tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC January 20, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
eric swalwell. have a good one. thank you for joining us. tonight, america waitnesses history. a new president is sworn in. president joe biden, america's 46th president. and vice president kamala harris making history as the first woman, first black, first asian-american vp. an inauguration like no other. president biden sworn in on the capitol steps in the shadow of a pandemic, an economic crisis, amid deep national divisions. under tight security and in the very place where rioters descended on the capitol two weeks ago today. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> presidentid address nation, calling for unity and proclaiming this america's day. and that democracy has prevailed. vice president kamala harris making history. she will carry an influential voice with the president and a decisive vote in the senate. shattered glass on a cop toll
hill door, a stark reminder of the attack on the capitol. three former presidents and first ladies on hand today. and former vice president mike pence at the inauguration, too. president biden leading a silent prayer, asking americans to honor the more than 400,000 american lives lost to the coronavirus. and late today, what we're now learning about a letter in the >> lady dr. jill biden and the biden family walking the shortened parade route in their masks, right to the white house. the presidential limo, the beast, the license plate now reading "46." the first lady at the entrance of the white house, resting her head on the president's chest. tonight, the first images of president biden working in the oval office, signing executive actions and we'll go down the list. former president trump leaving the white house for the last time this morning. the first president in more than 150 years to skip the inauguration. trump saying, "we will see see other again." wishing the new administration
great luck and great success, never mentioning president biden by name. his final flight to mar-a-lago aboard air force one. the major power shift on capitol hill tonight. one of her first official acts, vice president harris swearing in three new democratic senators. democrats now in control of the senate, the house and the white house. and what we're learning tonight about when the impeachment tria. the coronavirus tonight. the concern over vaccines running out in this country. and a new variant in the u.s.w, no and the youngest inaugural poet ever. her words today inspiring a nation. good evening on this historic night in america. something we witness as a nation together ever four years. a peaceful trarnser if of power. but we all know that notion was tested in recent weeks, but today, america's new president,
joe biden, saying democracy has prevailed. wiwill be a president for all americans," calling for unity. the president-elect joe biden shortly before noon taking the oath of office as america's 46th president, entering office amid multiple crises at once. first running for president 30 years ago. his hard work, empathy bringing him to this moment. the bidens 'em brising after the swearing in, using the biden family bible, in the family for more than 100 years. vice president-elect kamala harris was sworn in just before him as the first woman vice president, the first black, the first asian-american vp. the daughter of immigrants, of black and indian heritage. she is now the highest ranking wool in american history. sharing this moment with former president barack obama as he now witnesses history made by her today. former president obama tweeting today to the new president, "congratulations to my friend, this is your p vice president mike pence there for the inauguration. president trump skipping it.
vice president harris escorting former vice president pence down the steps of the capitol. former president trump and the former first lady leaving the white house early this morning. one last trip on air force one for florida. his mesogesao t the incoming administration in a moment. late this afternoon, the first family arriving at the white house and the first lady putting her head on the president's chest before heading inside the white house. tonight here, president joe biden already at work. the executive actions already and we're going to guide you through it all. and we begin with abc's chief white house correspondent cecilia vega leading us off. >> reporter: today, joe biden's nearly 50-year political career led him up the steps of the capitol, through its halls and into history. sworn in at an extraordinary time, the nation's enormous challenges laid bare right in front of him.s no huge crowd. the audience socially distanced, a mask on every face. but three of biden's predecessors were onhand. the clintons, the bushes and the obamas.
former president obama, exchanging fist bumps with kamala harris, who was about to make so much history of her own as the first woman, the first black american and first person of southeast asian decent to be vice president. >> the vice president of the united states, the honorable michael r. pence and mrs. karen pence. >> reporter: the man she would replace, mike pence, there, too. though former president trump was not. the capitol, still bearing scars of what happened there just two weeks ago. today, a special honor given to one capitol police officer who tried to fend off the the violent mob. >> united states capitol police officer private first class eugene o. goodman. >> reporter: but this was a day for celebration, complete with lady gaga. ♪ o say can you see ♪ ♪ by the dawn's early light ♪
>> reporter: harris, first to take the oath, making her the highest ranking elected woman in american history, sworn in by another first, justice sonia sotomayor, the first latina on the supreme court. >> i, kamala devi harris, do solemnly swear. >> reporter: and then, the moment joe biden has wanted his entire life. his hand on the bible that has been in his family for more than 100 years. >> i, joseph robinette biden jr., do solemnly swear. >> that i will faithfully execute. >> that i will faithfully execute. >> the office of president of the united states. >> the office of president of the united states. ility.>> and will to the best o ability. >> preserve, protect and defend. >> preserve, protect and defend. >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> reporter: a kiss for the emotional new first lady.
