The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States
marked the commencement of the only term of Donald Trump
as president and Mike Pence
as vice president
. An estimated 300,000 to 600,000
people attended the public ceremony held on Friday, January 20, 2017, at the West Front of the United States Capitol
in Washington, D.C.
The event was the 58th presidential inauguration
. Held in Washington, D.C., from January 17 to 21, 2017, inaugural events included concerts, the swearing-in ceremony, a congressional luncheon
, inaugural ball
s, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service
Administered by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts
, the presidential oath
was taken by Trump as his first task after becoming president at noon, in keeping with Article Two, Section 1, Clause 8
and the 20th Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution, with the vice presidential oath
taken by Pence and administered by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
immediately preceding it. Trump was sworn in with his left hand on a pair of Bibles, his personal copy and the Lincoln Bible
. The inauguration was accompanied by protests
The inauguration marked the formal culmination of the presidential transition of Donald Trump
that began when he won the U.S. presidential election
on November 9, 2016
, and became the president-elect
. Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, were formally elected by the Electoral College
on December 19, 2016. The win was certified by an electoral vote
tally by a joint session of Congress
on January 6, 2017.
At of age on Inauguration Day, Trump was the oldest person to assume the presidency until Joe Biden
. Upon his inauguration, Trump also became the wealthiest president and the first person to become president without any prior political or military experience
His wife, Melania
, is the second first lady
to be born outside the U.S. (after Louisa Adams
) and first not to be born in an English-speaking country, the first naturalized citizen to become the first lady, and the first born in the 1970s.
The inauguration was planned primarily by two committees: the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
and the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee. The election was scheduled for November 8, 2016, but the congressional committee began construction of the inaugural platform on September 21.
A number of artists who were approached to perform refused, including Jennifer Holliday
, who was originally intended to perform, but withdrew herself from the program after further consideration.
Joint Congressional Committee
The swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural luncheon for President-elect Trump and Vice President–elect Pence were planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a committee composed of Sen. Roy Blunt
of Missouri, the committee chair, and Senate party leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell
Kentucky and Chuck Schumer
of New York], and House speaker Paul Ryan
of Wisconsin, and House party leaders Rep. Kevin McCarthy
of California and Rep. Nancy Pelosi
of California. The committee was overseen by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies chose the inaugural theme "Uniquely American" to highlight the inaugural ceremony as "a uniquely American expression of our Constitutional system" and stress the peaceful transition of power
The Inauguration Committee released the full schedule of the January 20 inaugural events on December 21, 2016. Military support to the 58th inauguration was coordinated by Joint Task Force National Capital Region
, providing musical military units
, marching band
s, color guard
s, ushers, firing details, and salute batteries
Presidential Inaugural Committee
was Deputy Chairman of the inauguration.
The 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee organized several other inauguration-related events at the direction of the president‑elect and vice president–elect of the United States, such as the concerts, parade, balls and prayer service. The chairman of the committee was Thomas J. Barrack Jr.
, a real estate
investor and longtime Trump friend and ally, and the founder of Colony Capital
. The co-chairs of the committee were Lewis M. Eisenberg
and Roy Bailey. Committee members included casino magnates Sheldon Adelson
and Miriam Adelson
, Steve Wynn
and Phil Ruffin
, oil entrepreneur Harold Hamm
, businesswoman Diane Hendricks
, coal businessman Joe Craft
, Gail Icahn, wife of Carl Icahn
, Dallasites Ray Washburne, Gentry Beach, Roy Bailey, and Woody Johnson
, owner of the New York Jets
The inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million "from wealthy donors who gave $1 million or more." This was twice the amount raised by any previous inauguration committee.
Observers agree that the actual inauguration expenses would have been a fraction of that amount, and the advocacy group Public Citizen
has been seeking to know what happened to the remaining funds.
[ Committee officials said they were evaluating charities to give the remaining funds to.] In September 2017, the committee said it had given $3 million to three separate hurricane rescue organizations. An unspecified amount had also been used for redecorating the White House and Vice President Mike Pence's Washington residence. [ Thomas Barrack, the committee chair, said that further information about charitable donations would be released in November 2017, but no such announcement was made.] [ The inauguration committee reported having $2.8 million in the bank .]
