Administration

Incoming Biden press secretary says outdoor inauguration shows country’s ‘resolve’

Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said President-elect Joe Biden will take the oath of office outdoors despite amplified security around his inauguration to send a message about the country’s resolve.

“It sends an incredibly powerful message to the country and to the world, to see the president of the United States being sworn in outside,” Psaki said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“We’ve taken a number of precautions. We have heeded the advice and guidance of our security team, of the Secret Service, who have been preparing for this for a year. … But today is also about sending a message that this is a country that has resolve,” Psaki continued. “That he is ready to lead it. We feel it is very powerful to have that done outside.”

Biden will be sworn in during a ceremony that will already be scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there have been added security concerns about the event after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, where a pro-Trump mob stormed the building as a joint session of Congress met to certify election results affirming Biden as the winner.

Authorities have in recent days said they are monitoring the potential for threats on Inauguration Day both in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals around the country. National Guard members have been stationed around the Capitol leading up to Wednesday’s events, and a security perimeter has been erected around parts of downtown D.C.

Biden’s inauguration speech will focus on unity, his aides have said, though Psaki acknowledged on Wednesday the country will not come together overnight.

“But our expectation and hope is that he can lead by example, by reaching across the aisle, by engaging with Republicans as well as Democrats,” she said. “Not just here in Washington. All of the work of the American people doesn’t just happen here, but to mayors, governors, to people who didn’t vote for him. What he’s pledged is that he will govern for all Americans.” 

Tags 2021 inauguration Biden inauguration Inauguration Jen Psaki Joe Biden

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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