Inauguration Day 2021 LIVE – National Guard on high alert for QAnon gun plots at Joe Biden's presidential swearing-in

QANON Trump fanatics are plotting an assassination at Joe Biden's inauguration by posing as the National Guard, the FBI has discovered.

An intelligence briefing citing concerns around the event revealed online chatter between the conspiracy theorists showed they considered an assassination "easy" to carry out following the Capitol riots.

The National Guard have been told to be alert to anyone who looks 'out of place' as a result. 'Concerns of lone wolf actors are increasing,' the FBI's official intelligence report adds.  

And around 25,000 National Guard members underwent extra intense FBI screening this week after US defense officials raised concerns over 'insider' murder plots by one of those tasked with protecting Biden on the day.

The fears come just a day before President-Elect Biden's inauguration on where he will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Follow our US Politics live blog below for the latest news on Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Wednesday's inauguration

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘ACT BIG’ ON STIMULUS, BIDEN'S TREASURY NOMINEE YELLEN SAYS

    Janet Yellen, US President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary, will urge lawmakers today to "act big" on the next coronavirus relief package, adding that the benefits outweigh the costs of a higher debt burden.

    Biden, who will be sworn into office tommorow, outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal last week, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the virus under control.

  • Patrick Knox

    TWO NATIONAL GUARD REMOVED

    They are being removed from the security mission to secure Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.

     A U.S. Army official and a senior intelligence official say the two National Guard members have been found to have ties to fringe right group militias.

    The Army official and the intelligence official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to Defense Department media regulations.

    They did not say what fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in.

    The Secret Service told the AP yesterday it would not comment on if any National Guard members had been pulled from securing the inauguration for operational security reasons.

  • Patrick Knox

    PICTURED: MARINES HOLD DAMAGED CAPITOL DOORS

    U.S. Marine Corps hold the damaged Capitol doors during a rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisCredit: AP:Associated Press
  • Patrick Knox

    ASSANGE NOT EXPECTED TO BE PARDONED

    Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was also not expected to get a pardon, the sources said.

    The U.S. Justice Department in 2019 asked Britain to extradite Assange to the United States to face charges that he conspired to hack government computers and violated an espionage law.

    A British judge ruled two weeks ago Assange should not be extradited to the United States, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘PARDONS LIKELY FOR LIL WAYNE, NONE FOR GIULIANI OR BANNON’

    Trump is likely to grant clemency to rapper Lil Wayne today in a final wave of pardons and commutations that is not expected to include lawyer Rudy Giuliani or ex-aide Steve Bannon, sources said.

    Trump is expected to issue more than 100 pardons and commutations on his last full day in office. 

    Two sources familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the out-going appeared to have been dissuaded from pardoning himself or members of his family.

    Lil Wayne pleaded guilty last month to possessing a loaded, gold-plated handgun when his chartered jet landed in Miami in December 2019. 

    He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison at a January 28 hearing in Miami.

  • Patrick Knox

    BIDEN PICKS FIRST EVER TRANSGENDER FEDERAL OFFICIAL

    The President-elect has chosen Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health.

    This will mean she is poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

    A pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general, Levine was appointed to her current post by Biden said: "Dr Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic.

    "This is no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond."

    Dr Rachel Levine would be the first openly transgender US Senate-confirmed federal officialCredit: Splash News
  • Patrick Knox

    BIDEN TO ATTEND MASS WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

    The President-elect will strike a unity theme before his inauguration as president tomorrow by worshipping with Congress top Republican and Democratic leaders.

    The Democratic president-elect has talked throughout the campaign and the post-election period about his goal of uniting a sharply divided country.

    Biden's incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, today retweeted a post that said Biden had quietly extended invitations to Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and to Republicans Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to accompany him to a Mass at St. Matthews Cathedral.

  • Patrick Knox

    VIRUS, ECONOMY SWAMP OTHER PRIORITIES FOR US

    Containing the coronavirus outbreak and repairing the economic damage it has inflicted are the top priorities for Americans as Joe Biden prepares to become the 46th president of the United States.

    This is according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

    Overall, 53 per cent of Americans name Covid-19 as one of the top five issues they want the government to tackle this year, and 68 per cent mention in some way the economy, which is still reeling from the outbreak. 

