Trump inauguration

Donald J Trump becomes 45th president of the United States

Hugh Linehan, Rachel Flaherty Fri, Jan 20
LIVE: Trump inauguration

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  • 13:30
    Hello and welcome to the Irish Times live coverage of the inauguration of Donald J Trump at the 45th president of the United States of America. No, I'm afraid you're not going to wake up.
  • 13:35

  • 13:51
    A quick recap. Donald Trump, a 70-year-old real estate developer, franchiser and reality TV star, won the 2016 presidential election with 304 electoral votes (270 would have been sufficient). The result shocked and surprised most observers; Trump comfortably won the electoral college despite trailing his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by 2.8 million in the popular votes. Mr Trump is the first president in US history to take office despite never having served in government or the military.
  • 13:58

    A few details on what's ahead.


    The ceremony is scheduled to start at 4.30pm Irish time, with a musical prelude beforehand. Afterward, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will participate in the traditional inaugural parade, which is scheduled to start at 8pm.
    Besides Trump, his family and the Obamas, several living ex-presidents will be in attendance. Jimmy Carter was the first to say he will attend, and so will George W. Bush. Former Vice President Dick Cheney also said he will be there. Both former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential election nominee Hillary Clinton are also slated to attend. A George H. W. Bush spokesman said he will not be there.
    Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Reverend Franklin Graham will also attend.

  • 14:02

  • 14:05
    Taking the oath, Trump will say: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
  • 14:08

    From our correspondent, Simon Carswell, in Washington DC:


    Trump aides said the president-elect had been personally involved in crafting his inaugural address, a relatively brief 20-minute speech to a crowd of hundreds of thousands, expected to centre on his vision for what it means to be an American. Spokesman Sean Spicer said the address would be “less of an agenda and more of a philosophical document”.
    Security was tight around the White House and Capitol. Streets near the president’s home were blocked to traffic by empty buses and dump trucks or temporary pedestrian security checkpoints where law enforcement officers and National Guard troops checked people’s bags.
    People were barred from bringing selfie sticks, coolers for beverages, and long umbrellas despite the rainy weather.

    More from Simon here.

  • 14:13

    'George Washington’s inaugural speech is among the shortest, at 135 words. William Henry Harrison spoke for two hours in 1841, in the rain without a hat or coat. He died of pneumonia a month later.'

    Read more of Patrick Freyne's miscellany of Inauguration Facts here.

  • 14:19

    A doctor writes"


    'A grandiose sense of importance. Living in a fantasy world of endless success, instead of a real world full of complex problems. A need for constant attention and praise. A massive sense of entitlement. And a tendency to bully and intimidate- then feel no remorse.

    Sound familiar? If so, you may know somebody with narcissistic personality disorder.'

  • 14:40

    You can mail me at or find me on Twitter at @hlinehan if you'd like to share your thoughts on this bleak moment of history.

  • 14:42

  • 14:56


    From the Guardian: Trump arrives at the White House.

    Walks up the stairs. Kisses Michelle Obama on both cheeks. Barack Obama gives a hand to Melania Trump as she mounts the stairs. The Trumps – Melania it appears – hand the Obamas a gift, something in a Tiffany blue box. They juggle the box uncomfortably for a moment. Turn and pose for a picture, the Obamas flanking the Trumps. (Somebody took the box.) Everybody’s smiling.

  • 14:59

  • 15:11

    I talked to our foreign affairs correspondent Ruadhan Mac Cormaic about some of the issues this historic presidency presents:

    - How Trump and those to whom he has granted power differ from all previous administrations
    - The domestic political forces that will shape his presidency.
    - His relationship with China and Russia.
    - His "abrupt departures" from long-standing protocol in international relations.

  • 15:12

  • 15:20

    'The sensational videos of Donald Trump snogging Vladimir Putin on a clearly drunk semi-naked horse in the allegedly sleepy village of Kallstadt in southern Germany in 1890 could not have been leaked at a better time for the beleagured new multiple vice president of the most powerful nation in America, as he battles to reenergise his hardcore fanbase in the wake of the premature withdrawal of Michael “I Can See Russia from my House” Flatley from the 2020 Republican presidential race to spend more time with his money.' - Kevin McAleer in today's Irish Times. More here.


