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Live Reporting

Edited by Jude Sheerin

All times stated are UK

  1. That's a wrap

    Thanks for joining us - we will be back on Wednesday with live updates for Joe Biden's inauguration as 46th president of the US.

    Here's a reminder of today's top stories:

    • Donald Trump has praised his record in office during his final address as president
    • Trump said he would "pray" for the new administration's success but added: "I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning"
    • Top Republican Mitch McConnell joined criticism of Trump's role in the violence on the Capitol on 6 January
    • Joe Biden has arrived in Washington DC as preparations continue for Wednesday's inauguration
    • Twelve members of the National Guard have been removed from duty as part of vetting ahead of the ceremony. Around 25,000 troops are expected to provide security
    • The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the US has passed 400,000

    Today's live page was brought to you by: Alexandra Fouché, Alice Cuddy, Claudia Allen, Sam Cabral, Jessica Murphy, Paulin Kola, Ritu Prasad, Victoria Bisset and George Wright.

  2. Goodbye from Pence

    His boss may be unable to tweet, but Vice-President Mike Pence has taken to Twitter to bid adieu to Washington.

    He and Second Lady Karen Pence plan to return to his hometown of Columbus, Indiana, on Wednesday, according to the Indy Star. He graduated from high school in the city and his mother still lives there.

    But it is not yet clear where exactly he will live - the New York Times reported in November that Pence, 61, does not own a house.

    View more on twitter

    Pence has only met once with President Trump since 6 January, when pro-Trump rioters at the US Capitol repeatedly chanted: "Hang Mike Pence!"

    As we reported earlier, he will not attend Trump's farewell ceremony tomorrow morning and will instead be present at the inauguration ceremony for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

    The vice president and his wife - First Lady Karen Pence - will then fly home to Indiana. It remains unclear whether he intends to run for office again.

  3. Reality Check

    Did Trump build greatest US economy ever?

    Donald Trump's address shown on a TV screen

    Trump also said in his farewell video, as he has done on many occasions, that his administration "built the greatest economy in the history of the world".

    The US economy has certainly done well under Trump prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but there have been periods under previous administrations when it did significantly better.

    In his first three years in office, Trump oversaw an annual average growth of 2.5%. This was slightly higher than the final three years of the Obama era. However, there have been many periods when the growth of GDP – the value of goods and services in the economy – was a lot higher.

    In 2020 the economy saw the largest contraction on record because of the effects of the pandemic. It rebounded by 33% in the third quarter of the year, itself a record for a quarterly increase, but this did not bring economic activity back to pre-pandemic levels.

    Numbers for the final quarter are yet to be published.

    Read more.

  4. Reality Check

    Did Trump achieve record-low unemployment levels?

    President Trump said in his speech that “we achieved record-low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans”.

    The African American and Hispanic American unemployment rate hit 5.2% and 4% respectively in August and 2019 - the lowest rates recorded since the US Labor Department started collecting these statistics in the 1970s.

    The unemployment rate has recently spiked sharply for both groups because of the huge impact of the pandemic on the US economy. And this has disproportionately affected African Americans and Hispanics - their unemployment rates are 3.2% and 2.6% higher respectively than the overall figure.

    Asian American unemployment is currently 5.9%. It reached a record low of 2.1% in June 2019, but these records only date back to 2003.

    Read more.

  5. Reality Check

    Did Trump push through largest tax cuts ever?

    In his farewell video address, President Trump said: “We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.”

    That's not right for tax cuts in general - previous ones have been larger. It is right for corporation tax.

    We investigated this claim in 2018 shortly after Congress passed sweeping tax reform legislation. According to tax specialists, the cuts were big but not the biggest.

    The Committee for a Responsible Budget looked at the numbers and reported that President Trump's tax cuts would be the eighth-largest in US history, compared to the overall size of the economy.

    If you adjust the analysis for inflation, President Trump's tax cuts rank fourth overall.

    However, tax experts also assessed Mr Trump's cut in corporation tax from 35% to 21%. Most said in absolute terms it was the biggest corporate tax cut in history.

    Read more.

  6. Reality Check

    Did Trump build a 'big, beautiful wall'?

    In President Trump’s farewell speech he said: “We proudly leave the next administration with the strongest and most robust border security measures ever put into place… with more than 450 miles of powerful new wall.”

    It was a one of his major pledges in the run-up to the 2016 election.