    The findings also suggest Biden's political fate is riding on his administration's response to the pandemic.

  • Patrick Knox

    WHAT HAS BIDEN SAID ABOUT THE UPCOMING INAUGURATION?

    Despite warnings from the FBI and the Secret Service, Biden has not expressed concern about his own security at the inauguration.

    “I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he told reporters.

    “It is critically important that there’ll be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TRUMP’S FINAL VIDEO MESSAGE FOR NATION

    President Donald Trump is still adamant that he won the election hours before he makes way for incoming leader Joe Biden, says The New York Times.

    CNN reports that Trump has prepared a final video message for the nation, before he leaves the White House.

    He has also been holding meetings on pardons, as he prepares to issue a reported 100 pardons on Tuesday.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TRUMP TO LIFT TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FROM BRAZIL, UK & EUROPE

    Donald Trump will lift entry bans for most non-US citizens who were recently in Brazil and much of Europe from January 26.

    Travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic barring most visitors from Europe entering the US have been in place since mid-March, 2020, while the Brazilian entry ban was set in May.

    The Trump administration had brought in the tough bans to help stem the coronavirus pandemic.

    But, this is now set to end under a new proclamation from Trump, on the same day that new Covid test requirements take effect for all international visitors.

  • Patrick Knox

    WHERE WILL THE INAUGURATION TAKE PLACE?

    The inauguration will take place outside the Capitol and will be held on the same risers in the same spot where a violent, pro-Trump mob gathered on January 6.

    The inauguration is designated as a “national special security event," which clears the way for communication, funding and preparation between multiple agencies.

    Other such events are the State of the Union, the Super Bowl, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

  • Patrick Knox

    WHAT TIME IS THE INAUGURATION OF JOE BIDEN?

    The inauguration will take place tomorrow at about 11.30 am.

  • Patrick Knox

    BIDEN PRESIDENCY IS 'GOOD NEWS' FOR CLIMATE

    So says Alok Sharma, who is heading up crucial international talks in Glasgow, UK.

    Mr Sharma, who has left his role as Business Secretary to be full time president of the UN Cop26 summit taking place in November, said he welcomed the commitments President-elect Joe Biden has made on climate.

    Mr Biden has pledged to bring the US back into the international Paris Agreement on climate change, which outgoing president Donald Trump quit.

    Mr Sharma: "A Biden presidency is good news in terms of tackling climate change, I very much welcome the commitments the president-elect has already made in terms of rejoining the Paris Agreement and putting the US on the path to net zero by 2050.”

  • Patrick Knox

    TRUMP DECORATES BAHRAIN KING ON LAST FULL DAY IN OFFICE

    Trump bestowed a rare award on King Hamad of Bahrain today, acknowledging the Gulf state's normalisation of ties with Israel on his last full day in office.

    He sees Arab recognition of Israel as a key overseas achievement of his presidency,

    The out-going president has already conferred the same award on King Mohammed VI of Morocco last week for his move to restore ties.

    Bahraini King Hamad has been recognized for his reconciliation efforts with IsraelCredit: Reuters
  • Patrick Knox

    BIDEN TO REVERSE TRUMP'S TOUGH IMMIGRATION POLICIES

    He plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status.

    This is a massive reversal from the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies.

    It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years.

    As a candidate, Biden called Trump's actions on immigration an unrelenting assault on American values and said he would undo the damage while continuing to maintain border enforcement.

  • Patrick Knox

    UK ‘NOT LUKEWARM ABOUT BIDEN’S VICTORY’

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he "looks forward to working with the new administration".

    Mr Raab told the Commons: "The resumption of Congress and the certification of Joe Biden's victory on January 7 sent an essential message that the democratic will of the US people cannot be challenged by a violent minority."

    He added: "We made clear that the scenes by a small but ugly minority in Washington were disgraceful.”

    Labour's shadow foreign minister Catherine West asked what urgent steps can be taken to mend that sense that the UK government was lukewarm around the election result.

    Mr Raab replied: "The UK was not lukewarm and she must have missed the Prime Minister's statement where he was very clear."