  • 15:21
    The Clintons have just arrived at the Capitol. They don't seem keen to talk to the press.
  • 15:21

  • 15:22

  • 15:23
    About one-third of Democratic Congressional members will not be attending today.  
  • 15:27

    "Thanks for the speech, Michelle."


  • 15:28

    That didn't take long.


  • 15:29

  • 15:34

    By the way, I'm watching this on CNN (Fake News!) so you don't have to. I haven't heard such platitudinous gloop since the last British royal died. Oh well, here are some nice newspaper front pages.


  • 15:37

    If you're trying to grapple with what the hell Trump is going to do and how he'll behave now that he's president, I recommend this interview with three of his biographers.


  • 15:39
    We are still waiting for the Obamas and Trumps to emerge from the White House. Somewhere in my video feed an orchestra is thumping out a demented John Williams/Leni Riefenstahl mash-up.
  • 15:42

  • 15:50
    Melania Trump and Michelle Obama have left the White House, followed by Joe Biden and Mike Pense, all getting into their limos now.
  • 15:53
    Barack Obama and Donald Trump emerge, looking pretty glum it has to be said. Into the big black limo they go. At exactly the same moment, Bill and Hillary Clinton pose for the press. Hillary's face a mask.
  • 15:55

    The motorcade is on its way to the Capitol.


  • 15:56


  • 15:57

  • 16:01

    The split-screen juxtaposition of the Clintons with the motorcade is really quite dramatic.


  • 16:05
    Obama and Trump arrive at the Capitol. "Hello everybody!" says Obama.
  • 16:08

    The gang's all here. Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump. This is going to be one-hell of a mini-series...


  • 16:11
    A lot of footage, including live Periscope and YouTube streams, of clashes and protests across the city.

    —%20Ewan%20MacDonald%20(@171emac)%20January%2016,%202017%20">Here's one.
  • 16:12

    A few minutes ago.


  • 16:15

    Plenty of dispute and spinning going on about how big a crowd today's event will draw. Generally agreed that Obama's record numbers in 2009 will not be equalled, but could the numbers be embarrassingly low?


  • 16:18

    This New York Times reporter is livetweeting comments in the crowd.


  • 16:21

  • 16:23
    Melenia Trump and Abigail Pence arrive on the platform.
  • 16:25

    Obama and Biden on their way down the endless stairs. This bit is all a bit reminiscent of this:

  • 16:26
    Phew! They finally found the platform. Handshakes all round.
  • 16:30

    Almost there.


  • 16:34
    "Ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect of the United States, Donald John Trump." Trump enters, shakes hands. Waves. Crowd cheers. Here we go.
  • 16:36
    Senator Roy Blunt with some opening words of context about the history of the inauguration.
  • 16:38
    Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy's inauguration words are remembered. "Not a celebration of victory, but a celbration of democracy." Time for prayers now.
  • 16:39
    Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan gives a reading.
  • 16:40

  • 16:42

  • 16:44

    Some background from the New York Times on Paula White, who just spoke:


    Pastor White is a Florida televangelist who is controversial in evangelical circles for her promotion of prosperity gospel, which states that true believers will be blessed not just with eternal salvation but also with health and wealth on Earth. She is also the pastor of a church in Apopka, Fla.

    Prosperity gospel is a theological world that has seen some abuse from the misuse of financial donations given to speed the arrival of God’s blessings. The fund-raising practices of Ms. White and other televangelists were investigated by the Senate Finance Committee in 2007, but no wrongdoing was found.