According to a tax filing released on February 15, 2018, the committee donated $5 million to charity in 2017 — namely, the previously announced donations to hurricane relief, the White House Historical Association, and the Vice President's Residence Foundation. The majority of the committee's outlay — $57 million — went to four event-planning companies. The largest amount, $26 million, went to a California firm called WIS Media Partners, which was created in December 2016 by a close friend and advisor to Melania Trump, named Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, whose staff stayed at the Trump International Hotel during the planning of the inauguration. Wolkoff was personally paid about $500,000 for the inauguration. Twenty-four million dollars went to an independent organization created by television producer Mark Burnett, "Inaugural Productions", for the staging of several events. The committee reported nearly $15 million in administrative expenses, including $9.4 million for travel and $4.6 million for salaries and benefits for 208 employees. The committee spent more than $1.5 million at the Trump International Hotel. Ivanka Trump helped negotiate a rate of $175,000 per day for the committee's use of the hotel's Presidential Ballroom and meeting rooms after Gates and Wolkoff complained that Trump International Hotel managing director Mickael Damelincourt attempted to charge them above-market rates.
Diplomat summit: Chairman's Global Dinner
On Tuesday, January 17, then-President-elect Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., to attend what was titled the "Chairman's Global Dinner," a high-profile dinner that was intended to serve as an introduction between foreign diplomats and the incoming Trump administration officials and appointees.
The dinner was black tie and invitation-only, and was described by ''The Wall Street Journal'' as the most high-profile event preceding the inauguration, with both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence addressing the gathering. The event was held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.
Rex Tillerson, Trump's choice to succeed John Kerry as secretary of state, was in attendance, as well as former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor-designate Michael T. Flynn, and Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer, according to reporters in attendance at the event. More than 200 foreign diplomats attended the event out of 500 total guests. During his speech to the group, Trump praised his choices thus far for Cabinet positions as well as his choice of Pence as his vice president. According to ''The Boston Globe'' and the Associated Press, the menu included mustard black cod and filet mignon as entrees, and baked Alaska for dessert.
Voices of the People concert
On the morning and afternoon of January 19, a day-long "Voices of the People" public concert was held at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert featured The King's Academy (West Palm Beach, Florida) Honor Choir, the Republican Hindu Coalition, the Montgomery Area High School Marching Band, Marlana Van Hoose, the Maury NJROTC Color Guard, the Pride of Madawaska, Webelos Troop 177, the Northern Middle School Honors Choir, the American Tap Company, the Everett High School Viking Marching Band, the TwirlTasTix Baton Twirling group, and three bagpipe groups.
Arlington National Cemetery wreath laying ceremony
After returning home to New York City, Trump returned to Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 19, arriving at Joint Base Andrews on a plane flown by the U.S. Air Force.
Trump and Vice President–elect Pence attended a luncheon at Trump's hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion, and afterwards, the official wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, accompanied by his wife and family. Trump and Pence were escorted by Major General Bradley Becker at the ceremony. The Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 400,000, mostly members of the armed forces, Medal of Honor recipients, and high ranking political officials.
Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration concert
On the evening of January 19, Trump hosted the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration," a concert for his supporters that were attending his inauguration the following day. The concert, held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, featured performances by Lee Greenwood (who performed "God Bless the USA"), Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, DJ Ravidrums,
The Piano Guys, and The Frontmen of Country (Tim Rushlow, Larry Stewart, and Richie McDonald). Trump addressed his supporters at the end of the festivities, saying that the "forgotten man and the forgotten woman will not be forgotten anymore". Actor Jon Voight also spoke at the event, stating, "We have been witness to a barrage of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation, not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr. Trump, whose only desire was to make America great again." The concert concluded with a fireworks celebration, accompanied by a U.S. military choir and band performing the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Church service and White House reception
On the morning of the inauguration, on January 20, after staying the night at the Blair House, the traditional house used by the incoming President-elect due to its proximity to the White House, Trump and his wife, Melania, and Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, attended a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church.
The tradition dates back to James Madison, with every President since then attending the church service the morning of their inauguration. The service was led by Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister who campaigned for Trump during the election.
After the church service, Trump and his wife went to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. The Obamas greeted the Trumps, and Melania presented the couple with a gift. They then posed for photos in front of the White House press corps. The presentation of a gift was a tradition started by Michelle Obama when she presented George W. Bush and Laura Bush with a gift on the day of her husband's inauguration in 2009. Afterward, they held a tea reception inside the White House, along with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, and Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence. As per tradition, following the meeting between the president and the president-elect, they shared the presidential motorcade limousine, and made their way to the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony.
