Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States – in a new political era that has been cheered and feared. Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, took the oath of office outside the domed US Capitol, with US Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. Here’s the latest on Trump’s inauguration (in EST and Hong Kong times):
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Watch: live feed of Trump’s inauguration
2pm (3am HK time) Trump has arrived at the inaugural luncheon in Capitol — and he immediately walked to Hillary Clinton’s table and shook the hand of the defeated Democratic nominee.
The menu features three courses and includes Maine lobster, Virginia beef and shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.
Later, Republican and Democratic congressional leaders will give toasts.
1:50pm (2:50am HK time) President Donald Trump has formally nominated his Cabinet.
Trump made his nominations official just after he took office. He signed a series of documents in an ornate room steps from the Senate floor.
The president distributed pens to congressional leaders according to whether they liked his choices. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, received the pen that Trump used to nominate Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, to be transportation secretary.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi jokingly objected to getting a pen used to nominate Tom Price to be health secretary. At that point, House Speaker Paul Ryan chimed in, “I’ll take it.”
After nominating Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, Trump said he’d heard Pompeo would be confirmed “momentarily.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer piped up: “It depends what you mean by momentarily.”
1:40pm (2:40am HK time): Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took to Twitter on Saturday to congratulate Trump on his inauguration in a move likely to draw objections from China, already angry with a protocol-breaking phone call a month ago between the two leaders.
“Congratulations @realDonaldTrump. Democracy is what ties Taiwan and the US together. Look forward to advancing our friendship & partnership,” Tsai tweeted just minutes after Trump took his oath of office.
Tsai also vowed to deepen the island’s ties with the United States, which she said was Taiwan’s “most important international ally” and which shared common values of freedom, democracy and human rights, according to a statement by her office.
Congratulations @realDonaldTrump. Democracy is what ties Taiwan and the US together. Look forward to advancing our friendship & partnership.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) January 20, 2017
1:30pm (2:30am HK time): Trump has signed legislation that clears the way for his defence secretary pick — retired Marine General James Mattis — to run the Pentagon, if confirmed by the Senate.
A vote on Mattis is expected Friday. There’s a law that bars former service members who’ve been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top Pentagon job. The restriction is meant to preserve civilian control of the military.The measure signed by Trump soon after his took office grants Mattis a one-time exception.
Congress last allowed an exception to the law in 1950 for George Marshall, a former five-star Army general.
1:25pm (2:25am HK time): Trump is pledging to eliminate Obama’s environmental regulations. That includes Obama’s plan to address climate change.
As Trump was giving his inaugural address, the White House website listed several actions Trump will take to cancel “harmful and unnecessary policies.” Among them are Obama’s climate action plan and a clean water rule imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The climate plan is intended as a broad-based strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The plan includes a series of rules that limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.
The water rule is intended to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development.
1:20pm (2:20pm HK time): The prime minister of Japan — one of America’s closest allies — is congratulating Donald Trump on his inauguration and says he wants to strengthen the “unwavering” ties between the two nations.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued his statement minutes after Trump took the oath of office as the 45th US president. Abe says he looks forward to meeting Trump again “at the earliest possible occasion” to send a message to the world on the importance of the Japan-US alliance.
Japanese media have reported Abe may visit the US in late January.
1:15pm (2:15pm HK time): Here’s the full text of Donald Trump’s inaugural address.
12:50pm (1:50am HK time): Former president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are departing Washington. The Obamas held hands as they walked to a military helicopter parked outside the East Front of the Capitol after Donald Trump took the oath of office.
Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump escorted the Obamas, and then the couples exchanges small talk and handshakes.The helicopter is heading to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Obama will address staff and supporters before he and his wife fly to California for a vacation.
The Obamas will return to Washington where they will live while their youngest daughter will finish school.
