Live Coverage

Live Coverage of the Presidential Inauguration

Donald Trump will take the oath of office on Friday, becoming the 45th president of the United States.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, to become the 45th president of the United States.

The day’s inaugural festivities will get underway in the morning and continue through Saturday. The swearing-in ceremony, which will take place outside of the Capitol, is expected to begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by an inaugural parade at 3 p.m. and inaugural balls in the evening.

Thousands of attendees are expected to descend on Washington, DC for the ceremonies, which will likely be met with celebration and protest. We’ll bring you the latest updates from the nation’s capital as events unfold. Also see our continuing coverage:


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President Donald Trump and the First Lady Celebrate With A Dance

Brian Snyder / Reuters

The pageantry of the presidential inaugural is continuing late into the night in Washington, D.C.

“We knew we were going to win, and we won, and today we had a great day,” President Donald Trump told the crowd at one of the presidential inaugural balls just before 10 p.m. on Friday, taking a victory lap and striking a more upbeat tone than his inaugural address earlier in the day. “We really did something that’s so special, and this evening is so special,” Trump said, before promising: “You’re going to see things happening over the next few weeks. You’re going to be so happy.”

“People that weren’t so nice to me were saying that we did a really good job today. They hated to do it, but they did it, and I respect that,” Trump added. “But I have to say, the crowd was unbelievable today.”

After delivering his brief remarks, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump shared their first dance to the tune of “My Way” and were later joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as both couples’ children.

Three official inaugural balls are taking place Friday evening. The Liberty and Freedom inaugural balls are ticketed-events open to the public, while a third ball titled the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball, is invite-only. According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, “active duty and reserve military, Medal of Honor recipients, wounded warriors, military families, veterans, and first responders” are among the invited guests.

A bevy of performers took the stage before Trump showed up at the live-streamed festivities, including Irish dancer Michael Flatley of “Lord of the Dance” fame, and the Radio City Rockettes.

'It's Trump Day' in Washington

John Minchillo / AP

The sun was coming up on Inauguration Day as a young couple walked arm-and-arm ahead of me toward the Foggy Bottom metro. “I feel like I’m gonna get something thrown at me when I put this hat on,” the woman said, adjusting a red baseball cap on her head. “Not today,” he said, squeezing her arm.

Long before clashes between protesters and police erupted in downtown Washington, D.C., resulting in more than 200 arrests and a destroyed limousine, fans of Donald J. Trump were on their way to watch history being made.

At the gift shop at the McPherson Square Metro station, a man and woman were inspecting Trump cufflinks: “$19.99,” the store owner told him. The man ended up with Trump shirts and bottle openers. “All for friends,” his wife told me. “We’re not fans, but he’s still our president!” At Federal Center, every Trump supporter in my train car stopped, one by one, to thank the National Guard members on the way out of the station, giddy with excitement.

Outside the Capitol grounds, Lynn Vigerzi was shouting in sing-song, “It’s Trump Day, It’s Trump Day!” as she held her phone up for a Facebook Live stream. “You’re live!” she told a man selling t-shirts. She came down from Rochester, New York, to see Trump’s inauguration. “For the last 15, 20 years I’ve followed that man, read every single book of his,” she said, “and let me tell you, he is as humble as any president could be.”

Just south of the Capitol Building, I found 70-year-old Betsy Hower from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, bundled in a blue poncho and seated on a tarp spread over the ground. She looked cold, and I asked how she was feeling. “Delighted!” she said. “When I was at the [Republican National Convention] I realized that this election was not about Mr. Trump. I was surrounded by Americans who wanted some part of their country back.”

An hour later, Hower and countless other Trump supporters on the lawn watched on Jumbotrons as President Barack Obama became former President Barack Obama, and Trump assumed the highest office in the land.

“January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” Trump said during his speech. Americans have been angry for a long time, Hower had told me earlier, perched on her plastic tarp. “We wanted change,” she said. “We got it.”

President Trump Issues Orders on Obamacare and Regulations

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Updated January 20 at 9:22 p.m. ET

Hours after being sworn in, President Trump signed an executive order Friday night to “ease the burden” of the Affordable Care Act, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters. The order gives broad latitude to the Health and Human Services Department and other federal agencies to grant any of the law’s waivers, deferments, and exceptions when possible while the administration works on new legislation. It also instructs agencies to cooperate with states to create a “free and open market” for health-care services.

