Joe Biden's inauguration rehearsal 'postponed over security fears'

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Our Foreign Staff
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Thousands of National Guard troops will be stationed in Washington for the inauguration - REUTERS
Thousands of National Guard troops will be stationed in Washington for the inauguration - REUTERS

A rehearsal for Joe Biden's inauguration scheduled for Sunday has been postponed because of security concerns, according to a report in the US.

Mr Biden is due to be sworn in as president on Wednesday, January 20, and the rehearsal has now been pushed back to Monday, Politico reported on Thursday.

It reflects the seriousness with which Mr Biden's transition team are taking security threats after supporters of Donald Trump broke into the US Capitol last week in a riot that left five people dead.

Security officials have locked down the Capitol grounds and the National Guard is set to post more than 20,000 troops in the area.

The FBI on Thursday warned of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" about potentially violent threats to the inauguration and the agency has also said it expects armed protests in all 50 states.

Earlier this week Mr Biden's team cancelled a train trip planned for Monday from Wilmington, Delaware to Washington due to security concerns.

Read more: What will Donald Trump do now?

The presidential inaugural committee declined to comment on the changes, Politico said.

Mike Pence, the Vice President, insisted on Thursday that Mr Biden's inauguration would be safe.

"We all lived through that day of January the 6th," said Mr Pence, who is expected to attend the ceremony, while Mr Trump will not.

He added: "As the president made clear yesterday, we are committed to an orderly transition, and to a safe inauguration, and the American people deserve nothing less."

On Wednesday Mr Biden's team was briefed by the FBI, Secret Service and officials from national security agencies over the possible threats at the inauguration.

They said: “This is a challenge that the President-elect and his team take incredibly seriously.”