Roy Blunt commenced the inauguration ceremony at 11:41 a.m. with welcoming remarks about the nation's "commonplace and miraculous" tradition of a peaceful transition of power. Courtney Williams, Senior Chief Musician and concert moderator for the U.S. Navy Concert Band, returned as the platform announcer for his 3rd consecutive inauguration. Three religious figures delivered invocations, followed by the Missouri State University chorale performing an original work, "Now We Belong". After short remarks, Chuck Schumer ended his speech by asking everyone to stand for the swearing-in ceremony.
Outgoing President Barack Obama, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden, former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and former vice presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney, along with their respective wives, attended the inauguration, including Hillary Clinton, who had been Trump's main opponent in the general election (Clinton was attending as a former first lady, not as the losing candidate). Former president George H. W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush did not attend the inauguration due to health issues.
Oath of office
At 11:54 a.m., Associate Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Mike Pence as the 48th vice president of the United States, with Pence's hand on his personal Bible as well as the Bible of Ronald Reagan, the politician who inspired Pence to join the Republican Party. A performance of "America the Beautiful" by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square followed. At noon, Trump became the 45th president of the United States, taking the oath of office with Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump was also sworn in using two Bibles, a Bible his mother gifted him and the historic Lincoln Bible. After the swearing-in, the Marine Band performed "Hail to the Chief" and Trump received the traditional 21-gun salute in his honor.
President Trump then delivered his 16-minute inaugural address of 1,433 words. The speech was the shortest inaugural address since Jimmy Carter's in 1977.
In late December 2016, Trump told visitors that he was writing the first draft of his inaugural address, citing previous inauguration speeches by John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan as inspirations. Trump "insisted publicly that he wrote his own speech," [Krishnadev Calamur] although ''The Wall Street Journal'' and others reported that it had been written by Trump senior aides Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.
A Short History of 'America First'
, ''The Atlantic'' (January 21, 2017).
The speech struck a tone that was both nationalist and populist, with suggestions of absolutism and distrust of democracy. The ''Los Angeles Times'' described the address as "a truncated version of Trump's campaign rally addresses, absent specific policy and big on a sense of anger at what he defined as a ruling class that has raided America for its own benefit." Historians and speechwriters termed the inaugural address as "one of the most ominous" in U.S. history, striking an unusually dark and bleak note. [Susan Page]
Analysis: Trump's short, dark and defiant inaugural address
, ''USA Today'' (January 20, 2017).
[David A. Graham] Former president George W. Bush reportedly referred to the speech as "some weird shit" after the ceremony concluded.
Trump pledged to end what he referred to as "American carnage,"
'America First': Donald Trump's Populist Inaugural Address
, ''The Atlantic'' (January 20, 2017): "President Donald Trump took office on Friday with an inaugural address that was striking for both its bleakness and its fiery, populist promises for a better future."
depicting the United States in a dystopian light—as a "land of abandoned factories, economic angst, rising crime"—while pledging "a new era in American politics."
Fact-checking organizations, such as FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and ''The Washington Post''s Fact Checker claimed that Trump's portrayal of the United States in decline "did not always match reality." [Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson & Robert Farley]
Fact check: President Trump's inaugural address
, FactCheck.org, Annenberg Public Policy Center (January 20, 2017) (republished by ''USA Today'').
[Fact-checking Donald Trump's inaugural address](_blank)
, ''PolitiFact'' (January 20, 2017).
[Glenn Kessler & Michelle Ye Hee Lee] The fact-checking organizations noted, among other things, that the U.S. violent crime rate was far below its 1991 peak; that the U.S. economy had gained jobs for 75 consecutive months and that unemployment was significantly below its historical average; and participation in U.S. welfare programs had declined.
Fact-checking President Trump's inaugural address
, ''Washington Post'' (January 20, 2016).
In the speech, Trump repeated his campaign-trail "America First" slogan in reference to economic and foreign policy issues. Trump's use of the phrase was controversial because of the slogan's association with U.S. isolationists who had opposed American entry in World War II. Trump's decision "not to make a strong case for the role of American power in shaping the outside world was a departure from the inaugural addresses of recent Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush," and represented "a sharp break with the internationalist vision of nearly every U.S. president of the past 100 years that troubled veteran foreign policy experts." [Michael Crowley] Nevertheless, Trump's themes on foreign policy appealed "to many Americans as well as to critics of Washington's bipartisan foreign policy establishment."