Friday night’s order does not substantially alter the ACA’s core functions, but it’s not immediately clear what its practical effects will be on health-insurance markets. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have made the repeal of the ACA, more commonly known as Obamacare, their primary domestic-policy focus in the early stages of Trump’s presidency.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus also drafted a memo Friday night ordering a regulatory freeze throughout the federal government until President Trump’s appointed officials are in place. The memo does not suspend existing regulations; instead, it blocks agencies and departments from crafting new ones while the transition process unfolds.

Inauguration Protests Continue Into the Night

Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic

After dozens of different protests and marches throughout the city, anti-Trump protests have coalesced around Franklin Square, a park near the inaugural parade route.

The area has been active all day, and protests have gravitated towards it. Early this morning, protesters broke windows and overturned trash cans near a bank located a block to the south of the heart of the park. Later, police officers arrested nearly 100 protesters a block to the east of the park, after a skirmish where at least one protester threw rocks at police, and police issued pepper spray and stun grenades in response. Several protesters said that the same people were involved in both of these events, but those reports have not been confirmed.

Police cordoned off several blocks around that incident, even as a large crowd of protesters gathered in Franklin Square and attempted to cross police lines to reach the disturbance. The ensuing standoff was mostly peaceful, though at least one demonstrator set fire to a limousine, some threw water bottles and garbage at the police, and television host Larry King reported that the windows were broken in an SUV in which he was a passenger. King was not in the vehicle at the time. Police responded with stun grenades and pepper spray, but I did not see any arrests.

Even as that particular standoff evolved, more groups entered the square. Bands, performers, and speakers—including a delegation from Standing Rock—set up a stage on the south end of the square, and several trash fires have been set along the streets that bound the park. A slim band of protesters is still locked in a stare-down with officers.

Scenes from the National Mall

Atlantic photographer Emily Jan spent the day mingling with the crowds that gathered to watch Donald Trump become the 45th president of the United States. American flags, pins, and Make America Great Again hats peppered the scene, as well as shouts of “Not my President!” Below is a selection of what she witnessed:

A woman attending Donald Trump's presidential inauguration wraps herself in an American flag on the National Mall. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)

From left, Chase Walker, 21, Grayson Price, 19, and Caleb Carr, 20, take off their "Make America Great Again" hats for the national anthem. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)

George Pepé, 20, came in from Warrensburg, New York, to attend Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)

Donald Trump is seen on a jumbotron delivering remarks during the swearing-in ceremony. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)

A Donald Trump supporter celebrates on the National Mall after the 45th president is sworn into office. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
Attendees line up to enter the general-admission section of the National Mall ahead of the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
Members of the crowd on the National Mall watch the inauguration ceremony on giant screens. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
Ibrahim Mansaray, 45, sells bags decorated with the faces of Barack Obama and Donald Trump near L'Enfant Plaza. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
From left, Jane Buckley, 18, Leila Meymand, 18, and Laura Meotti, 19, didn't vote for Trump, but decided to attend the inauguration. "Since we're going to be in it for the next four years, we thought we'd see what we'd be in for," Buckley said. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
Gear for sale near L'Enfant Plaza (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)
Amy Wexler (holding sign), 53, came from Hudson, Ohio to attend the inauguration of President Donald Trump with her husband. When her husband got tickets to sit in a closer section, however, she chose to stay in the general-admission area on the National Mall in order to bring her signs in. (Emily Jan / The Atlantic)

Trump Makes a Brief Stop Outside His Hotel During Parade

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Most presidents leave the comfort of their limousine at some point in the inaugural parade to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and wave to the crowds. Trump picked an auspicious spot—outside the Old Post Office, now newly renovated as the Trump International Hotel.

Along with his wife and his son Barron, Trump gave a thumbs-up to the crowd and waved. The steps of the hotel, which were empty earlier in the afternoon, were filled with onlookers. (Earlier footage showed many of the viewing stands along the parade route sitting empty.)

After a minute or two, the president got back in the limo and got on his way. The next time he stepped out, he was at the White House.

Ethics Watchdog Files Complaint Immediately After Trump Is Sworn In

Andrew Harnik / AP

Critics of President Trump’s refusal to divest fully from his businesses didn’t wait long to accuse him of violating the law and the Constitution.