  • 16:49

  • 16:50

  • 16:54
    A very pointed speech from the leader of Democrats in the Senate Chuck Schumer. Mention of immigrants, gender and minorities. Not sure we'll here more about them today. Time for Pence's swearing in now.
  • 16:56
  • 16:58

  • 17:00
    The Chief Justice, John Roberts, steps up to administer the oath to Trump.
  • 17:01
    Hang on, is that not Alec Baldwin? Sorry, I'm wrong. Donald Trump is now president Trump.
  • 17:02

  • 17:02
    Trump steps up to the microphone, begins to speak.
  • 17:04
    Addresses everyone, including 'people of the world'. 'Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many many years to come. We will face challenges but we will get the job done."
  • 17:04
    Trump expresses gratitude to the Obamas for "their gracious aid".
  • 17:04
    Says we are transferring power from Washington and 'giving it back to you, the people'.
  • 17:05
    'Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. politics prospered but the factories closed. their victories have not been your victories.'
  • 17:06
    'That all changes, starting right ehere, right now. This moment is your moment, it belongs to you.'
  • 17:07
    'This, the USA, is your country. What matters is not which party controls our government, but that government is controlled by tyhe people.'
  • 17:07
    'The forgotten men and women of this country will be forgotten no more.'
  • 17:08
    'A nation exists to serve its citizens, Americans want good schools, safe neighbourhoods and good jobs. For too many people a different reality exists.'
  • 17:08
    'And the crime and the gangs and the drugs... this American carnage stops right here and stops right now.'
  • 17:10
    'For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of our industry. We've defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions of dollars overseas while our infrastructure feel into decay.'
  • 17:12
    'The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from our homes and redistributed across the world. But that was the past and now we're looking only to the future. From this day forward a new vision, ... it's going to America First, America First, America First. We must protect our country from the ravages of other countries.'
  • 17:13
    'We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth, we will bring back our dreams. We will get our people off welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American labour. We will buy American and hire American.'
  • 17:16
    'We eradicate radical Islam off the face of the earth... When you open your heart to patritism there is no room for prejudice. ... When America is united, it is totally unstoppable. We will be protected by the men and women of our military and police forces. And, most importantly, by God.'
  • 17:18
    'The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it can not be done. We will not fail. We stand at the birth of a new millennium. .. It's time to remeber that whether we are black or brown or white we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and salute the great American flag.'
  • 17:19
    'So to all Americans, from mountain to mountain, ocean to ocean, hear these words: uou will never be ignored again... Together we will make America strong again, wealthy again, proud again, safe again, and yes, we will make America great again.'
  • 17:20
    Trump completes his speech, waves to the crowd.  
  • 17:22

    I suppose we shoudn't be surprised, but there wasn't much of the 'healing of wounds' or 'building bridges' going on there, was there?

  • 17:24

  • 17:27

  • 17:30
    CNN: 'This was one of the most radical speeches we've ever heard. It was pure populism. It looked at the role of the US in a way that differed greatly from all his predecessors who were on that stage. It will go down in history as one of the most radical speeches ever given by a president."
  • 17:31

  • 17:32

  • 17:37

    Apart from the darkness of the speech, it was esentially Trump's stump speech, which perhaps shouldn't be surprising, although the lack of any attempt to acknowledge (for example) NATO, the Democrats or a range of other factors is remarkable. Also, the level of over-promising was extraordinary. What happens when he doesn't deliver?


  • 17:45

    The Obamas now leaving the Capitol. they're boarding the helicopter - Executive One - that will take them to the airbase from which they will fly to California.


  • 17:51

  • 17:54

    The new @POTUS accused of plagiarism in his first 30 minutes.


  • 17:59

    Orlaith Farrell is on the streets of Washington DC today for The Irish Times:

    The streets of Washington DC were the microcosm of a divided America ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as his supporters gathered in the US capital alongside protestors and his detractors.
    The atmosphere was far from celebratory as thousands of “Make America Great Again” red baseball caps were greeted by protesters at all the main entrances to the National Mall along Indiana Avenue.

    Read the full article here.

  • 18:00

  • 18:05

  • 18:11
    Barack Obama at Andrews Air Force Base speaking to staff and supporters: "We're really milking this goodbye thing, aren't we?"
  • 18:12

    I know you want to watch it again...


  • 18:15
    The full text of the speech is available here.
  • 18:16

    A little closer to home.