then, president biden got to work, setting out to heal this nation after the hard-fought election and its bitter aftermath. >> this is america's day. this is democracy's day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. we've learned again that democracy is precious. democracy is fragile. and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. >> reporter: still, the new president calling this a time of testing. >> we face an attack on our democracy and on truth. a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. america's role in the world. 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. unity. >> reporter: he demanded an end to what he called an "uncivil war pitting red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal." he did not mention donald trump, but he did extend an olive branch to the millions of americans who voted for him. >> to all of those who did not support us, let me say this -- hear me out as we move forward. take a measure of me and my heart. yet hear me clearly. disagreement must not lead to disunion. and i pledge this to you, i will be a president for all americans. all americans. and i promise you, i will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did. >> reporter: biden warning these divisions can not stand as we enter what may be the deadliest
period of this pandemic. >> we must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation. ilt ugis tinae on. together. >> reporter: in his first act as president, biden asking for a moment of silence to remember the 400,000 americans killed. >> let's say a silent prayer for those who have lost their lives and those left behind and for our country. >> reporter: biden then making this promise to the nation h now leads. >> i give you my word, i will always level with you. i will defend the constitution. i'll defend our democracy. i'll defend america. and together, we shall write an american story of hope, not fear. of unity, not division. of light, not darkness.d a storn
tells ages yet to come that we's the call of history. >> president biden on the steps of the capitol today. let's get right to cecilia vega at the white house tonight. cecilia, i want to go back to that image we showed at the top tonight, president biden, the first lady, her head on his chest as they arrived at the white house. the weight of the moment catching up to them. and cecilia, you learned that when the new president entered the oval office today, there was a letter waiting for former president trump? he skipped the inauguration, but he kept that one tradition of leaving a letter? >> reporter: yeah, and it was a big question, david, leading into today, because as you know, the president has extended so few of the niceties usually offered by a president to his successor. but yes, this letter was on the resolute desk, we're told, it surprised people in president trump's orbit. they weren't sure if he would do it. but president biden now in the oval office behind me, speaking to reporters just a short time ago, said that the letter was there but it was private, he didn't want to tell us what was in it but he said it was a very generous letter and he wanted to speak to president trump before he released the results of it.
>> generous was the word he used. cecilia, thank you. president biden, meanwhile, already at work tonight. we watched today as the new president got out of the presidential limo, the beast, as it's called, to walk to the white house. the license plate now reads "46." tonight, the president already taking executive action on the pan dendenim, immigration and racial equality. here's our senior white house correspondent mary bruce tonight. >> reporter: in an inaugural parade unlike any we've ever seen, president joe biden exiting the beast, now with that license plate, "46." along the route, the secret service, national guard and reporters, instead of a crowd of thousands wring masks. one of the first steps to try to take the politics out of wearing masks in this country to save lives. how does it feel to finallbe president? >> feeling great! >> reporter: jogging over to greet reporters on pen avenue. walking up the white house
drivew driveway. vice president kamala harris having her moment, too. >> just walking to work. >> reporter: then getting right down to work, as biden promised the american people in a tweet just moments after leaving the inauguration stage. writing, "there is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face." >> i thought with the state of the nation, today is no time to waste, get to work immediately. >> reporter: in the oval office, wearing a mask, biden signing 15 executive actions, many aims at reversing his predecessor's policies, including rejoining the climate accord, something welcomed by foreign leaders today. putting an end to the so-called muslim travel ban, and canceling the keystone xl pipeline permit, and taking his first steps to tackling this pandemic, requiring masks on all federal property. >> these are just executive actions. they are important, but we're going to need legislation for
other things we're going to do. >> reporter: to get his agenda through, biden will immediate to work with a very divided congress. but today, in a gesture of good will, republican leaders of both chambers wishing the new administration well. mitch mcconnell, in a rare moment of levity between him and house speaker nancy pelosi, pointing out that the president and vice president skipped the >> have to note, not only did we just swear in a son and daughter of the senate to these high offices, but indeed, both of these former senators skipped the house altogether. >> and mary, we know the shortened parade today and staffers at the white house, the cleaners, the movers, a deep cleaning because of the pandemic. they had just about eight hours to do .isou r years, to move in the bidens' belongings. and the bidens have said they're not going to make any significant changes to the family resident? >> reporter: david, the biden team telling us they don't have time right now to make any major