Immediately after Trump took the oath of office on Friday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the General Services Administration and called on the federal government to notify the new president that he was officially in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. The lease that one of Trump’s company’s, Trump Old Post Office LLC, signed with the government states that no “elected official” of the U.S. government can share in the lease or derive benefit from it.

“Mr. Trump was sworn in as president of the United States today,” wrote Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s executive director. “Once that happened, he became an ‘elected official of the government of the United States.’ As a result, he and the companies he owns can no longer ‘be admitted to any share or part’ of the lease or ‘to any benefit that may arise’ from it.”

Bookbinder asked that the GSA initiate the process to notify Trump’s company that it was in breach of the lease and that if it did not take action, it should terminate the agreement. Trump has announced plans to separate himself from his businesses, which two of his sons will run while he is president. But he has resisted calls to liquidate his holdings, and his aides have continued to talk up the new hotel in D.C., which Trump promoted heavily on the campaign trail.

Former White House ethics lawyers Norm Eisen and Richard Painter have said Trump would separately be in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause from the moment he is sworn in if he did not divest from his businesses.

Trump Gives a Shout-Out to Hillary Clinton at Luncheon


Donald Trump caught some flack for not mentioning—or congratulating—Hillary Clinton in his inaugural address. That’s not necessarily unusual: Barack Obama made no mention of John McCain or Mitt Romney during his two addresses. Then again, Clinton was the first female nominee for president of the United States.

But the new president singled out his former opponent for praise at his celebratory luncheon, asking her to stand up.

“I was very honored when I heard that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today,” Trump said. “Honestly, there is nothing more I can say, because I have a lot of respect for those two people. And thank you for being here.”

'Bullies Never Win'

Members of the group Bikers for Trump ride to a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Settlers Landing Park in Cleveland. (John Minchillo / AP)

Outside the Bikers for Trump rally along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route, I spoke with a middle-aged man named Chris, clad in a leather jacket and pants, and sporting a full, grey beard. He was standing in line with four of his fellow bikers (there were no motorcycles to be found), inching closer and closer to a big, white security check point tent as we talked. The small group rode over from North Carolina together to show their support for the new president. Bikers for Trump, Chris told me, is pretty loosely organized, but all of the group’s members have two things in common: They support Trump, and they like to ride bikes.

“Now we finally have a proven businessman, probably one of the greatest businessmen in the history of the country,” Chris said. “He’s got some old-fashioned, traditional, American values. He’s bringing patriotism back.” Several bikers wearing orange neon vests nodded along behind him while he spoke.

Chris said he was frustrated by protesters who refused to accept the new president and who, he said, were being disrespectful. Bikers for Trump was there to promote the peaceful transition of power, he said, and facilitate peaceful celebration of the new president.

The goal of the rally?  “It’s just to show people that bullies never win.”

Police and Protesters Clash Near Parade Route

Adrees Latif/Reuters

CNN is reporting that nearly 100 people have been arrested in a flare-up between protesters and police in downtown Washington, D.C., near the inaugural parade route.

Video showed a line of police securing the roadway near the intersection of K and 12th Streets, a few blocks away from the White House. Reports say protesters smashed windows and threw rocks at police, with officers throwing stun grenades and pepper spray in response.

It’s worth noting, of course, that thousands of protesters are making their voices heard peacefully throughout the city without disruption.

‘America Is A Much Greater Country Than What He Portrayed'

Senator Gary Peters (James Lawler Duggan / Reuters)

President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech is being met with mixed reaction among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“I think that America is a much greater country than what he portrayed in his speech,” Democratic Senator Gary Peters said in a brief interview following the official swearing in of the 45th president, reacting to an address where Trump promised to end “American carnage,” and spoke of a country with “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones.” When asked if he thought that some parts of the speech delivered a dark message, Peters said: “I did, yes, I thought that.”

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen indicated that the speech left her disappointed. She said she had been looking for Trump to put forward “a vision for how he wants to move the country forward,” and make “an effort to unify people in the country.” Shaheen added that she was also “hoping to hear optimism for the future,” and added: “I didn’t feel like I heard any of that.”

Republican Senator Tim Scott dismissed the criticism. “There’s nothing dark about that speech,” Scott said. “His speech was encouraging, talking about putting America first, putting the American people first. What’s dark about that? Nothing.”

Senator Lindsey Graham: 'I Don't Believe We've Lost Our Country'


For Senator Tim Scott, perhaps the most notable element of President Donald Trump’s speech was its brevity. “Seventeen minutes,” he marveled. “I like short speeches.” But he also appreciated its substance. “He finished strong,” he said. “Allowing people to control their government.”