12:40pm (1:40pm HK time): Pope Francis has congratulated Donald Trump on his inauguration and urged the new US president to show concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who “stand before our door.”Francis says in a message that he’s praying Trump’s decisions will be guided by the “rich spiritual and ethical values” that have shaped America’s history.
The pope also offers these words: “Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need.”
12:35pm (1:35am HK time): Trump closed his first speech as US president with his campaign slogan: “Make America great again.” Trump is borrowing from his campaign speeches and promising this: “Together we will make America strong again,” wealthy again, strong again and proud again.
“And yes,” he says, “together, we will make America great again.”
12:25pm (1:25am HK time): Trump says Americans came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement “the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
Trump says the United States exists to serve its citizens.
He says Americans want great schools, safe neighbourhoods and good jobs.
But he says too many people face a different reality: rusted-out factories, a bad education system, crime, gangs and drugs.
Trump says the “carnage stops right here and right now.”
12:20pm (1:20am HK time): Trump declared his victory a victory for working people.
Trump says in his inauguration speech: “Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another,” but “transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people”
Trump says that, for too long, too few have had power and the people have paid the price.
He says: “Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.”
He says, “That all changes starting right here and right now.”
Trump is also thanking former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama for their “gracious” aid through the transition.
12:15pm (1:15am HK time): US President Donald Trump is beginning his inaugural address by saying that “together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come.”
He says Americans have “joined a great national effort to build our country and restore its promise for all people.”It began to rain in Washington as Trump started speaking.Trump also thanked all of the past presidents in attendance, including former campaign foes Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Noon (1am HK time): Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, succeeding Barack Obama and taking control of a divided country in a transition of power that he has declared will lead to “America First” policies at home and abroad. At Trump’s side was his wife, Melania Trump.
11:55am (12:55am HK time): Mike Pence has taken his oath for vice president.
11:45am (12:45am HK time): Capping a morning of inaugural pomp and pageantry, Donald Trump stepped before a sprawling crowd at the US Capitol, poised to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. His ascent puts Republicans in control of the White House for the first time in eight years. Trump gave a thumbs-up, pumped his fist, and mouthed “thank you,” as he walked to his seat next to incoming Vice President Mike Pence.
11:40am (12:40am HK time): Former president George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, have spent another night hospitalised in Houston. Family spokesman Jim McGrath says the 92-year-old former president remained in intensive care Friday while being treated for breathing difficulties stemming from pneumonia.The nation’s 41st president was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital last weekend for shortness of breath. He was moved to intensive care on Wednesday when physicians put in a breathing tube. Barbara Bush spent her second night at the hospital after checking in Wednesday for treatment of bronchitis. The 91-year-old former first lady reported feeling much better Thursday after receiving medication.
11:35am (12:35am HK time): The dais is filled for the inauguration on the West Front of the Capitol.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have taken their seats.
And President-elect Donald Trump’s family is ready.The stage is set for Donald Trump to be sworn in as the next president of the United States.
11:30am (12:30pm HK time): As Donald Trump and President Barack Obama made their way to the Capitol, police were confronting a group of demonstrators wearing black in downtown Washington and using what appeared to be pepper spray. Protesters were carrying signs denouncing capitalism and Trump. Police cordoned off about 100 demonstrators who chanted “hands up, don’t shoot.”
A helicopter hovered overhead.
11:35am (12:35am HK time): US President Barack Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, have arrived at the Capitol for Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.
Trump is joined by his family, including his five children Eric, Don Jr., Ivanka, Tiffany and youngest son, Barron.
11:10am (12:10am HK time): Hillary Clinton says she’s attending Donald Trump’s inauguration to “honour our democracy.” Clinton made the comment on Twitter Trump took the oath of office. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton are both in attendance.Here’s what Clinton is saying: “I’m here today to honour our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future.”
I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future. #Inauguration
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 20, 2017
11am (12am HK time): US President Barack Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, have departed the White House to head to Trump’s inauguration. The pair got into a limousine that will take them to the Capitol. Also on their way are Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and Trump’s wife, Melania
10:45am (11:45pm HK time) Hillary Clinton has arrived for the inauguration of the man who defeated her in a bitter presidential contest.