Foreign policy experts fret over Trump's America First approach
, ''Politico'' (January 20, 2017).
Three religious leaders delivered benedictions following Trump's speech, bringing the total number of prayers during the ceremony to six, a record number. Reverend Franklin Graham; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York; Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez; Pastor Paula White; Rabbi Marvin Hier; and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson gave the benedictions.
Jackie Evancho concluded the ceremony with a performance of the U.S. national anthem.
After the inaugural ceremony, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence escorted former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama to a departure ceremony on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. The Trumps exchanged remarks and bid farewell to the Obamas at the base of the helicopter that would transport them to Joint Base Andrews, and then returned to the steps of the Capitol building where they waved as the Obamas' helicopter took off. Meanwhile, the Bidens took a limousine to Union Station where they boarded a train for Dover, Delaware. Before the luncheon and in keeping with tradition, President Trump signed his first presidential orders in the President's Room at the Capitol, and then signed the guest book for the luncheon.
Next, Trump signed orders to officially present the nominations for his Cabinet and several sub‑Cabinet officials to the Senate for confirmation.
His first bill that he signed into law was a waiver of the National Security Act of 1947 granted to him that allowed the nomination of retired general James Mattis to be nominated for the position of United States secretary of defense. The National Security Act of 1947 requires a seven-year waiting period before retired military personnel can assume the role of Secretary of Defense. Mattis became only the second secretary of defense to receive such a waiver, following George Marshall, who served under President Harry S. Truman. Following in tradition, Trump used various commemorative pens to sign the Cabinet nominations, and distributed them among the lawmakers and guests that had gathered. The pens are traditionally given as a gift to politicians or individuals touched by the action, or were instrumental in its implementation.
Trump also signed a proclamation declaring his inauguration a National Day of Patriotic Devotion. In this he followed Barack Obama, who declared his a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and previous declarations of periods of patriotism by such former presidents as Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Trump was accompanied at the signing ceremony by his wife, and children, and several of his grandchildren, as well as the chairs of the Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee, including senators Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, and Congressional leaders Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi. During the ceremony, the lawmakers joked with President Trump, he handed pens to participants (e.g. Elaine Chao's nomination pen to Nancy Pelosi, Trump stating, because "they were both women") and then traded pens in an offer to give, not as an ask to receive (Nancy Pelosi gave Elaine Chao's nomination pen to Chao's husband, Mitch McConnell). The Trumps and Pences then attended an inaugural luncheon at the U.S. Capitol before traveling from there to the presidential reviewing stand at the White House to watch the parade.
The Trumps and Pences joined several congressional guests for the inaugural luncheon in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. Guests included top Washington lawmakers as well as former presidents and vice presidents. During his formal address at the lunch, Trump asked those in attendance to give Hillary Clinton, one of his opponents during the 2016 election, a standing ovation.
A luncheon at the U.S. Capitol has been part of the inaugural program since 1953 (before that time, the luncheon was usually held at the White House and hosted by the outgoing president and first lady). The menu for the 2017 inaugural luncheon, which in the past has often featured dishes representative of the home states of the new president and vice president, included more traditional dishes from around the country.
The first course consisted of Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp with saffron sauce and peanut crumble, accompanied by a J. Lohr 2013 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay. The second dish contained Seven Hills Angus beef in dark chocolate and juniper jus with potato gratin, served with a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and dessert included a chocolate soufflé and cherry vanilla ice cream with Korbel California champagne. Since 1985, a painting has served as a backdrop for the head table. For the 2017 inaugural luncheon, the featured painting was George Caleb Bingham's ''The Verdict of the People'', which depicts a Missouri town and its citizens both celebrating and mourning the election victory of what historians say was a likely proslavery candidate.
Following the luncheon, Trump, Pence, and their wives reviewed an honor guard of troops at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol before beginning the parade. The inaugural parade route ran along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from the U.S. Capitol, ending at the north face of the White House. During most of the parade, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump traveled in the armored limousine used by the president because of potential security threats. The president and first lady exited their limousine twice, walking on Pennsylvania Avenue for portions of the parade,
a longstanding custom. Vice President Pence and his wife Karen walked the parade route at several points with their children as well.
The parade lasted approximately two hours during the afternoon and early evening following the inaugural ceremony. Parade participants included more than 8,000 people, "representing forty organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups," according to the Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee. Each branch of the United States military was also represented.