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people,” Donald Trump had said, just a few minutes before. “January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

I asked one of his Republican colleagues precisely when he thought the people had lost their government. He paused. “It’s a good question,” he allowed. “It happened over a number of years and a number of administrations.”

Senator Lindsey Graham rejected the premise entirely. “I don’t believe we’ve lost our country,” he said. “I don’t think I’m part of the problem; I think I’m part of the solution.”  

He found more to praise in Trump’s proclamation that this is the hour of action. He was hopeful that if Trump were to follow through on that pledge, he might spur action on a range of challenges. And he had a specific suggestion, urging Trump to start by succeeding where President Obama failed. “He should bring people to the White House and shmooze them—he’s good at that.” Trump’s personal charm, he said, could be effective.

“I’ve been in the doing business for a long time,” Graham said. “Let’s see if we can do something.”

President Trump Signs First Orders

J. Scott Applewhite / Reuters

President Trump briefly paused from his inaugural celebrations to undertake the first formal acts of his presidency.

According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the president signed a bill waiving a statutory restriction that would have blocked retired General James Mattis from serving as his secretary of defense, issued an order proclaiming a “national day of patriotism” throughout the United States, and signed the formal nominations of his Cabinet members.

The orders are expected to be the first of a flurry of executive actions in the coming days. Trump administration staffers have prepared a series of orders to reverse many of his predecessor’s unilateral actions on immigration, energy policy, and healthcare.

Meet The New @POTUS, Not Quite The Same As The Old @POTUS

Updated on January 20, 2016

Twitter is in the process of handing over the key to the official @POTUS account, as well as @VP, @FLOTUS and @WhiteHouse.*

Trump’s @POTUS is technically a new account—the original Twitter account used during Barack Obama’s administration has been ported to @POTUS44. “Both accounts will retain all of the followers,” Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio said.

*This article originally stated the @POTUS Twitter account had lost 10 million followers shortly after Donald Trump’s swearing-in. We regret the error.

Pope Francis Offers Pointed 'Good Wishes' to President Trump

Pope Francis in January (Max Rossi / Reuters)

Pope Francis has sent over his “good wishes” to Donald Trump, which are fastidiously polite but pointedly on message. The pontiff highlighted the “grave humanitarian crises” going on in the world and called on Trump to make America a country “measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door.” During the campaign, the pope got into an oblique shade-throwing fight with Trump over the Republican’s plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, and subtly lifted up a different candidate—Bernie Sanders—for his focus on a “moral economy.”

The pope’s full message is here:

Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office. At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding far-sighted and united political responses, I pray that  your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide. Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

Trump's Rhetorical Style: "American Carnage"

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Throughout the campaign, Trump cited America’s blighted “inner cities” again and again, where jobs were non-existent and walking outdoors carried a good risk of being shot. It was usually paired with a denunciation of the Democrats who let the neighborhoods down, and a promise that only he could fix it.

Data shows that Trump’s view of violence in America and the economic prosperity of minorities is stuck in the 1980s. But we now have a name for his rhetorical strategy: “American carnage.”

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities... rusted-out factories, scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation... an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.

And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential... this American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

Trump is not wrong in that there are plenty of single mothers struggling to make ends meet, or that American schools underperform globally despite high per-capita spending. But as he did throughout the campaign, Trump depicts the challenges facing the U.S. as an imminent crisis.

The Obamas and Bidens Prepare to Depart Washington, D.C.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

With the swearing-in ceremony wrapped up, the Obamas and Bidens are heading out of town.

Former President Obama and Michelle Obama boarded a helicopter shortly after the ceremony which will take them to the Joint Base Andrews. From there, the Obamas will depart for California. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden are also on their way out: They’re headed to Union Station where they’ll board a train to Delaware.

Trump's Digital Presidential Takeover

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Donald Trump is officially America’s new president—and the digital transfer of power has proceeded quickly.

The official White House website now displays a photo of Trump and a quote from the 45th president himself that reads: “The Movement Continues—The Work Begins!” Bios for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as well as First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence are loaded onto the site. A list details the administration’s “top issues,” which sketch out an agenda that includes “bringing back jobs and growth,” “making our military strong again,” and “standing up for our law enforcement community.”

