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D.C. still reeling from riot as it prepares to say goodbye to Trump

From Coretta Scott King to Ella Baker: Meet some of the women who influenced Martin Luther King Jr.'s work.
Image: Members of the National Guard stand watch at the U.S. Capitol
Members of the National Guard stand watch at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We've got two days to go before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Here's what we're watching this Monday morning.

Ex-officials say Capitol riot exposed flaws of Trump DHS: Inexperienced staff, immigration obsession

As authorities are still trying to figure out what security failures led to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, former Department of Homeland Security officials spanning the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations have a theory.

They say the Capitol riot exposed the shortcomings of an agency with an inexperienced staff and a misplaced focus on immigration instead of the rise of domestic threats over the past four years.

"There is a lack of experience across the board. You could be the smartest kid in the world, but at some point, experience matters," a former senior Trump administration official said.

So far, authorities have arrested more than 50 suspected members of the pro-Trump mob on federal charges and FBI offices across the country are searching for more.

One of the suspects, Lonnie Coffman, is accused of driving a pickup truck filled with Molotov cocktails and other deadly weapons to the nation’s capital.

The 70-year-old Alabama man with no criminal history or known extremist ties represents the worst nightmare for law enforcement, experts say —an apparent lone wolf who operated completely under the radar.

"These are the people who keep law enforcement up at night," said Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI criminal profiler and an NBC News analyst.

Meantime, authorities are debating whether deplatforming extremists is effective or dangerous? Experts weigh in.

The stakes are high for Biden's inaugural address. Here's what to expect.

As President-elect Biden prepares to take office facing more crises than any other president in modern American history, the stakes for his inaugural address couldn't be higher.

We can expect the speech to emphasize familiar themes from his campaign: unity, healing and a vision for the many crises the country faces, a senior advisor told NBC News.

Meet the Rev. Silvester Beaman, the Delaware pastor and old friend of the former vice president, who will be delivering the inauguration benediction

But the actual transition will be unlike previous inauguration days: the Trumps and the Bidens are not expected to interact before Biden is sworn in.

President Donald Trump has already said he has opted not to attend his successor’s ceremony. Instead, he is expected to leave the White House for the last time as president Wednesday morning andhead to his private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

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  • The incoming Biden administration has a message for a migrant caravan approaching the U.S. border: Don't come now.
  • A comic book artist died of cardiac arrest just three days after coming down with what he thought was a cold. It was Covid-19.
  • "If you protect someone, you protect them fully": A French baker's hunger strike saved his apprentice from deportation.
  • "Why did they attack us, we’re not terrorists or Taliban fighters … what’s our crime?" Anger at the Afghan government after 18 members of same family feared killed in airstrike.

THINK about it

Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy lives on in Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock and Black liberation theology, Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, writes in an opinion piece.


How to get better at being there for others right now.


Here's what to know about NordicTrack's Vault, the brand’s latest $3,000 smart fitness offering, along with a few (relatively) affordable smart mirror alternatives.

Quote of the day

"Women were significant in his life, their intellectual production, their spiritual accompaniment."

— Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, on the many women who helped shape Martin Luther King, Jr.

One fun thing

At the end of a challenging fall semester of online classes, Chapman University freshmen Valentyna Simon and Kaitlyn Gong wanted to find a way to thank their professor Dr. Jim Brown.

So they surprised him when the entire class held up handwritten signs of gratitude on Zoom, moving Brown to tears.

"I'm so proud of them for making it through this semester," said Brown. "They made it through this. That's why I was so moved by it. We went through this journey together and we came out. I think we're OK."

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Thanks, Petra