  • 18:22

    The new White House website is live with pages on the new administration's key objectives. A sample from the Jobs and Growth page:

    With decades of deal-making experience, the President also understands how critical it is to negotiate the best possible trade deals for the United States. By renegotiating existing trade deals, and taking a tough stance on future ones, we will ensure that trade agreements bring good-paying jobs to our shores and support American manufacturing, the backbone of our economy. The President plans to show America’s trading partners that we mean business by ensuring consequences for countries that engage in illegal or unfair trade practices that hurt American workers.

  • 18:26
    Trump just signed his first documents as president. A waiver allowing Genral James Mattis to become Secretary of Defence, plus some other Cabinet-related business.
  • 18:28
    Also signed: document declaring a 'national day of patriotism'.
  • 18:37

    The second plagiarism allegation of this administration surfaces.


  • 18:43

  • 18:45

  • 18:49

    As the Trumps tuck into their lunch, I bet you're wondering what's on the menu? Well, wonder no more:


    'The starter will feature lobster from Maine, and Gulf shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, served with a crumble made of peanuts from Virginia, Idaho potato dumplings and hickory syrup, a condiment most commonly associated with Wisconsin.
    The main course includes beef steaks from Seven Hills farm in Virgina with chocolate sauce and more Idaho potatoes in a gratin you’d never have seen on a menu for the health-conscious Obamas; it is made with heavy cream and three kinds of cheese.'

    Read Rachel Collins's full article here.

  • 18:54

    According to CNN, tens of thousands of people are gathering along the route of the  presidential procession along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, which will get underway around 8pm Irish time. Later, there  are two official balls and several unofficial ones planned. The new president and vice president are expected to attend the official ones - held on separate floors of the Walter E Washington Convention Center. President Trump will also  make an appearance at the Armed Services Ball, which will be held at the National Building Museum.

  • 18:58

  • 19:08
    That's it from me for the evening. Rachel Flaherty is taking over this liveblog now and will be following everything that happens, including the continuing ceremonies and protests in Washington, along with reaction from around the world to the beginning of the Trump presidency.
  • 19:15
    Good evening everyone. Thank you for your company! If you have hit the wine or beer after all that... who could blame you. Stay with me through the evening for all the latest updates. You can contact me on Twitter @rachelfl or
  • 19:20

    Irish Times' video journalist Enda O'Dowd reports on the protest in Dublin again the inauguration of Donald Trump


  • 19:28

    Latest on the violent protests

    Black-clad activists angry about US President Donald Trump's inauguration smashed store car windows and blocked traffic in Washington on Friday and fought with police in riot gear who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

    About 500 people, some wearing masks, marched through the city's downtown, using hammers to claw up chunks of pavement to smash the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald's outlet, all symbols of the American capitalist system. The crowd chanted anti-
    Trump slogans and carried signs with slogans including "Make Racists Afraid Again," a play on the New York businessman-turned-politician's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan. The incident occurred about 90 minutes before
    Trump was sworn in at the Capitol a mile and a half (2.4 km) away. Police detained about 50 people and said they had charged numerous people with rioting. The group of detainees became a flash point after
    Trump was sworn in, when a crowd of several hundred that had formed to call for their release turned violent, with some throwing bottles and rocks at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. (Reuters)

  • 19:37

  • 19:53

    Michelle Obama memes... they will cheer you up




  • 19:57

    That was fast

  • 20:02

    Video of protests in Washington


  • 20:05

    More good news for Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage has taken up a post as a political analyst on American right-wing news channel Fox News.
    The former Ukip leader will contribute to the main channel and the Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programmes, the broadcaster announced.
    It comes shortly after he was given his own nightly show on UK radio station LBC.

  • 20:18

    The Irish Times view

    Obama and Clinton may have seen US foreign policy, or at least said they did, as a means of exporting US values like democracy. For Trump it’s about exporting widgets. “We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.”



  • 20:20


  • 20:39

    The Irish Times' US correspondent Simon reports from Washington...

    "The speech was mean-spirited delivered within feet of his predecessor Barack Obama and the many congressional leaders he must work with. The property tycoon and television celebrity admonished politicians for failing to represent the interests of the American people while they flourished, prospered and protected themselves."