Those aren’t the only digital changes: The @POTUS twitter account now displays the name President Trump, though the newly-inaugurated president has yet to tweet from the account. The @FLOTUS twitter account has a picture of Melania and a note in the bio informing the reader that the account is “run by the Office of First Lady Melania Trump.” So far, neither the First Lady nor her office has yet to tweet.

Islam Gets Left Out of a Multi-Faith Show of Prayer on the Inaugural Stage

Credit Win McNamee / Getty

Trump selected six religious leaders to offer prayers at the Inauguration, taking a somewhat lopsided one-of-every-kind approach: The list of clergy included a Catholic, a Jew, a female evangelical, a Hispanic evangelical, a black evangelical, and a white evangelical. Past presidents have selected between two and four leaders to say blessings or give the invocation; the last time presidents even approached this number of religious leaders was in the 1950s and ’60s.

Even with the diversity of religious leaders on stage this morning, at least one major religion wasn’t represented: Islam. While other religious minorities also didn’t get a spot on stage, Muslims had a high-profile role in the election—during his inauguration speech, the new president highlighted his commitment to eliminating “radical Islamic terrorism,” something he echoed often on the campaign trail.

The most poignant passages were read at the beginning of the ceremony by Samuel Rodriguez, the pastor who leads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He chose selections from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew—the book of the Bible in which Jesus gives the the Sermon on the Mount. Rodriguez spoke of lifting up the poor, and, perhaps most poignantly, the importance of humility.

Later, Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham who runs his father’s eponymous outreach organization and the charity Samaritan’s Purse, echoed a different kind of sentiment: that God has directly played a role in Trump’s arrival at Inauguration Day. “The rain is a sign of God’s blessing,” Graham said. “It started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform.”

Trump himself brought quite a bit of religious rhetoric into his speech. After listing off the reasons for American’s great potential, he noted that, “most importantly, we will be protected by God.” Later, he noted that Americans are all “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.”

In addition to Rodriguez and Franklin, Trump tapped Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York; Paula White, a evangelical pastor from Florida; Rabbi Marvin Hier, who leads the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A.; and Wayne T. Jackson, the head of Great Faith Ministries International and Impact Television Network in Detroit. On Saturday, an even larger roster of religious figures will gather for the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. This time, Islam will be represented: Mohamed Magid, a Washington-area imam who formerly led the Islamic Society of North America, will join a couple dozen others to lead prayers.

Trump Calls For 'America First' and 'Total Allegiance to the United States' In Address

Carlos Barria/Reuters

I can’t think of a more frank explanation of Trump’s protectionist foreign policy than this line from his address:

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

But domestically, this line might cause more concern.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America. And through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

An odd twist of words. American presidents typically praise the U.S.’s diversity, both of background and of opinion. Trump is saying that “patriotism” as he defines it should be the basis of the country’s unifying identity—and only “total allegiance” to that definition is appropriate.

Trump and Pence Take Their Oaths of Office

Carlos Barria / Reuters

At about 8 minutes before noon, Mike Pence took the oath of office to become the nation’s 48th vice president. The oath was administered by Justice Clarence Thomas, a rare moment of public speaking for the Supreme Court’s most silent member. Amid applause, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir then broke into a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Donald Trump then took the dais with Chief Justice John Roberts at noon precisely. Together, with Trump’s hand on his childhood Bible and the Lincoln Bible, they recited the oath laid out by the Constitution 230 years ago, formally marking the start of President Trump’s tenure as the 45th President of the United States.

Chuck Schumer Encourages Unity and 'The Things That Make America, America'

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was scheduled to give a short address just before the swearing-in of Vice President Mike Pence, entered to tepid applause from the crowd and made some points that seemed squarely aimed at the incoming president.

“Today we celebrate one of democracy's core attributes, the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. (That’s a common refrain among the legislators attending today’s inauguration—some of whom might have wished the election went the other way.) “And every day, we stand up for core democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution: the rule of law, equal protection for all under law, the freedom of speech, press, religion. The things that make America, America.”

Given that Trump’s campaign started with a promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out immigrants, Schumer’s final lines seemed a bit weighted. “That spirit lives on in each of us: Americans whose families have been here for generations, and those who have just arrived,” he said.

Crowd Patiently Awaits Trump's Remarks

Nora Kelly / The Atlantic

The general-admission section of the National Mall is downright tame as the inauguration proceedings begin. There are no protesters to be seen in my section, and save for the attendees' Trump swag—including a few young men in American-flag jumpsuits—nobody's making any overt political statements. Everyone is patiently waiting for Trump.

