/Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer assistance ahead of inauguration
Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer assistance ahead of inauguration

Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer assistance ahead of inauguration

Vice President Mike Pence listens during a briefing about the upcoming presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at FEMA headquarters, January 14, 2021, in Washington.

Alex Brandon | Reuters

Vice President Mike Pence called his soon-to-be successor, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, to congratulate her and offer his assistance before she and President-elect Joe Biden are sworn in next Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter said.

The phone call on Thursday between Pence and Harris marked their first discussion since they debated publicly last fall during the vicious presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump, who spent weeks angrily denying his election loss to Biden while falsely asserting widespread fraud, has not called the incoming president.

Trump has acknowledged that the Biden administration will soon take charge but has vowed never to concede the election and has not publicly done so.

Pence and second lady Karen Pence plan to attend Biden’s inauguration, which will be significantly pared down compared with prior ceremonies in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters last week, which spurred officials to massively heighten security.

Trump has said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. He is expected to depart the White House for his Florida home hours before Biden takes the oath of office, NBC News reported earlier Friday.

The New York Times first reported the call, which it described as gracious and pleasant.