Administration

Harris, Emhoff bid Pences farewell from Capitol steps

Vice President Harris spoke briefly with her predecessor former Vice President Mike Pence on the steps of the Capitol as he and his wife left President Biden’s inauguration ceremony Wednesday. 

In what appeared to be a congenial sendoff, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, were seen in video footage posted on Twitter exchanging words with Pence and former second lady Karen Pence outside the Capitol.

The couples appeared to share a laugh, though it was not clear what was said between them. 

Harris and Emhoff then remained on the steps and waved goodbye to the former vice president and his wife as they entered their vehicle to leave. 

The exchange marked a moment of civility following Biden’s inaugural address in which he called for Americans to unite across the political spectrum. 

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity,” Biden said after he took the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States. 

While Pence was present at the inauguration ceremony, former President Trump was not in attendance, having left for Mar-a-Lago earlier Wednesday morning. Trump arrived in West Palm Beach, Fla., moments before Biden took the oath of office. 

Following the 2020 election, Trump refused to concede the election to Biden, though he acknowledged he would no longer be president after a violent riot roiled the Capitol on Jan. 6. The mob of Trump supporters sought to halt Congress’s certification of Biden’s Electoral College win. 

Trump has been impeached by the House and faces a trial in the Senate. He is charged with “incitement of insurrection” at the Capitol. 

Pence spoke to Harris by phone last week to offer assistance ahead of the inauguration, and he also reportedly left a handwritten note for Harris at the White House, according to a source familiar with the decision.

The move by Pence marks a contrast to Trump, who broke tradition by never calling Biden or meeting with him following his election victory.

Former first lady Melania Trump also did not host incoming first lady Jill Biden for a traditional “tea and tour” at the White House to mark the transition of power.

Tags Biden inaugural address Biden inauguration capitol building Capitol riot Congress Donald Trump Donald Trump Impeachment Doug Emhoff Jill Biden Joe Biden Karen Pence Melania Trump Mike Pence

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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)
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