Trump Supporters Welcome His Arrival

Scott Olson / Getty

The crowd can see Donald Trump on the screen now and everyone is taking selfies with the jumbotron, waving their hats and whistling. As Trump descends the stairs, a man next to me says “go time.” The crowd erupts in cheers and kids are lifted into the air.

This is a momentous occasion for most of the people around me—what most have dubbed a “once in a lifetime” event. Many tell me they haven’t been to a presidential inauguration before because they’ve never been this excited. But now they are.

Tim Kaine Vows to 'Advance Where We Can and Defend Where We Must'

POOL / Reuters

Senator Tim Kaine was smiling in the Capitol on Friday morning ahead of Donald Trump’s formal swearing in ceremony as the next president of the United States.

When asked how he felt, the former 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee expressed resolve, saying he is “geared up for the road ahead” and “looking to advance where we can and defend where we must.”

“You have to hope for the best, and prepare for anything,” Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii said. “You hope for the best because that’s best for the country, but we’re going to be vigilant, and prepared for whatever may come.”

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said “the role of the commander-in-chief is so important that I feel the need to be here,” on Friday ahead of the inauguration. But he was sympathetic to the decision that dozens of House Democrats have made not to attend. “I think this is an exceptional moment,” he said. “There’s more fear and anxiety about this transition than any before, so I understand people that want to stay away.”

Trump Emerges From the Capitol to a Joyous Crowd

Alex Wong / Getty

Donald Trump has descended the steps of the Capitol. Waiting in the antechamber, he looked nervous, puttering around, mouthing a brief hello to the camera. Pence looked more comfortable, shaking hands after his introduction and reaching into the crowd to greet the Clintons.

But once he saw the crowd, Trump gave his classic thumbs up, mouthing “Thank you” every few seconds. He shook hands with the Obamas and kissed his wife, Melania. And now we wait for his address.

The Supreme Court Arrives at the Capitol

Bryan Snyder / Reuters

All eight of the sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices are in attendance for today’s inauguration, with Chief Justice John Roberts set to take his traditional starring role. Roberts visited with Trump briefly on Thursday at Blair House, the president-elect’s traditional pre-inaugural residence, to rehearse the administering of Trump’s formal oath of office later today. Roberts has administered the oath twice before, both times to President Obama. During the 2009 ceremonies, Obama and Roberts famously tripped over each other’s words during the oath and later conducted a second swearing-in out of an “abundance of caution.” Administering Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s oath of office will be Justice Clarence Thomas.

Trump's Former GOP Critics Are Optimistic About His Administration

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Some of Donald Trump’s harshest critics within the Republican Party are talking about his impending inauguration with an upbeat, optimistic tone.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called inauguration “a great opportunity to start over again,” despite having once likened trying to decide whether to support Trump or Ted Cruz during their presidential campaigns to a choice between “being shot or poisoned.”

“The campaign’s over,” Graham said, adding that he wants to “help him be a good president. Where I can work with him, I will, and if I disagree, I disagree. It’s all good.”

Ted Cruz, who once called Trump “a pathological liar” and “utterly amoral,” also sounded enthusiastic about what’s ahead, saying he “felt excited for the opportunity that we have to do an enormous amount of good in this country.” Cruz described the election as “a mandate for change” and predicted that “we are poised to have the most productive Congress in decades.”

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, who declared in February of last year that he could not support Trump, called inauguration “a day of celebration” during a brief interview at the Capitol. “A peaceful transition of power is an amazing gift … I’m curious to hear what the president-elect has to say, but this is a day chiefly about the civic tradition of peacefully transferring power. We don’t celebrate it enough,” he said.

Protests Erupt in Washington, D.C.

Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic

Protesters across downtown D.C. are gumming up the works of the inauguration program. Large crowds of climate protesters, black activists, and peace demonstrators have been involved in a campaign to disrupt the proceedings by blocking entry checkpoints. Protesters have also mixed in with attendees, and many say they plan to continue protesting once let into the official inauguration perimeter. I've visited five checkpoints this morning, and the line was only moving at two.

At the Judiciary Square checkpoint, Movement for Black Lives activists formed human chains and physically blocked several people from entry. But aside from one scuffle, the checkpoint protests have been largely peaceful. At several, the protesters seemed to outnumber the attendees.

