facebook linkedin twitter

Biden Forgoing Amtrak Trip to Washington Over Security Fears

January 14, 2021by Alexandra Jaffe and Zeke Miller, Associated Press
Biden Forgoing Amtrak Trip to Washington Over Security Fears
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, to announce key nominees for the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden will no longer be taking an Amtrak train to Washington for his inauguration because of security concerns, a person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The president-elect’s decision reflects growing worries over potential threats in the Capitol and across the U.S. in the lead-up to Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

Security in Washington has ramped up considerably in preparation for the inauguration after the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, and the FBI warned over the weekend of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to the event.

The person briefed on Biden’s decision spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. The news was first reported by CNN.

The move to forgo the 90-minute train ride from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington was likely not easy for the president-elect. Biden’s preference for riding the train during his 36-year Senate career was such a central part of his public persona that he rode Amtrak home on his final day as vice president, and he used a train tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania during the presidential campaign as part of an effort to appeal to blue-collar workers.

Biden became known for riding the train starting from his very earliest days in the Senate, when he made a point to return home nearly every night to help raise his young sons after his wife and young daughter died in a car accident in 1972. His embrace of Amtrak — and the friends he made among the train conductors and staff as a regular — was featured in a short film that aired during the Democratic National Convention last August.

The train ride is not the only security-related development surrounding the inauguration.

On Wednesday, Biden received a briefing from FBI officials, the Secret Service and his national security team about the potential for additional violence in the coming days.

“In the week since the attack on Congress by a mob that included domestic terrorists and violent extremists, the nation has continued to learn more about the threat to our democracy and about the potential for additional violence in the coming days, both in the National Capital Region and in cities across the country,” according to a statement from the Biden transition team. “This is a challenge that the President-elect and his team take incredibly seriously.”

Across Washington, but particularly around the Capitol, the National Mall and some nearby federal buildings, security has increased considerably, with nonscalable walls and metal gates erected, streets closed and a new contingent of National Guard troops camped out at the Capitol.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

In The News

Abortion Opponents Eye Priorities as High Court Ruling Looms

In the nearly two months since a conservative majority of justices on the Supreme Court indicated openness to dramatic new restrictions... Read More

In the nearly two months since a conservative majority of justices on the Supreme Court indicated openness to dramatic new restrictions on abortion, money has poured into the political fundraising arm of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. The organization secured $20 million in pledged financial... Read More

January 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Sarah Palin Diagnosed With COVID Before New York Times Lawsuit Trial

NEW YORK — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was diagnosed with COVID-19 this weekend, which delayed her defamation lawsuit against... Read More

NEW YORK — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was diagnosed with COVID-19 this weekend, which delayed her defamation lawsuit against The New York Times that was scheduled for a trial beginning Monday. Palin reported her illness to Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court in... Read More

US Puts 8,500 Troops on Heightened Alert Amid Russia Tension

WASHINGTON (AP) — At President Biden's direction, the Pentagon is putting about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for potential... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — At President Biden's direction, the Pentagon is putting about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for potential deployment to Europe amid rising fears of a possible Russian military move on Ukraine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday no final decisions had been... Read More

January 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
FBI Cracks Down on Organizations Accused of Cashing In on the Pandemic

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19... Read More

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19 testing after reports the owners were using part of the money for lavish lifestyles. FBI agents raided the headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Saturday. It opened... Read More

New Conservative Target: Race as Factor in COVID Treatment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk... Read More

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk factor when allocating scarce COVID-19 treatments, saying the protocols discriminate against white people. The wave of infections brought on by the omicron variant and a shortage of... Read More

Assange Wins First Stage in Effort to Appeal US Extradition

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday won the first stage of his effort to overturn a U.K.... Read More

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday won the first stage of his effort to overturn a U.K. ruling that opened the door for his extradition to U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges. The High Court in London gave Assange permission to appeal... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top