President-elect Donald Trump’s era starts in the US
AP photoPresident-elect Donald Trump’s era began on Jan. 20 after a swearing-in ceremony as the 45th president of the United States, beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world.
“It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!” Trump tweeted from his overnight lodgings at Blair House, just steps from the White House.
An estimated 800,000 people were expected to gather on the National Mall in the center of the nation’s capital to celebrate a man whose short 19-month political career has defied all predictions and many norms.
In the cool Washington dawn, his most ardent supporters ignored forecasts of rain and began to make their way by metro, car and on foot to take part in history.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Thomas Mendenhall, 68, a retired banker from Missouri. “We just want change.”
Trump attended the first event of his jam-packed inauguration day – a prayer service just hours before he was set to take the oath of office.
Trump, his wife, Melania, and his adult children arrived at St. John’s Church near the White House for what was expected to be an hour-long service before heading for a morning coffee with outgoing President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The sermon was given by Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who has drawn sharp criticism for his inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and members of the LGBT community.
Jeffress, who leads the First Baptist Church in Dallas, once accused Obama of “paving the way” for the Antichrist, and has called Islam an “evil religion.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his family also attended the service.
Jeffress tweeted a picture of himself in front of St. John’s with the message: “Delivering sermon for Trump/Pence private family service at 8:30am CT. Topic: ‘When God Chooses a Leader’ from Nehemiah.”
After the morning tea at the White House, the Obamas and the Trumps were expected to travel the four kilometers down Pennsylvania Avenue to the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.
At 70 years of age, he is the oldest man ever to begin work in the Oval Office.
But the real estate mogul and one-time television reality star is also a political neophyte – he will be the first president never to have held elected office, served in the government or the armed forces.
For Trump’s supporters, that is a central part of his appeal.
“He’s somebody that’s not a politician,” said 59-year-old Sandra Jackson-Carter, a salon owner from Bakersville, California.
“He’s going to unite the country and make America great again,” she said. “This is history. There’s nothing better.”
Small demonstrations popped up across the city center, with shouts of “not my president.” A much larger rally is planned for Jan. 21.
On the evening of Jan. 19, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside a pro-Trump event, heckling and shouting at departing guests and lighting protest signs on fire before police used chemical spray on the crowd.
Trump enters office with a 37 percent approval rating, the lowest on record, according to a CBS News poll.