There have been reports of disturbances in the city. People overturned trash cans and broke windows near Franklin Square. Police reportedly broke those protests up.

The Break-Out Star of the Trump Inauguration: Kellyanne Conway's Coat

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

A presidential inauguration is much like a Hollywood awards show—red carpets, famous names, elaborate choreography––only the award is the leadership of the free world. That means there are always some notable fashion choices. Eight years ago, it was Aretha Franklin’s oversize-bow-adorned hat. This year, it is Kellyanne Conway’s coat, and it’s not even close.

Conway, who ran Donald Trump’s campaign and is joining his White House as a senior adviser, has become something of a star, thanks to her unstinting defenses of the president, delivered in sometimes combative but usually polite and telegenic manner. Her coat for Friday’s festivities is a martial red, white, and blue, double-breasted, self-belted frock that has inspired a range of comparisons. I likened it to a Nutcracker costume on Twitter; someone else suggested it would make for a good baseball uniform, perhaps of the old-fashioned bib-front variety.

The coat turns out to be by Gucci, and it’s even more impressive up close—it turns out the gleaming, golden buttons are actually tiger’s heads. Conway perhaps wisely eschewed the blue, wide-brim hat Gucci suggests for a more conservative red one. The coat can be yours for $3,600.

The get-up is, perhaps, a microcosm of the whole campaign: No one believed Trump could be marshaled into a winning candidate, yet Conway managed to do it. Likewise, she has attempted a risky look for the inauguration, and she’s pulling it off with panache.

Democrats Show Support for Obamacare at Trump Inauguration

Courtesy of Drew Hammill

Dozens of House Democrats are not attending the inauguration of Donald Trump, but many of those who are at the Capitol on Friday are wearing buttons that read “#Protect Our Care” as a small show of support for the Affordable Care Act.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said the buttons are a “sign of solidarity” with the health law that has become synonymous with President Obama. The slogan, he said, is the most widely-used hashtag in support of the law. The buttons hint at what will be the biggest policy fight of President Trump’s first weeks in office—whether Republicans can repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as they have long promised.

How Many People Will Attend Trump's Inauguration?

Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gather near the U.S. Capitol, where Trump will be sworn in as the nation's 45th president, in Washington, DC. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Taking count of crowds is no easy task.

Earlier this week, The New York Times looked back at a number of presidential inaugurations and marches, and took stock of the number of attendees according to media reports then and common techniques. The Times notes that, “one common technique is to calculate the area a crowd occupies and estimate its density in different locations. Then, like guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, the calculation is based on how many people could fit into the space they occupy.” Crowd counts can be challenging and at times, have provoked controversy.

It’s unclear how many people will be attendance for Trump’s inauguration, as some people may still be in line, but The Washington Post shared a photo on Twitter of the current scene:

To view satellite images of past inaugurations and marches, visit the Times story here.

Obama and Trump Are On Their Way to the Capitol

The Trumps and the Obamas, before their White House visit Friday. (Jonathan Ernst/AP)

Barack Obama and Donald Trump have entered the presidential limousine and are on their way to the Capitol.

They were preceded by Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, who moved quickly to their escort. Joe Biden and Mike Pence came next, both in blue ties, with a few waves to the assembled press.

Obama and Trump took their time walking down the red carpet., and were the only pair who continued their conversation on their way out. As the current and incoming presidents made their way to their ride, CNN cameras caught Hillary Clinton walking through the Capitol with her husband.

“What a remarkable splitscreen moment,” network anchor Wolf Blitzer said.

Trump Supporter on Inauguration Visit: I'm Just Here to Support Him

Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gather in the foreground of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall before Trump is to be sworn in. (Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters)

The air is practically vibrating with excitement in the South standing section. Everyone here is decked out in red caps and cowboy hats, stars and stripes leggings, and Trump scarves. One man I spoke with, Darrell Hubbert, drove all the way from Alabama for this moment. He and his friends didn’t expect Trump to win and when he did, Hubbert says, “boy was we shocked.He heard a lot about protests planned for the inauguration and drove up from Alabama “just to be here to support him.”