  • Patrick Knox

    WASHINGTON DC LOCKED DOWN

    Secret Service tightened security in and around the Capitol, and the city center is essentially on lockdown.

    Streets have been blocked, high fencing installed and tens of thousands of National Guard and other law enforcement officers are stationed around the area.

    But defense officials, worried about a potential insider attack, have pushed the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into the area. 

    Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said vetting of National Guard troops continues and that the Pentagon has found no intelligence so far that would indicate an insider threat.

    Measures continue to be taken against a possible threat from the soldiers on duty at the ceremonyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Patrick Knox

    BIDEN'S SECRETARY OF STATE-DESIGNATE

    Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken says he's committed to rebuilding the State Department after four years of it withering away under the Trump administration.

    Blinken is set to appear today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    In testimony prepared for his appearance, Blinken says he sees a world of rising nationalism and receding democracy. 

    He also says that mounting threats from authoritarian states are reshaping all aspects of human life, particularly in cyberspace.

    Antony Blinken, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of stateCredit: Reuters
  • Patrick Knox

    TRUMP’S FINAL WARNING TO IRAN

    The US military has released a video of B-52 bombers refuelling in mid-air over the Middle East as part of huge war games.

    Meanwhile, Iran is starting massive land-based war drills that coincide with Joe Biden’s inauguration.

    American B-52 nuker bomber flies over Middle East as Iran stages massive war games

     

  • Patrick Knox

    UK BOOKIES PRICE UP WHO TRUMP WILL PARDON

    Bookmakers Paddy Power say rapper Lil Wayne is the most likely celebrity face to be pardoned today at 1/5 – an 83 per cent chance.

    Despite his desperate pleas, Joe Exotic, or the Tiger King to some, is much less likely to receive a pardon at 5/1 and is far more likely to release a song about the departing President (6/4).

    While Dr Salomon Melgen, a Floridian eye doctor who is in prison for health care fraud, is rated 1/10 – a 90 per cent chance – of being pardoned, far ahead of Death Row Records founder Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris (2/1), who Snoop Dogg is lobbying to be pardoned.

    After Trump revealed he has a busy day with ‘many calls and many meetings’, the bookies say it’s priced at 1/10 that he pardons 50 or more people, 1/2 for 100 or more, or 5/4 for 150+.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘QANON EXTREMISTS PLOTTING TO POSE AS NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS’

    They are said to be plotting to pose as National Guard troops in a bid to cause chaos on Inauguration Day, a FBI intelligence briefing warns.

    The report reveals "lone wolves" and extremists — some of whom were involved in the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol — have indicated that they plan to head to DC tomorrow.

    Videos and pictures taken of the security measures by unknown individuals have been shared online and maps of the city have been studied by extremists, the Washington Post reports.

  • Patrick Knox

    WHERE WILL TRUMP GO AFTER LEAVING THE WHITE HOUSE?

    He is expected to leave freezing cold Washington D.C and return to his palatial Mar-a-Lagoresidence in Palm Beach, Florida.

    A moving truck is parked outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm BeachCredit: AP:Associated Press
  • Patrick Knox

    WILL TRUMP PARDON HIMSELF?

    This is not currently expected and would be highly unusual for an outgoing president to do that. 

    But if there’s one thing Trump has proved during his four years in office is that he does not stick to convention.

    Should he give himself or his family a pardon that would likely harden anger among previously fully supportive Republicans in the Senate, which is expected to start an impeachment trial soon after Biden takes office.

  • Patrick Knox

    CHINA, RUSSIA AND IRAN ‘STOKING CAPITOL VIOLENCE IN US

    They are helping to turn Americans against each other as they stoke violence with toxic online campaigns, experts have said.

    The warning comes as the divisions in the US were laid bare when furious Donald Trump fans stormed the Capitol — resulting in five deaths, including a cop.

    Conspiracy theory QAnon, which is believed to have helped fuel the Capitol riot, is known to have been pushed by Russian trolls on Twitter.

    Iran meanwhile is known to have posed as the Proud Boys and sent threatening emails to Democrats, trying to again spread division.

    Facebook also took down a Chinese disinformation operation in November which tried to influence both sides.

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