    Full story here

  • 20:52

    Trump’s inaugural parade is underway and it appears pretty quiet

    Far fewer people  attended his inauguration than his predecessor’s swearing-in eight years ago, PA are reporting.
    Photos of the National Mall from President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 show a teeming crowd stretching from the West Front of the US Capitol all the way to the Washington Monument.
    Photos taken from the same position on Friday show large swathes of empty space on the Mall.
    Thin crowds and semi-empty bleachers also dotted the inaugural parade route.
    Hotels across the District of Columbia reported vacancies, a rarity for an event as large as a presidential inauguration.
    And ridership on the Washington’s Metro system did not match that of recent inaugurations.
    As of 11am on Friday, there were 193,000 trips taken, according to the transit service’s Twitter account.
    At the same hour eight years ago, there had been 513,000 trips. Four years later, there were 317,000 for Mr Obama’s second inauguration.
    There were 197,000 at 11am in 2005 for President George W Bush’s second inauguration.
    The Metro system also posted that only two car parks at stations were more than 60 per cent full.
    The smaller crowds may prove humbling for Mr Trump, who frequently boasted during the campaign about the attendance at his rallies and would claim, often inaccurately, that thousands more people were waiting outside and unable to get into the event.
  • 21:02

    Another Irish link to today's events

  • 21:08

  • 21:10

    POTUS first tweet


  • 21:12

    Protests are getting tense


  • 21:15

    Ann Friedman said: "Personally I feel a special obligation as a white woman to march because a majority of my demographic voted for Trump. Which is so awful."


  • 21:16
    Donald Trump is now walking along the parade route and waving to the crowd... that's pretty much the most exciting part parade so far. You can actually hear there are some people there now.
  • 21:19

    We miss you **sniff, sniff**


  • 21:20

    Footage of the most exciting part of the parade


  • 21:23

  • 21:35
  • 21:37

  • 21:42

    Fintan O’Toole: President Donald Trump is an authoritarian and anarchist


    Donald Trump has never been a politician but he has a remarkable degree of experience in one key political activity: breaking promises.
    As a businessman he has long been notorious for reneging on commitments. A USA Today analysis last June found Trump has been sued 4,095 times over the past three decades, often by people he had refused to pay for work done.
    They ranged from a dishwasher in Florida to a glass company in New Jersey, from plumbers, painters, waiters and bartenders on low wages to highly-paid real-estate brokers and property lawyers.
    Deliciously, several law firms who acted for him in such cases had to themselves sue Trump to get their fees. And this is the man to whom 62 million voters are looking to fulfil the biggest promises of all.
    To some extent, of course, all presidents disappoint their most ardent supporters. Barack Obama certainly did. But Trump’s situation, like everything else about him, is peculiar.

    Full article here

  • 21:56

    George Bush


  • 22:00

    Kathy Sheridan: Wobbly anthems, wobbly heels and talk of ‘teary’ Trump

    “It’s definitely a poncho situation kind of day,” says Brooke from CNN. “No full delooge just yet”. Chilly though. Definitely chilly. The crowd looks low, homogenous and damp. Kate, who got the short straw, is trying to drum up atmosphere way down the Mall, in the non-ticket holders’ section. “The atmosphere is much like a Trump rally,” she says.
    Interestingly, Washington Metro has gone to the trouble of comparing inauguration day metro trips. As of 11am on Trump’s big day, 193,000 trips had been taken. For Obama’s in 2009, the corresponding figure was 513,000. For the television channels being relentlessly upbeat, it’s a tough one.
    So we can confirm that Melania is wearing Ralph Lauren, “channelling the Jackie Kennedy vibe” and with heels “so HIGH”, gasps a male panellist. (Shots of her virtually goose-stepping off a military plane the night before suggest a lower heel might be safer but hey, we know that Donald is a demon for women’s freedom of choice).

    Full article here


  • 22:01
    That's it from us this evening. Thank you for joining us. Keep up up date with all developing news at