Clinton is at the Capitol with her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
Trump and Clinton were last face to face at a charity dinner in New York in October.
The Democratic nominee and former secretary of state waved to reporters when she arrived for the ceremony on Friday morning, but she’s not answering questions.
Trump viciously attacked Clinton throughout the campaign and his pledge to incarcerate her led to “Lock her up!” chants becoming a staple at his rallies.
After the election, Trump appeared to back off that threat. George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush are also present.
10:35am (11:35pm HK time) US President Barack Obama has left a letter for his successor in the Oval Office before departing the White House — as is the tradition from one president to the next.
The White House is providing no details about what Obama conveyed to Donald Trump.
Obama campaigned vigorously against Trump. But the president and president-elect have had regular phone conversations since the election, with the president offering guidance and advice.
10:25am (11:25pm HK time): The White House says members of the residence staff have presented President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with two American flags that were flown atop the building. One of the flags was flown on the first day of Obama’s presidency. The other was flown on his final morning as president. The Obamas are preparing to depart the White House for the last time as president and first lady when they head to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
10:10am (11:10pm HK time): America’s incoming first lady Melania Trump wore an elegant powder blue suit made by iconic US fashion designer Ralph Lauren to her husband’s inauguration on Friday and channelling Jacqueline Kennedy.
The soft and elegant cashmere dress fell to her knee, paired with a cross-over round neck jacket cut to the waist and matching suede gloves. In a break from the past, Melania wore her hair swept up with diamond stud earrings.
The look won rave reviews online and earned comparisons with Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of Democratic president John F. Kennedy and considered one of America’s most stylish first ladies.
“With the historic swearing-in of her husband, Donald J. Trump, as the 45th President of the United States, the first lady-elect will become America’s new first lady wearing an American designer who transformed American fashion, Ralph Lauren,” her spokeswoman said in a statement reported by Women’s Wear Daily.
Trump, a former fashion model originally from Slovenia, is American’s first foreign-born first lady since England’s Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, who was president from 1825 to 1829.
She debuted the suit as she and her incoming Republican president made their way to St John’s Church in Washington before meeting President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on the steps of the White House.
10am (11pm HK time): Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t be watching the live ceremony of Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, his spokesman said, rubbishing the idea of him being Moscow’s man in Washington.
“I don’t think that he plans to watch it live but of course he will follow it in the news, perhaps even as the main news item,” Peskov told journalists.
Separately, he told Rossiya 24 state channel it would be a grave mistake for foreign and domestic observers to assume Trump is Putin’s man in Washington.
Trump “is not our man, he is an American man, he is the president of the United States.
“And it’s probably the biggest mistake by Western analysts, by some of our political observers, to consider that he is ‘our man’.”
Rossiya 24 is one of two Russian state television channels that will broadcast Friday’s inauguration ceremony live.
Moscow has dismissed explosive allegations that the Kremlin ordered cyber attacks by Russia’s intelligence agencies which helped sway the election in Trump’s favour and that it had compiled a compromising dossier on him.
9:50am (10:50pm HK time): US President-elect Donald Trump arrived at the White House Friday for his final meeting with outgoing leader Barack Obama, before the two head to the Capitol for the Republican’s swearing-in ceremony.
Obama and First Lady Michelle greeted Trump and his wife Melania on the steps of the White House.
“Mr President-elect, how are you?” Obama asked.
The four were to head into the White House for traditional tea and coffee.
9:30am (10:30pm HK time): US President Barack Obama is bidding farewell on Twitter.
Here’s what it says on the official presidential account: “It’s been the honour of my life to serve you.”
The president has been striking an optimistic tone in the final days of his administration.
