Workmen were busy carrying out repairs on the inauguration stage in front of the Capitol Building where, in less than two weeks' time, Joe Biden will be into sworn into office as the new US president.

Carpenters restored the wood panels while painters returned them to glowing white.

Just days before, the platforms had been damaged when they were taken over by Donald Trump's supporters as they stormed the Capitol Building.

Workers prepare a grandstand after it was partially damaged by a pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol two days before

His followers may have occupied the inauguration stage, but the man himself won't be there; tweeting on Friday that he will not be attending Joe Biden's swearing-in.

But if you think the US president is going to disappear quietly, think again.

In an earlier tweet he said that the 75 million Americans who voted for him "will have a giant voice long into the future and will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form".

That "giant voice" had been silenced earlier in the week, when Twitter and Facebook suspended Donald Trump's accounts because of the inflammatory messages he was continuing to post while his supporters were laying siege to the Capitol Building.

When his Twitter account was temporarily unlocked on Thursday night, the president posted a video message in which he committed to a peaceful transfer of power. 

"A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation," he said.

Trump supporters near the US Capitol following the 'Stop the Steal' rally

The unprecedented assault on the Capitol Building began outside another Washington landmark, the White House. 

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters had gathered to hear the president speak and a large stage had been erected flanked by two giant TV screens.

A group from Ohio had driven eight hours to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally, adamant that the election had been stolen from Donald Trump.

One of the them, Mark, rejected claims that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

"This election has not gone well. We believe it's been stolen and that isn't fair to anyone, Republican or Democrat," he told me.

A woman standing nearby had travelled to Washington from Arkansas to attend the Trump rally.

"It's our country and our freedom and we're here to take it back," she said.

The crowd then erupted in cheers and chants of "four more years" as Donald Trump took to the stage.

He claimed his election loss was an egregious assault on Democracy that it had to be confronted by Congress.

"We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave Senators and Congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong," he said.

A short time later a group of the president's supporters stormed the Capitol Building.

As my cameraman and I made our way to the scene, our phones pinged with an alert from the Mayor of Washington DC warning that a curfew would be enforced from 6pm that evening.

There were unimaginable scenes of chaos inside the chambers and halls where Congress had been meeting to confirm Joe Biden's presidential election win.

Security guards were involved in armed stand-offs and elected representatives were forced to shelter under desks while protesters smashed windows and vandalised offices.

As we set up to broadcast from in front of the Capitol Building, emergency vehicles with their sirens blaring rushed by. 

"Fake news!" a group of Trump supporters shouted angrily at my cameraman and me as we finished our live report into the Nine O'Clock News.

I am used to hearing the president's followers echo his words but when those words were used by some as an excuse for violence and disorder, it marked another dark chapter in the final days of the Trump presidency.

The assault on the Capitol Building was the culmination of four years of divisive politics under President Trump.

He has always been a divider. There has to be an enemy in an "us versus them" world of his own creation. 

During his 2016 campaign he vowed to keep out Mexicans and Muslims.

When "Black Lives Matter" protesters took to the streets demanding racial justice and equality, the president focused on the "angry mobs" that were looting and vandalising. 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, he blamed China and when he lost the election Mr Trump said it was only because the Democrats cheated using rigged voting machines and fraudulent ballot papers. 

Donald Trump's policies pleased the conservatives who helped put him in the White House

Donald Trump ticked a lot of boxes for his support base. 

He oversaw a booming economy until the coronavirus hit. 

He kept his "America First" promises by pulling out of international treaties and accords.

His pro-religion, pro-life policies pleased the conservatives who helped put him in the White House. 

But by peddling falsehoods about a rigged election he did his followers a grave disservice and heightened tensions, anger and distrust. 

Joe Biden will inherit a divided country when he is inaugurated on January 20th. The stage upon which he will be sworn-in was repaired using new wooden panels and a fresh coat of paint. It will take a lot more than that to fix the cracks in a fractured America.