnight continuing this tradition he's had of protecting his political cronies. >> reporter: yeah, a bunch of pardons and commutations over 140 of them but the one that really stood out was steve bannon. steve bannon, of course, was the chief strategist here at the white house. he was the chairman of his presidential campaign. steve bannon had been charged with as part of a scheme allegedly defrauding trump supporters actually raising $25 million for an organization
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called we build the wall, very little of wall was actually built with that $25 million and i got to tell you if you look at the pardons overall pardons and commutations that donald trump has given, not just the ones last night but over the past period of months look at these, all people tied to his first presidential campaign, george. really quite a list of very key players in his campaign in 2016. >> jon karl, thanks very much. michael. >> all right, george, as we know there is a massive security effort out for the inauguration and it is out in full force at our nation's capital following the violent riot just two weeks ago. our chief national correspondent matt gutman is there with the very latest. good morning, matt. >> reporter: good morning, michael. we've talked about the 25,000 national guard troops but on top of that there are over 30,000 federal security officers, police officers from around the country, more than 2,000 of whom were sworn in just on monday.
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now there's security you see and don't see. we are told there are snipers on the rooftop, drones in the air, plainclothes police officers milling around and designed layers of security here. the outside, that's the softer layers, the closure of the airspace, bridges and the farther you go in towards the capitol, michael, the tighter the security gets. michael. >> all right, thank you so much, matt. we turn to our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas with more on what authorities will be on the lookout for. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. while they don't expect the numbers we saw on insurrection day law enforcement continues to worry about people showing up with guns and lone wolves attacking. they know many people are extremely angry about trump's departure believing the lie the election was stolen and concern about radicals posing as national guard and law enforcement and worry about an insider threat. >> we know a number of national guard members were removed yesterday. >> reporter: 12 national guard were dismissed from the inauguration mission including two allegedly made inappropriate
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or suspicious comments, michael. that turned up when they were being vetted for ties to extremism. >> security is surely tight, thank you so much. >> yes, security is a major concern this morning. along with a pandemic. more than 400,000 american lives have now been lost to covid-19. overnight, president-elect biden and vice president-elect harris held a memorial to honor them. now biden is preparing to tackle the pandemic along with a slew of other issues when he enters the white house. our brand-new senior white house correspondent, congrats on that, mary bruce has more on biden's mission and his journey to this moment. good morning, mary. >> reporter: good morning, robin. thank you. for joe biden this is a moment to celebrate, a pinnacle of five decades in politic, three runs at the white house and while thereby joy biden is acutely aware he is taking the reins of a country in unprecedented crisis, millions of americans grieving hurting financially, our politics deeply and
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painfully divided and today biden as president will try to take the first steps to turning the page and healing a nation. this morning, joe biden now just hours away from taking the nation's most sacred oath. a moment nearly five decades in the making, the achievement of a lifelong dream and the culmination of a lifetime of service. >> if you entrust me with the presidency, i will draw on the best of us, not the worst. i will be an ally of the light, not the darkness. >> reporter: the dawn of the biden era comes as the country confronts one of its grimmest hours grappling with the worst pandemic in a century, a ravaged economy, a racial reckoning and painfully deep political divides laid bare by horrific violence. >> decisions we make in the next few weeks and months are to determine whether we thrive in a way that benefits all americans. >> reporter: as he enters office biden is wasting no time planning today to sign bold executive actions like fighting
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global warming by moving to rejoin the paris climate accord. reversing some of president trump's most controversial moves like his so-called muslim immigration ban. >> the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor. >> reporter: but uniting the country and confronting trump's lingering hole over his most radical supporters will not be easy. biden set to be sworn in on the steps of the capitol, the very spot where just two weeks ago violent trump supporters stormed the building. but healing the nation is a task biden believes he's built for, a self-described scrappy kid from scranton, biden credits his blue collar roots with teaching him the value of hard work. >> the stakes in this election remind me of something my dad used to say, he said, joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. it's about your dignity, it's about respect. >> reporter: and through unimaginable despair he learned resiliency. at just 29 biden lost his first wife and infant daughter in a