    As of 4 January 2021, a total of 452 miles (757km) of barrier has been built since he took office.

    However, the vast majority of this new wall replaced existing structures on the border.

    Only 80 miles of new barriers have been built where there was none before. Of this 47 miles is what’s called primary wall, and 33 miles is secondary wall that reinforces the initial barrier.

    President-elect Joe Biden said he would not build "another foot" of the wall.

    Read more.

  7. Trump could face Screen Actors Guild expulsion

    Donald Trump (file photo)

    Donald Trump is already awaiting his second impeachment trial by the Senate once he leaves office. A sideshow to all this is that he now faces possible expulsion from the Screen Actors Guild.

    SAG-AFTRA, the union which represents working performers, said on Tuesday its national board found Trump had probably violated its rules over his alleged incitement of the Capitol riot.

    The board has requested his expulsion and the issue will now be heard by the body's disciplinary committee.

    "The charges specifically cite Trump’s role in inciting the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, and in sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members," the statement said.

    According to the AP news agency, the former Apprentice star has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1989. He has also made cameo appearances in films and TV series including Home Alone 2.

  8. Trump leaves government changed

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    Donald Trump, in his 20-minute pre-recorded farewell speech, said his administration did what it came to do and more. One can debate the significance of his accomplishments – whether 400 miles of rebuilt border wall, tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks, confirmed judges, trade wars and modest Mideast diplomatic agreements amount to much in the way of substantive achievement.

    But at least in one way, his boast is certainly true. Trump ran for president in 2016 to shake up the existing political order. He campaigned as an outsider giving voice to those who distrusted the establishment and felt the system no longer worked for them.

    “I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do,” he said. The unrest and resentment that Trump rode to the White House crested and crashed on the US Capitol two weeks ago, leaving behind wreckage – literal and metaphorical – that will take time and effort to clear.

    After four years of shattered norms and traditions, of turning expectations of presidential behaviour on their head, Trump leaves US government changed – fundamentally and, perhaps, irreversibly. That, at least, was a promise made and a promise kept.

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump farewell: 'We did what we came here to do'
  9. Biden returns to Washington DC

    Joe Biden has landed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, after bidding farewell to his home state of Delaware.

    He earlier shared a video on social media of him and his wife Jill boarding the flight.

    View more on twitter

    As we have mentioned, Biden is due to attend an event this evening honouring those who have died as a result of coronavirus and will spend the night at the presidential guest house Blair House.

    A Catholic, he is expected to attend Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC on Wednesday morning with the four congressional leaders - Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy - before being sworn in as president.

  10. What did Trump say in his farewell address?

    Donald Trump in his farewell address video

    "America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree," he said.

    He adds: "We are - and must always be - a land of hope, of light and of glory to all the world."

    Here's what else he had to say:

    • On his administration's record: "We did what we came here to do – and so much more. Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that in America, the government answers to the people."
    • On domestic policy: "Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation."
    • On foreign policy: "We revitalised our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before. As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East... I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."
    • On the Capitol riot: "Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated."
    • On his legacy: "Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning."
  11. BreakingDonald Trump bids farewell to Washington

    On his final full day in office, outgoing president Donald Trump delivered a farewell speech from the White House.

    Currently locked out of his personal social media accounts, Trump struck a concilatory yet defiant tone in the video released via the government's official social media accounts.

    "We did what we came here to do - and so much more," he said. "I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices – because that’s what you elected me to do."

    He warned that "the greatest danger" now facing the country was "a loss of confidence in our national greatness".

    The 45th president ran through actions taken by his administration - from "stand[ing] up to China like never before" to "a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East".

    He added: "I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."

    Referring to the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January, he said: "All Americans were horrified by the assault on the Capitol... It can never be tolerated."

    Trump acknowledged that a new administration would take office, but said: "I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning."

    View more on youtube
  12. BreakingTrump gives farewell address

    Donald Trump has released a farewell address on his last full day as US president.

    In excerpts released earlier, he says: “We did what we came here to do - and so much more.”

  13. From pop stars to TikTok sensations: The celebrities at the inauguration

    Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards
    Image caption: Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga will both be performing

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have no shortage of celebrity supporters, and several famous faces will be making an appearance at Wednesday’s inauguration events.