changes. but tonight, we spotted some new additions in the oval office. some p ben family photos and a bust of the civil rights leader cesar chavez. also spotted, a portrait of fdr who, of course, led the country out of a similar period of tremendous crisis. as for those executive orders, we expect more to come tomorrow, focused on safely reopening schools and stopping the spread of this virus. david? >> all right, mary bruce on the air all day with us here. mary, thank you. and another powerful image of unity today. after the swearing in at the capitol, presideen viceresidents laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. right there with them, former president clinton ay inton, for president george w. bush and laura bush and former president obama and former first lady michelle obama. former president trump is the first president in more than 150 years to skip the inauguration, planning his own sendoff. tonight here, his message to supporters and to the incoming administration. here's our chief washington correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: he is the first ya
to auraond um tried to put on one more show of his own, as he walked out of the white house for the last time, he suggested we haven't seen the last of him. >> i just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it's not a long term goodbye. we'll see each other again. thank you all very much. >> reporter: when he arrived at joint base andrews, a farewell fist bump for his pilot. for the last time as president, he summoned an adoring crowd. a military band. and a 21-gun salute. all for one last speech in front of air force one. >> we love you, and i can tell you that from the bottom of my heart. >> reporter: he still couldn't bring himself to mention joe biden by name, but he did skip the talk of a rigged election and he did say this -- >> i wish the new administration great luck and great success. i think they'll have great success. they have the foundation to do
something really spectacular. >> reporter: he begged not to be forgotten. >> you're going to see some incredible things happening. and remember us when you see these things happening, if you would. remember us. >> reporter: it was a most unusual farewell message for a president. >> so, have a good life. we will see you soon. >> thank you. plane, offered one final wave good-bye and then he was gone. >> jon karl joining us tonight from the white house. and jon, grouf covered former president trump for many years now, even before he became president and we might never hear this from him, but is there any chance that he's going to regret when he looks back at the totality of this day, the american tradition, this p transfer of power, that he felt so strongly about skipping it? >> reporter: honestly, david, i don't think donald trump does or will regret not attending that ceremony, not for a minute. of course, mike pence was there and he got a version of the farewell that the outgoing president usually gets, although
it was vice president harris bidding him farewell, bidding pence farewell as he got in the limousine for one last time, this time as the former vice president. david? >> all right, jon karl with us tonight, as well, thank you. now all eyes on the senate, where the parties are now split 50/50. vice president harris will have that powerful tiebreaking vote. let's get to our new congressional correspondent rachel scott. vice president harris will hold significant power in the senate as the balance now moves to the democrats. what do we know tonight on the impeachment front, when house speaker nancy pelosi might hand over that article of impeachment which then launches the impeachment trial, 1:00 p.m. the following day? >> reporter: david, tonight, we're learning that house speaker nancy pelosi could send that article of impeachment over to the senate as soon as this week, which means a trial could be starting any day now. lawmakers will now have to juggle biden's agenda, ti hearings and that nfimmapeacirhment trial for now former president, donald trump. david? >> all right, rachel scott at
the capitol tonight. rachel, thank you, as always. and we should point out that our inauguration coverage will resume a short time from now, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. i'm be joining george and linsey and the entire team as we continue our coverage into the night. in the meantime, the other news this evening, news on the coronavirus this evening and concern over vaccines running out and now a new variant here in the u.s. m 75 years old. we live in the mountains so i like to walk. i'm really busy in my life; i'm always doing something. i'm not a person that's going to sit too long. in the morning, i wake up and the first thing i do is go to my art studio. a couple came up and handed me a brochure on prevagen. i've been taking prevagen for about four years. i feel a little bit brighter and my mind just feels sharper. i would recommend it to anyone. it absolutely works. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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the end of the week. when we come back here tonight, a powerful image, the silent tribute as president biden was addressing the nation, what was playing out in pennsylvania. no matter what goes wrong in this country they're out there. look to the families. the communities. every small town, city and schoolyard. and know that they will endure. because in this country, we build with something stronger than brick or steel. we build with each other. ♪ ♪ age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein... itrams of ein for muscle health- -versus only 16 grams in ensure® high protein. and now enjoy boost® high protein in café mocha flavor.
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♪ oh say can you see ♪ >> i will be a president for all americans, all americans. we must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue. today we mark the swearing in as the first woman in american history elected to national office, vice president kamala harris. don't tell me things can't change. we shall write an american story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division. of lying, not darkness. of lying, not darkness. ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ >> wow. i got chills just listening to that. what a day in america.
good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i'm larry beil. >> and i'm liz kreutz. lady gaga will do that to you. wow. what a moment. weeks, months of buildup and fragile anticipation. president joe biden takes the helm as the 46th president of the united states, leading with y,it the world is watching, watching all of us today. so here is my message to those beyond our borders. america has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. we will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, and we'll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. 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. >> the