January 19, 2017 12:52 PM EST

President-elect Donald Trump is making his official arrival in Washington today aboard a U.S. Air Force C-32, as he prepares to take the reins of government tomorrow. On Friday, 536 temporary “beachhead” workers will fan out across Washington to every executive agency to begin the work of implementing Trump’s agenda. Immediately after his swearing-in, his top aides will ride a bus to their new offices in the West Wing. Trump, meanwhile, will continue with the congressional luncheon and the Inaugural Parade. Aides said to expect Trump to sign some executive orders as soon as Friday. But Trump’s Cabinet picks are getting slow-walked on Capitol Hill, amid Democratic opposition and lingering questions about ethical and preparedness issues for some of the intended-nominees. Speaking to reporters Thursday, VP-elect Mike Pence touted the project as on-time and under budget.

President Obama tried to sound an hopeful note Wednesday in his final press conference, as he praised the role of the independent press and tried to reassure Democratic and global fears about the incoming administration. Trump’s picks face a grilling on the Hill. And his hotel bans the press.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Donald Trump Tests Congressional Republicans
Winning inspires flexibility [TIME]

President Obama’s Final Thoughts: ‘We’re Going to Be O.K.’
Sounds optimistic note on eve of transfer of power [TIME]

Obama to White House Press Corps: ‘Good Luck’
The President’s final press conference comes as the incoming Trump team mulls booting journalists [TIME]

Trump’s ‘Beachhead’ Teams Primed to Grab Agencies’ Reins at Noon Friday
Plan in place to takeover government at 12:01 pm [Politico]

Authors of 2013 Republican Report on Diversity Say it’s Now an Afterthought
Trump’s win has taken the party down a different path [Associated Press]

Sound Off

“The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world.” — President Obama in his final press conference

“We are wrapping up this transition on schedule and under budget. … We will actually return some 20% of taxpayer funding.” — Vice President-elect Mike Pence Thursday

Bits and Bites

Donald Trump’s Treasury Pick Stephen Mnuchin Is Facing Criticism Over Foreclosures [Associated Press]

Cabinet Nominee Rep. Tom Price Grilled on Stock Investments [TIME]

Here’s a Look at the Education Questions Betsy DeVos Struggled to Answer [TIME]

The Case for Donald Trump’s Official White House Photographer [TIME]

Trump’s D.C. hotel bans press during inauguration week [Politico]

Obama Pentagon chief: I did not recommend Manning commutation [CNN]

At Dinner Honoring Mike Pence, Donald Trump Touches Many Bases [New York Times]

More Must-Reads From TIME

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