Vice President Mike Pence invited several groups from Indiana to march in the parade in the Indiana section, including the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Drill Team, the Culver Military Academy, and the Columbus North High School marching band from Pence's native Columbus, Indiana. Shortly after the parade, Trump went to the Oval Office to sign his first executive orders as president, including an order to start the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended three official inaugural balls during the evening of January 20, 2017,
titled "Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls." Donald Trump wore a classic black tuxedo, with a white button up shirt, and a black bow tie, in keeping with tradition. Melania Trump wore a white, off-the-shoulder, sleeveless gown designed by French-American fashion designer Hervé Pierre. Pierre has also designed dresses for first ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, and he has been styling for Melania Trump for several years. The dress featured a front slit, a ruffled accent and a thin red belt to cinch the waist.
The Liberty Ball, one of two official balls held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was the first stop of the evening for the president and first lady. The Trumps danced to their first song, which was chosen to be "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, and was performed by Erin Boheme, an American jazz singer. In an attempt to allow more access to the inaugural balls, the Presidential Inauguration Committee announced that they intended to make the inaugural balls the most affordable in recent history, offering $50 tickets to either the Liberty or Freedom Balls. The second ball that the Trumps attended was the Freedom Ball, also held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and also featured a first dance to "My Way", as with the Liberty Ball.
The third ball that the president and first lady attended was the Salute To Our Armed Services Ball, which took place at the National Building Museum. The ball was by invitation only, with free tickets being provided to "active duty and reserve military, Medal of Honor recipients, wounded warriors, military families, veterans, and first responders," according to the Presidential Inauguration Committee. At the beginning of the ball, Trump and his wife, Melania, addressed the crowd of gathered service members, and then spoke via satellite with active duty soldiers in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Trump thanked the active duty soldiers for the congratulations on his inauguration as Commander-in-chief. Tony Orlando and the Josh Weathers Band performed at the Armed Services Ball.
It is tradition for the president and first lady, and the vice president and second lady, to dance with military service members during the Armed Services Ball. A cover of a Whitney Houston version of the Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You" was performed during the dance. President Trump danced with U.S. Navy petty officer 2nd class Catherine Cartmell of Newport, Rhode Island. Sgt. Angel Rodriguez, who danced with Second Lady Karen Pence, drew attention for his dancing style, spinning the Second Lady, which provoked playful laughter from Tiffany and Eric Trump. After the dance concluded, President Trump and Vice President Pence used a saber to cut the ceremonial military cake in order to honor the sacrifice and service of the members of the Armed Forces.
On January 21, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for a national day of prayer, a tradition dating back to the first president, George Washington.
Among the parishioners were more than two dozen religious leaders from a variety of different faiths. Marlana VanHoose, a 20-year-old vocalist who was born with cytomegalovirus, performed at the ceremony, singing "How Great Thou Art". Melania Trump was visibly emotional during the performance, and led a standing ovation for her after she finished performing. The service began with call to prayer by the Reverend Rosemarie Duncan, Mikhail Manevich, a Jewish cantor, and Mohamed Magid, a Muslim imam. The clergy spoke of both compassion and diversity.
Before the event, federal and local agencies had prepared for turnout of between 700,000 and 900,000 people. Trump predicted that there would be "an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout" at his inauguration.
The National Park Service does not publish crowd estimates about events at the National Mall. Overhead imagery and statistics on public transportation ridership from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates Metrorail, are therefore used to estimate crowd sizes.
The WMATA reported that 193,000 passengers rode the Metro before 11 a.m. on the day of Trump's inauguration, and 570,557 passengers during the entire day, noting that it was lower than the average weekday ridership of 639,000 passengers.
''USA Today'' reported on "a notable number" of empty seats along the parade route.
Crowd counting experts cited by ''The New York Times'' estimated that about 160,000 people were in the National Mall areas in the hour leading up to Trump's speech. Crowd science professor Keith Still estimated the total attendance at 300,000 to 600,000 people, or one-third the estimated 1.1 million to 1.8 million people that attended Obama's 2009 inauguration – which set a record for the total number of people in the National Mall at any one given time, and which marked the inauguration of the nation's first African American president. CNN provided a gigapixel panorama of the area.
Nielsen ratings showed that TV viewership of the inauguration in the US was 30.6 million, more than Obama's second inauguration in 2013 (20.6 million), but less than Obama's first inauguration in 2009 (38 million) and Reagan's first in 1981 (42 million). Trump's inauguration became the most streamed Twitter video during the site's decade-long history with more than 6.8 million views.
