10 things you need to know today: January 21, 2017
Donald Trump sworn in as 45th president of the United States, Trump strikes populist tone in inaugural address, and more
Donald Trump sworn in as 45th president of the United States
Donald Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Minutes after Mike Pence was sworn in as vice president, Trump was administered the presidential oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts, officially replacing Barack Obama. Earlier Friday, Trump attended a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church before heading to the White House, where he was welcomed by Obama at the North Portico. Trump's inauguration drew thousands of supporters to the National Mall, though fierce protests broke out across the country and on the streets of D.C., where police said Friday evening they had arrested 217 people after a spasm of rioting caused "significant damage" along a number of blocks.
Trump strikes populist tone in inaugural address
President Trump struck a populist tone harking back to his stump speeches in his inaugural address Friday. "This moment is your moment. It belongs to you," he said. "Jan. 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again." Trump lamented the state of U.S. education, manufacturing, and crime, calling it "American carnage" that "stops right here and stops right now." Saturday morning, Trump tweeted from his personal account a thank you for favorable coverage of the speech. "A fantastic day and evening in Washington D.C.," he said. "Thank you to @FoxNews and so many other news outlets for the GREAT reviews of the speech!"
Estimated 200,000 converge for Women's March on Washington
Some 200,000 women are expected to descend on the capital on Saturday for the Women's March on Washington, an organized protest of the new Donald Trump administration anticipated to contrast both with Trump's inauguration Friday and the smaller and occasionally violent protests that attended it. "The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights," says the march website, which includes a mission statement as well as guiding principles for the event. "We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us." Initially suggested by a grandmother from Hawaii, the march has ballooned into a national movement with celebrity support and sister marches scheduled Saturday in state capitals around the country.
Trump to attend National Prayer Service
President Trump will spend his first morning in office at the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral, following a longstanding tradition that dates to the United States' first president. The interfaith ceremony will host 26 religious leaders representing the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, and Baha'i traditions. Among notable attendees are Dr. Alveda King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King; Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center; and Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham. The event "will be in keeping with the uniting and uplifting inaugural events, demonstrating President-elect Trump's commitment to be president for all Americans," said a statement from the inaugural committee before the inauguration.
World leaders react to Trump inauguration
President Trump received messages of congratulation and concern from across the globe after he was sworn into office Friday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto each expressed a desire to strengthen their countries' respective ties with the U.S, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he looks forward to working with Trump "to restore prosperity to the middle class." Pope Francis encouraged Trump to be guided by America's "rich spiritual and ethical values." Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the de facto leader of the European Union, visited an art museum.
Vice President Pence swears in new defense, homeland security secretaries
After confirming Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday evening by a 98-1 vote, the Senate approved the nomination of retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, 88-11. Vice President Mike Pence swore in both men the same night. Kelly, who retired last year as head of U.S. Southern Command, will take over a department with more than 240,000 employees overseeing everything from border security to protecting the electrical grid. Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department's $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is expected to be confirmed as CIA director on Monday. When President Obama took office in 2009, seven of his Cabinet nominees were sworn in on his first day.
President Trump signs executive order targeting ObamaCare
Hours after he was sworn in on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order making it his administration's official policy "to seek the prompt repeal" of the Affordable Care Act, a change requiring congressional action. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the order's goal is to give the Health and Human Services Department and other federal agencies discretion to "minimiz[e] the economic burden" of ObamaCare. The Trump White House on Friday also froze all pending regulations; announced the new administration's plan to develop a missile defense system to protect the U.S. against Iran and North Korea; and indicated its intent to eliminate the Climate Action Plan as well as a Housing and Urban Development program to reduce certain mortgage fees.
Inaugural protests and parties organized worldwide
The Women's March on Washington was echoed around the world Saturday by protests of President Trump in cities including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, Nairobi, and Cape Town. Signs spotted in Rome read "Yes we must" and "Women's rights are human rights," while in Cape Town protesters proclaimed they are "so over mediocre men running things." But Trump's inauguration was celebrated internationally, too, with all-night watch parties organized by some supporters in Russia in the grip of "Trumpomania," plus a full weekend of celebratory events planned in Melania Trump's tiny hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia.
Digital transition eliminates WhiteHouse.gov pages on civil rights, climate change
As the Trump team took over the White House website and social media pages on Friday, the new administration promptly took down Obama-era issue pages on the White House website covering civil rights, climate change, LGBT rights, and health care. New pages tout issues like "An America First Energy Plan" and "Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community," but so far there is no page devoted to immigration, a central topic of Trump's campaign. On social media, Trump took over the @POTUS Twitter handle, while all of President Obama's tweets and followers were shifted to @POTUS44. As of Saturday morning, Trump's personal Twitter account remains in use.
Trump celebrates victory, slams media at inaugural balls
After being sworn in Friday, President Trump and his first lady Melania, dressed in a white Carolina Herrera gown, celebrated the day at a trio of inaugural balls in Washington, D.C. The Trumps' first dance was accompanied by a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way." "People that weren't so nice to me were saying that we did a really good job today," Trump said before the dance. "They hated to do it, but they did it and I respect that." At the second ball of the night, Trump criticized the "dishonest media" and "phony polls," telling a cheering crowd that he stays on Twitter so he can bypass inaccurate press reports.