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Biden says he feels safe ahead of inauguration

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REPORTER: "Mr. President-elect, do you feel safe about Wednesday based on the intelligence that you've seen?"

JOE BIDEN: "Yes."

As he walked away from the podium on Friday, after outlining his plan to speed up the country's COVID-19 vaccination rollout, President-elect Joe Biden said he feels safe taking the oath of office at his inauguration next week, despite possible security threats after last week's assault on the Capitol.

The National Park Service said on Friday it was immediately closing the National Mall and iconic U.S. landmarks in Washington D.C. until at least the day after Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

MURIEL BOWSER: "... a very real and present threat..."

And D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser suggested that closures and heightened security could remain in effect until well after that, with an eye on possible threats from armed far-right groups.

BOWSER: "We saw white extremists storm the Capitol building who were trained and organized... So we all have to think about a new posture... While we are focused on January the 20th, we're also focused on January the 21st and every day thereafter in the nation's capital."

U.S. officials said they expect the number of National Guard troops to rise to 25,000 in the capital, a number that could still increase even further. And the city set up vehicle checkpoints at a security perimeter surrounding central Washington.

Neighboring Virginia said it would close several bridges connecting the state with the federal district. And Maryland, the other state bordering D.C., declared a state of emergency related to the inauguration.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY: "We are seeing an extensive amount of concerning online chatter."

FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday that his agency was tracking calls for potential armed protest in the lead-up to Wednesday's inauguration.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that Biden's team had decided to delay Sunday's inauguration rehearsal by one day due to concerning "online chatter."

Still, Biden's chief of staff Ron Klain said in an interview with the Washington Post he was confident that law enforcement officials would be able to secure the inauguration.

Video Transcript

- Mr. President-elect, do you feel safe about Wednesday, based on the intelligence that you've seen?

JOE BIDEN: Yes.

- As he walked away from the podium on Friday after outlining his plan to speed up the country's COVID-19 vaccination rollout, President-elect Joe Biden said he feels safe taking the oath of office at his inauguration next week, despite possible security threats after last week's assault on the Capitol. The National Park Service said on Friday it was immediately closing the National Mall and iconic US landmarks in Washington, DC, until at least the day after Biden's inauguration on January 20.

MURIEL BOWSER: A very real and present threat--

- DC Mayor Muriel Bowser suggested that closures and heightened security could remain in effect until well after that date, with an eye on possible threats from armed far-right groups.

MURIEL BOWSER: We saw white extremists storm the Capitol building who were trained and organized. So we all have to think about a new posture. While we are focused on January the 20th, we're also focused on January the 21st and every day thereafter in the nation's capital.

- US officials said they expect the number of National Guard troops to rise to 25,000 in the capital, a number that could increase even further. And the city set up vehicle checkpoints at a security perimeter surrounding central Washington. Neighboring Virginia said it would close several bridges connecting the state with the federal district. And Maryland, the other state bordering DC, declared a state of emergency related to the inauguration.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY: We are seeing an extensive amount of concerning online chatter.

- FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday that his agency was tracking calls for potential armed protests in the lead-up to Wednesday's inauguration. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that Biden's team had decided to delay Sunday's inauguration rehearsal by one day due to concerning online chatter.

Still, Biden's Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, said in an interview with "The Washington Post" that he was confident that law enforcement officials would be able to secure the inauguration.