    Here are some of the stars you can expect to see:

    • Pop star Lady Gaga supported Biden during the campaign, even appearing with him on the eve of the election. So it is no surprise that she has been invited to perform the national anthem at the inauguration event
    • Jennifer Lopez, who also endorsed Biden last year, will give a separate musical performance
    • After the ceremony, actor Tom Hanks will host a star-studded televised special, featuring Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and others
    • Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn will be hosting a virtual Parade Across America
    • This will feature appearances from comedian Jon Stewart and rock band New Radicals - who are reuniting for the first time in 22 years for the occasion
    • Skateboarding TikTok star Nathan Apodaca, also known as DoggFace, will also make an appearance

    Video content

    Video caption: Fleetwood Mac's Mick surprises viral Dreams TikTok star Nathan Apodaca
  14. Biden inauguration speech to focus on unity

    Joe Biden speaks in front of a giant US flag, 19 January

    As the inauguration draws nearer, we're learning more about what Joe Biden is expected to say in his first speech as president.

    Biden, who is now on his way to Washington DC, is expected to use his address to focus on the theme of unity, a theme that also underpinned his election campaign.

    The new president plans to speak about the need to bring the country together during a period of upheaval and to call on all Americans to work together to address the challenges facing the nation.

    View more on twitter
  15. Pence 'to skip Trump farewell ceremony'

    Mike Pence is expected to miss Donald Trump's departure ceremony due to a conflict with Joe Biden's inauguration, US media reports.

    Attending Trump's event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in the morning would reportedly be logistically too difficult as the vice-president would then need to be back in Washington for the midday inauguration ceremonies.

    View more on twitter

    Pence will reportedly bid farewell to Trump before he departs from the White House in the morning.

  16. US-Mexico border wall seesaws win design award

    People use seesaws at the US-Mexico border wall

    A seesaw installation at the US-Mexico border wall has won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year award, which is run by London's Design Museum.

    The pink seesaws were placed through sections of the wall and allowed people in both countries to play together.

    They were installed by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello at the Anapra zone in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.

    They were only in place for 20 minutes, but video footage of people using them quickly went viral.

    You can see more pictures of the seesaws here

  17. More on the US Covid death toll

    As we mentioned earlier, the death toll from coronavirus in the US has passed 400,000.

    According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the country has now reported 400,022 fatalities, and more than 24 million cases.

    This is more deaths and cases than reported by any other country in the world.

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are due to lead an event in Washington later today to honour those killed by Covid-19.

    The president-elect has pledged to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.

    The Democrat received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine last month, saying he was getting the jab to show Americans it is "safe to take".

    Donald Trump has been criticised by health experts for his handling of the pandemic.

    But the White House defended the administration, highlighting Operation Warp Speed, the programme to develop and distribute vaccines.

    “We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said, according to AP news agency.

    BBC graphic shows coronavirus cases and deaths in the US
  18. Twelve National Guard members removed from inauguration

    Members of the National Guard in Washington DC
    Image caption: Thousands of troops have been deployed ahead of the inauguration

    A dozen members of the US National Guard have been removed from security efforts to protect tomorrow's inauguration, according to US media reports.

    The Associated Press news agency, which initially reported the number, said that all of the members had been found to have links with right-wing groups or to have posted extremist views online.

    However, a Pentagon spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency said that not all were removed due to ties to extremist groups, while NBC news said that some of the guardsmen were ruled out due to "'more routine' vetting issues".

    Security in Washington DC has been bolstered since the Capitol riot on 6 January, which left five people dead.

    More than 25,000 members of the National Guards are expected to be involved in tomorrow's ceremony - more than three times the number present during Donald Trump's inauguration.

    Find out more about how security threats and Covid-19 have changed the ceremony here.

  19. BreakingUS surpasses 400,000 coronavirus deaths

    The US has become the first country to surpass 400,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

  20. DC prepares for Biden inauguration

    Security has been ramped up in Washington DC in preparation for an inauguration like no other.

    Some 25,000 National Guard reserve soldiers have been deployed in the wake of the storming of the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob on 6 January that left five people dead.

    The National Mall in Washington, DC, is decorated with US flags on January 19
    Members of the National Guard gather at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol,

    The number of spectators will be greatly reduced due to the pandemic and Donald Trump will snub his successor by not attending - something that has not happened for more than 150 years.

    Some 200,000 flags, bathed in light, have been planted on the National Mall to represent the crowds who cannot attend and reflect on those who have lost their lives to Covid.

    Local and out of town police forces gather near the Capitol Hill
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C) reviews the preparations on the inaugural platform ahead of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden at the US Capitol