President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office at around noon ET/9 a.m. PT today, the first day of his presidency and the end of a divisive political campaign and contentious transition.
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Follow along for live updates:
9:45 a.m.: The Trumps arrive at the White House. Trump, his wife Melania, and President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama posed for pictures at the North Portico at the White House before going in for coffee and tea. Trump smiled as Obama patted him on the back, while Melania Trump arrived with what appeared to be a Tiffany’s gift.
10:10 a.m.: Guests arrive. Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart chairman and Hollywood financier and producer, arrived at the Capitol, along with such figures as casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker John Boehner, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. There is the threat of rain — but this is much warmer than four years ago and certainly eight years ago. Guests at Obama’s 2009 inauguration faced sub-freezing temperatures — putting a premium on foot warmers.
10:20 a.m.: Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton are at the Capitol. This will be the first time the former secretary of state has seen Trump in person since her stunning defeat in the election. Many were surprised that she decided to go to the inauguration, but the tradition is for all former presidents to be invited to the event. Awkward as it may be, it’s a testament to her ability to put aside her differences to be present in the transfer of power, even if about 60 Democrats are boycotting the event. A number of Trump’s detractors are warning of “normalizing” Trump, given what he has said and what was said during the campaign. But it actually would have probably created more of a furor had Hillary Clinton not attended, as she would have been the focus of attacks that she was in some way contributing to post-election division.
It’s also not altogether unusual for defeated rivals to be president at the inauguration. John McCain was present at Obama’s 2009 ceremony, and Al Gore was there for George W. Bush’s swearing in in 2001.
10:44 a.m.: Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts, arriving at the inauguration along with the rest of the seven justices of the court, will actually be doing his fourth swearing in today. He presided over Obama’s first and second inauguration, but also a do-over in 2009. At the Capitol Hill ceremony, he mixed up the words of the oath and, as a precaution, he did another swearing in ceremony at the White House, correctly, the next day.
10:53 a.m.: The Ride to the Capitol. Trump and Obama are on their way to the Capitol after a brief coffee at the White House. Historians have chronicled some of the strange moments that have occurred when the outgoing president rides with the incoming president. Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy’s conversation was chilly, and Jimmy Carter was a bit baffled as Ronald Reagan tried to make small talk about legendary studio mogul Jack Warner.
11 a.m.: Message from Hillary. Hillary and Bill Clinton arrived to clapping on the inaugural stage, as she smiled and greeted former President Jimmy Carter. A number of commenters have noted that Hillary Clinton is wearing “suffragette white,” as she did when she accepted the Democratic nomination and during one of the presidential debates. Her Twitter account this morning included this unsigned message: “I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future.”
11:17 a.m.: Some protesters along Pennsylvania Ave. From a pool report: “After a jaunt gown Pennsylvania Avenue, lined with saluting service members and fairly thin morning crowds, except where there were clutches of protesters waving signs, such as “love Trumps hate.”
11:19 a.m.: Michelle Obama arrives. The first lady arrived with Jill Biden. Michelle Obama may be the most popular figure on the inaugural stage today, but it’s doubtful that she will pursue a political career given what she and her husband have said. Still, she was responsible for some of the most memorable moments of Clinton’s campaign, including an emotional, personal speech about Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape.
11:26 a.m.: Obama’s arrival. President Obama arrived with Vice President Joseph Biden, in the final moments of his presidency. A recent poll showed that he had a 60% approval rating, the highest since 2009. After the ceremony, he and his family will depart to Palm Springs, where they will vacation before returning to their new home in Washington.
11:31 a.m.: Trump’s arrival. President-elect Trump has arrived to big cheers from the crowd, wearing a signature outfit: a long red tie. He kissed his wife and then again shook hands with Obama and gave a kiss to Michelle Obama. As cordial as it is, it’s still hard to see the current president and first lady bonding with the incoming president. Obama has said that there are circumstances when he may speak out, and it’ll be interesting to see if his wife comments on the Trump presidency as well.
11:35 a.m.: Crowd size. No estimate yet on how many people are present on the Capitol grounds and National Mall for the swearing in, but an overhead look shows it is much less than Obama’s first inaugural, when an estimated 1.8 million showed up.
Up until 1981, inaugurations were held on the other side of the Capitol, where space was much more limited.
DC’s Metro reported ridership as of 11 a.m.: 193,000 trips taken, compared to 317,000 in 2013 and 513,000 in 2009.
11:46 a.m.: Schumer speaks. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Democratic minority leader, speaks of the fissures in the country including a “fractured media.”
“I stand here today confident in this country for one reason — you, the American people,” he says.
Some of what he says is not-so-subtly directed at Trump. Schumer has vowed to oppose Trump’s Supreme Court pick if it is among the names floated so far.
There is booing heard in the crowd as Schumer speaks, and even chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
11:54 a.m. Vice President Pence. Pence has taken the oath of office, to cheers from the crowd. He was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas.
11:58 a.m. Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir sings “America the Beautiful.” Some members of the choir refused to perform at the ceremony, but it was far from the majority of members.
Noon. President Trump. The swearing in is prompt and on time, and Trump starts by thanking “people of the world.”
12:19 p.m.: Trump’s address. His speech, running just 16 minutes, invoked some of his campaign themes, referred to a rather dark vision of where the country is (“carnage”), and called for unity. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” But overall, the speech seemed to be aimed at assuring those who voted for him that he will follow through with what he said on the trail, that he would put “America first” and shake up Washington. Most apparent was his attack on the establishment figures standing behind him. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he said, repeating the populism that he had on the campaign trail.
12:24 p.m.: Benedictions. Rabbi Marvin Hier, well known to many in Los Angeles and the founder of the Museum of Tolerance, is among the religious figures speaking today. Rev. Franklin Graham notes that “it started to rain Mr. President as you came to the platform.,” but that “rain is a sign of God’s blessing.”