Margaret and Mike Buhtenic, from Chicago, Illinois, also shared their enthusiasm for the president-elect. Trump has his “ups and downs,” said Margaret Buhtenic, but she owns a small embroidery shop in the city and Trump “will be good for business.” She added that she isn’t sure about how he’ll handle foreign affairs, but said, “I guess we’ll see.” Mike Buhtenic agreed: “Let me add my two cents. I just feel like we need something new.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton Arrive, As Gracefully as They Can

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Bill and Hillary Clinton have arrived at the Capitol to take their seats for the inauguration. Front-row tickets aren’t usually afforded to the losing campaigner in a presidential election, but Bill Clinton gets a seat as a former president, and Hillary Clinton could hardly refuse the invitation.

George W. and Laura Bush also arrived earlier this morning, hopping out of their motorcade and waving to the crowd amid crowded traffic. George H. W. and Barbara Bush aren’t there, as both are recuperating in Texas after illness, but the younger Bush said both are doing well.

Jimmy Carter, 92, is also attending.

Trump Leaves Church and Meets With Obamas

Alex Brandon/AP

Donald Trump and his family just left St. John's Episcopal Church after a brief service.

The sermon was delivered by the Reverend Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Dallas megachurch. The pastor tweeted on Thursday that his sermon would be titled “When God Chooses a Leader.” Attending a morning worship service has been an inaugural tradition since the days of FDR, with most presidents stopping by St. John’s. (Richard Nixon skipped the service in 1973, but he went to church the next day.)

Trump is now meeting the Obamas for coffee and tea, starting at 9:40 a.m.; it appears he’s running a bit behind schedule.

Protesters and Trump Supporters Await Admission to the National Mall

Nora Kelly / The Atlantic

I'm in a blocks-long general-admission line to access the National Mall, in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood, with what seems to be a mix of protesters and Trump supporters. It's slow-going, but the protesters in the crowd—who appear to outnumber supporters—are keeping themselves occupied with anti-Trump chants.

"No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A." is a popular one, as is "No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here." Many came prepared with signs and posters, including one (pictured above) by Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the famous Obama "Hope" poster, and another that reads "Fake 45," referring to Trump's station as the 45th American president. Still, the atmosphere is friendly. And the Trump supporters in line, some of whom are wearing red "Make America Great Again" hats, don't seem fazed at all.

Inaugural Crowds Are Smaller but Still Enthusiastic

An inbound train on WMATA’s red line on Friday morning (Yoni Appelbaum)

Metro trains, ordinarily crowded with commuters, are running with only scattered handfuls of riders aboard. I sat down near a film student from NYU, a visiting grandfather, and a corporate manager on her way to work. Unlike 2008 or 2012, there is no apparent surge of locals toward the mall, headed to watch history in the making.

But that’s not to say the city is empty. If many residents are at hunkered down at home, others have come to Washington, D.C. from around the country, and the world. The streets close to the Capitol are awash in red hats, bouncing along festively. One of them belonged to Rob Collings, from Sudbury, Massachusetts. “I’m excited about a change,” Collings said. What kind of a change? “Hopefully, less government.”

Officials don’t expect the crowd to rival the estimated 1.8 million who showed up for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. But the 800,000 expected to come on Friday morning are still, by any measure, an enormous crowd—albeit a very different one.

Donald Trump Will Take the Helm With a Sparse Administration

Mike Segar / Reuters

Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States on Friday amid concerns about whether key administration posts will be filled in a timely manner.

The Senate began holding confirmation hearings this month. While most of Trump’s Cabinet nominees have testified before a Senate panel, only two have been approved by their respective Senate committees: General James Mattis, the nominee for defense secretary, and John Kelly, Trump’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security. Both candidates are set to be voted on Friday after Trump is sworn in.

As my colleague Russell Berman reported earlier this month, the Trump transition team has lagged behind previous president-elect’s in vetting its nominees—only beginning the process in “late November or December in some cases.” Lawmakers have vowed to usher the effort forward. On Friday morning, Texas Senator John Cornyn said on Twitter that he was “prepared to stay in session as long as it takes—all night, all weekend—to confirm President Trump’s cabinet nominees.”

The Trump administration has also fallen short in naming executive department appointments. The New York Times notes that “Mr. Trump has named only 29 of his 660 executive department appointments, according to the Partnership for Public Service, which has been tracking the process.” Trump also plans to keep 50 Obama administration officials on staff to “ensure the continuity of government,” spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday.

Trump’s rough transition has provided insight into the challenges he may face in governing. But so far, despite the turbulent nature of his transition to president of the United States, he appears to be unfazed.