In a press conference on January 21, Sean Spicer, Trump's White House press secretary, stated that the crowd "was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe", and accused the media of reporting false crowd estimates to "lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration".
Spicer also stated that 420,000 people rode the Metro on the day of Trump's inauguration, and that only 317,000 rode on the day of Obama's. In fact, 570,557 Metro trips were taken on the day of Trump's inauguration, compared to 1.1 million on Obama's 2009 inauguration day and 782,000 on Obama's 2013 inauguration day. Ridership at 11 a.m. was 193,000, 513,000 and 317,000 respectively.
Numerous sources highlighted the fact that Spicer's statements were incorrect, and many accused him of intentionally misstating the figures. In response, Donald Trump's counselor and spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, stated that Spicer merely presented "alternative facts". Todd responded by saying "alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods."
On January 23, Spicer admitted his error concerning WMATA ridership levels, stating that he was relying on statistics given to him, but he stood by his claim that the inauguration was the most-viewed, stating he also included online viewership in addition to in-person and television in his estimates. Spicer's claim of the largest audience ever was still shown inaccurate as Nielsen reported 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks while Obama had 37.8 million and Ronald Reagan 41.8 million. As for online viewership, Spicer himself cited a figure of 16.9 million livestreams provided by CNN. However, CNN served nearly 27 million streams in 2009 for Obama's inauguration. CNN reported in 2009 that 7.7 million people watched the inauguration online, while nearly 27 million watched streaming video of any sort on CNN's website on that day. NBC's livestream on YouTube of Trump's inauguration in 2017 accumulated over 8 million views within a day.
The incoming administration briefly shut down the Interior Department's Twitter accounts. The National Park Service's official Twitter account had re-tweeted two Tweets on "omissions on policy areas" on the White House website and Trump's and Obama's crowd sizes. An NPS spokesman issued an apology for "mistaken RTs".
On the morning following the inauguration, Trump telephoned acting National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds and personally directed him to produce additional aerial photographs of the Inauguration Day crowds. [Karen Tumulty & Juliet Eilperin] Reynolds and the Park Service complied with the directive; the additional photos, however, "did not prove Trump's contention that the crowd size was upward of 1 million."
Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd
, ''Washington Post'' (January 26, 2017).
In September 2018, documents released from a Freedom of Information Act request showed that Reynolds and the National Park Service cropped photos of the inauguration, at the direction of the President, in an attempt to make the crowd size seem larger.
In September 2018, a government photographer claims that he, supposedly at Trump's request, edited pictures of the inauguration to make the crowd appear larger: "The photographer cropped out empty space 'where the crowd ended' for a new set of pictures requested by Trump on the first morning of his presidency, after he was angered by images showing his audience was smaller than Barack Obama's in 2009."
Protests and demonstrations
As of mid-December, there were 20 requests for demonstration permits for Trump's inauguration, including , and the Women's March on Washington, which took place the day after inauguration day. Supported by nearly 200 activist groups and organizations, and drawing an estimated three times as many participants as the inauguration,
the Women's March demonstrated on racial and gender equality, affordable healthcare, abortion rights and voting rights.
Protests occurred during the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The vast majority of protesters, several thousand in all, were peaceful. DisruptJ20 protesters linked arms at security checkpoints and attempted to shut them down. Some elements of the protesters were black bloc groups and self described anarchists, and engaged in sporadic acts of vandalism, rioting, and violence. Six police officers sustained minor injuries, and at least one other person was injured.
A total of 234 people were arrested and charged with rioting, launching controversial trials that gave rise to allegations that the government was overreaching. [Keith L. Alexander] Ultimately, 21 defendants pleaded guilty, and all other defendants were either acquitted or had charges dropped by prosecutors; the government failed to obtain a guilty verdict at any trial.
Federal prosecutors abruptly dismiss all remaining Inauguration Day rioting cases
, ''Washington Post'' (July 6, 2018).
In December 2017, the first six people to be tried in connection with the events of January 20 were acquitted by a jury of all charges. [Keith L. Alexander and Ellie Silverman] Twenty other defendants pleaded guilty and prosecutors dropped cases against 20 others.
Not-guilty verdicts for first six people on trial in violent Inauguration Day protests
, ''Washington Post'' (December 20, 2017).
