By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was front and center at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Wednesday, from welcoming dignitaries, to introducing the new president.

As the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, Klobuchar served as de facto master of ceremonies at the historic event. She says she felt safe, considering it had been only a few weeks since the United States Capitol insurrection.

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“Leading up to it I’d done a bunch of security briefings, including a classified briefing in the Minnesota FBI headquarters, and so I knew that they were taking this so seriously,” Klobuchar said.

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There was intense pressure to move the ceremony indoors.

“There was a lot of sentiment to bring it indoors, and we felt, and the … incoming Biden administration felt that was a really bad idea,” she said.

Mid-ceremony, the new president briefly put his arm around Klobuchar shoulder and said something to her. She’s mum about what was said in that moment.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (credit: CBS)

“Oh, I won’t be saying that, it was a very positive thing,” Klobuchar said. “He was very gracious the entire time.”

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Memories of the deadly riot were never far away.

“Even while we were up there, you could see the green spray point at the bottom of the columns,” she said. “I don’t know if the media noticed that, but that was there, and that part of it was chilling.”

In the aftermath, she allowed herself a senatorial fan girl moment.

“Right afterwards I talked to Lady Gaga and J-Lo and A-Rod, OK, I’ll admit that,” Klobuchar said.

Through it all, the senator appeared very relaxed.

“When you saw what happened at the Capitol, and you saw what they did to the platform as I did right after it happened, it was devastating,” Klobuchar said. “You just make this commitment, we’re going to get through this, and now we’re through it and you could see this glorious sun, after Minnesota snow on that platform, and it was really an amazing experience for our democracy.”

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Sen. Klobuchar agrees with President Biden that battling the coronavirus is the nation’s highest priority. She also said it is the Senate’s constitutional duty to move forward with the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

Esme Murphy