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car accident. his two boys were also badly injured. >> congratulations, senator. >> thank you. >> reporter: from their hospital bedside he was sworn into his first term in the u.s. senate and then during his second term as barack obama's vice president tragedy struck again, his beloved son beau dying after a battle with brain cancer. through the hard fought campaign and this pandemic biden calling on his own lessons in loss to soothe the hurting nation. >> i know the pain that so many of you are experiencing, experiencing right now, starting by sitting down for breakfast this morning and stare at an empty chair around the kitchen table where a loved one used to sit, laugh, talk about how you love one another. >> reporter: on the eve of his inauguration biden saying an emotional good-bye to his beloved home state tearful as he reflected on his son's absence from this moment. >> i only have one regret. he's not here because we should
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be introducing him as president. >> reporter: now as he returns to washington, the world is watching to see if he will rise to meet this critical moment as the 46th president of the united states. now, i'm told in biden's big speech today it will be forward looking and optimistic. il outorging that s,re are huge challenges ahead that if they come together as one they can rise to meet them. george. >> okay, mary, thanks very much. let's bring in the new white house communications director kate bedingfield. >> thanks for having me. >> where is he drawing inspiration from with that critical inaugural address? >> the american people. he spent the last year and a half traveling the country and then when he couldn't travel the country speaking virtually with people all over the country, hearing their story, hearing about their resilience, seeing them being the best that they could be in their communities in
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incredibly hard times so today you'll hear him give a speech that really calls on us as americans to meet this moment together, to rise together. it will be a forward-looking speech. it will speak to the moment we're in but also lay out a vision for the future. it will underscore his fundamental belief that we can only tackle these crises that we're facing as a country if we work together. what you will hear from him will be an optimistic message for the future. >> how will he address speaking on the steps of the capitol that were stormed by domestic terrorists. >> obviously that was a low point in our democracy, a low point in our country. but for him today is really about turning the page. it's not about being naive or putting our heads in the sand or ignoring it but it's about really calling on the best of the american people from all across the country to tackle these crises together and, you know, look, the security today, we have full faith in the united
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states secret service who have been planning for this event for over a year, working with their security partners, but we also call on americans all across the country to listen, to the guidelines and the advice of their local officials and make sure that they're participating peacefully today. >> the first thing he does once he leaves that stage when he enters the oval office later this afternoon? >> he's going to sign a number of executive orders. today he's going to sign 15 executive orders, an incredibly broad scope of bold and aggressive actions, some of which are designed to roll back some of the most egregious actions of the trump administration. he'll rescind the muslim ban, for example, he'll reinforce daca. he's going to sign an executive order to implement masking on federal land space where he has authority as president to implement masking and he will sign an eo that advances racial equity across the government so he's going today to with the stroke of a pen start to take real action on the challenges that are facing our country and
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that's going to be one of the first things he does when he walks into the oval office this afternoon. >> real quick question. has he had any contact at all, direct contact with president trump? >> he has not, no. >> kate bedingfield, thanks very much. let's go to ginger. >> thanks for having me. >> snow shower from vermont to washington, d.c. is our focus. you could see some, blustery day, the wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour but the temperature 40 so it will feel like the 30s. it's going to be an okay day. let's get windy cities sponsored by carmax.
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sure do appreciate you being with us this morning and coming up, it's a historic day for that woman right there, kamala harris, we're going to speak with some of her sorority sisters from howard university when we come back.
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gives you the sweetness you crave while helping you manage your blood sugar. with nutrients to help support immune health. welcome back to "gma." that is a live look at the capitol on this historic wednesday morning. >> yes, it's gorgeous, a little windy as we've been seeing but joe biden, kamala harris are going to be sworn in as president and vice president on the steps there of the capitol. >> cannot wait for that. in just a few hour, robin said kamala harris will take that oath and walk into the history books becoming the nation's first woman, first black and first south asian vice president. rachel scott joins us with a closer look at her trailblazing journey, good morning to you, rachel. >> michael, good morning. 232 years, 48 vice presidents, all of them men. today that changes when kamala harris stands on those capitol steps to take the oath of
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