In January 2018, prosecutors dropped charges against 129 other defendants. In May 2018, prosecutors dropped charges against seven more defendants, after the court found that prosecution had intentionally made misrepresentations to the court and hidden exculpatory evidence from defendants in violation of the ''Brady'' rule, and prosecutors also reduced charges against others. Finally, in July 2018, the government dropped charges against all remaining defendants.
Sixty-seven Democratic U.S. representatives declined to attend Trump's inauguration, citing "what they described as his alarming and divisive policies, foreign interference in his election and his criticism of civil rights icon John Lewis, a congressman from Georgia".
There were 16.63 million viewers of Trump taking the oath of office and giving his inaugural address on the three major cable news networks Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. The number of viewers for Obama in 2009 was more at 17.06 million and in 2013 less at 6.73 million. According to Nielsen data, there were 30.64 million people who viewed Trump's inauguration on the 12 networks that covered it live. The number of viewers for Obama's 2009 inauguration on the 18 networks that covered it live was more at 37.8 million. At Obama's 2013 inauguration, it was less at 20.55 million.
Total cable TV viewers
11:45 AM to 12:15 PM Eastern
Total cable TV viewers
8:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern
Total television viewers
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern
There are multiple investigations into Trump's inauguration; including by the Southern District of New York (SDNY), the Eastern District of New York, the Justice Department's public integrity section, the New Jersey attorney general, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and the House Judiciary Committee; as of May 2019.
Investigation by the special counsel
News reports surfaced in April 2018 that the Special Counsel investigation is looking into the inaugural committee's finances. Prosecutors have questioned several Russian oligarchs, upon their arrival at a U.S. airport, about whether any Russian money was illegally funneled into the inauguration committee or the Trump campaign itself. Robert Mueller's team has questioned Barrack and other witnesses, reportedly asking about "donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar." Counterintelligence agents with the FBI began investigating this possibility immediately after the inauguration itself, their interest sparked by the large number of wealthy Russians who attended the inauguration and the special events that attended it.
In August 2018, American political consultant W. Samuel Patten, an associate of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty in federal court to failure to register as a foreign agent in connection with the illegal funneling of foreign funds to the presidential inauguration committee. Patten admitted to arranging a "straw donation" in which $50,000 was funneled from a Ukrainian businessman to a U.S. citizen to donate to the committee in exchange for four tickets to the inauguration. Patten also admitted to giving misleading testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the matter. [Rosalind S. Helderman & Spencer S. Hsu] In exchange for a recommendation of a lenient sentence, Patten pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller.
American political consultant admits foreign money was funneled to Trump inaugural
, ''Washington Post'' (August 31, 2018).
In court documents, prosecutors wrote that Patten formed a lobbying and consulting firm with a Russian national identified as "Foreigner A"; the firm was paid for work advising the Ukrainian Opposition Bloc party and some Bloc members, including "a prominent Ukraine businessman identified only as 'Foreigner B.'" The ''Washington Post'' and ''The New York Times'' identified Konstantin Kilimnik (a Manafort associate whom prosecutors allege is a Russian intelligence operative) as "Foreigner A" and Serhiy Lovochkin (a former aide to Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine) as "Foreigner B." Kilimnik attended Trump's inauguration.
Investigation by U.S. attorney's office in New York
''The Wall Street Journal'' and ''The New York Times'' reported in December 2018 that federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn are investigating whether Middle Eastern foreigners sought to buy influence over American policies by using straw donors to illegally funnel donations to Trump's inaugural committee and a pro-Trump Super PAC.
The Trump inaugural committee received a subpoena from federal prosecutors on February 4, 2019. The SDNY subpoena demanded a comprehensive array of documents involving the committee's donors, finances, attendees and activities. The subpoena named one person of interest: fundraiser Imaad Zuberi. The subpoena reportedly covered allegations of conspiracy to defraud the United States government, money laundering, false statements, mail and wire fraud, disclosure violations and prohibitions against contributions by foreign nations.
Investigations by attorneys general
The attorneys general of New Jersey and the District of Columbia issued subpoenas for documents to the inaugural committee in February 2019.
The investigations are still ongoing, and Ivanka Trump testified for five hours on December 2, 2020 at the behest of the DC Attorney General.
* First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency
* Timeline of the Donald Trump presidency (2017 Q1)
* Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign
* Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections
Presidential Inauguration 2017
Military District of Washington – 58th Presidential Inauguration
Text of Trump's Inaugural Address
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Category:Presidency of Donald Trump
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