He tells followers that he’s “still asking you to believe – not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.” The president is also asking people to share their thoughts about the focus of his new foundation’s work. He says: “I won’t stop; I’ll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by your voices of truth and justice, good humour, and love.”
I’m still asking you to believe – not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. I believe in change because I believe in you.
— President Obama (@POTUS) January 20, 2017
9:25am (10:25pm HK time): Donald Trump will soon have a new home — the White House.
But what about another property just down Pennsylvania Avenue: the hotel he leases from the federal government at the Old Post Office building.The contract with the General Services Administration bars elected officials from benefiting from it. Yet Trump hasn’t said he’s divested from the hotel — and he hasn’t tried to alter the contract.
House Democrats say GSA officials told them that Trump would violate the contract the moment he takes office. The GSA has said publicly it won’t weigh in on the matter until after Trump’s in office.
8:40am (9:40pm HK time): US president-elect Donald Trump has emerged from Blair House to start the Inauguration Day festivities.
Trump and his wife, Melania, stepped out of the government guest house next to the White House just after 8:30 a.m. and took a motorcade for the short drive to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
After the service, they’ll head to the White House to be greeted by President Barack Obama.
8:35 am (9:35pm HK time): Members of the president-elect Donald Trump’s team are starting to arrive as Inauguration Day festivities get underway.
Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus arrived shortly after 8 a.m. at Blair House — the government guest house across from the White House. It’s where Trump stayed on his final night before becoming president.
Also seen arriving are senior adviser and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and communications aide Hope Hicks.
Trump’s motorcade is waiting for him outside Blair House. He’ll soon go to a nearby church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, for a prayer service.
Watch: six thing you need to know about the US presidential inauguration
7:30am (8:30pm HK time): Why should Inauguration Day be any different for Donald Trump?
He’s up and tweeting early again.
Here’s what he says: “It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES – THE WORK BEGINS!”
Trump and his wife, Melania, are set to begin their day at St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from the White House.
Later in the morning, they’ll meet with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Then comes the trip to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.
It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES – THE WORK BEGINS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017
7:25am (8:25pm Hong Kong time): Protesters who said they’d try to keep guests with tickets from watching Donald Trump take the oath of office aren’t having much luck so far.
Dozens of protesters are lined up at the entrance to a seating area on the West Front of the Capitol, and they’re holding signs that say “Free Palestine” and “Let Freedom ring.”
Some protesters are wearing orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces — showing their disapproval of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
But police are out in force, and they’re allowing ticketholders to make their way through the gate. On the other side of the Capitol, things are quiet and orderly at a second gate.
7am (8pm Hong Kong time): Nigel Farage — the leader behind the effort to pull Britain from the European Union — has toasted Donald Trump at a reception on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the White House.
Farage notes that in 2016, British voters chose to leave the EU and that American voters picked Trump. He calls it a year that will be remembered as a pivot point in history.
Farage jokes that Trump is “the only person I’ve ever met in my life who makes me feel like an introvert.”
6:45am (7:45pm Hong Kong time): Before dawn on Inauguration Day, only a few lights are on at the White House residence, where US President Barack Obama and his family have lived for the past eight years.
Klieg lights brightened the viewing stand from which Donald Trump will view the parade route later in the day.
Trump and his family were spending the night at Blair House, just across from the White House.
Lafayette Square outside the White House was fenced off with large metal barriers and security lines moved briskly to let outgoing White House staff and members of the media into the White House complex early in the morning.
6:35am (7:35pm Hong Kong time): Americans eager to see the Donald Trump take the oath of office as the nation’s next president are starting to make their way through downtown Washington and onto the National Mall.
Dump trucks, police cars and National Guard soldiers and city police are on street corners and are blocking vehicle access for blocks around the Mall.
But there’s plenty of room on the sidewalks for those clutching engraved tickets for a seat to Trump’s inauguration, as well as those without who plan to watch from spots between the Capitol and the Washington monument.
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters
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