Donald Trump’s team has become embroiled in a fresh war of words with the media.
On January 21, President Trump had condemned media reporting of the number of people attending his inauguration.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said there was “an obsession… to de-legitimize this president. We’re not going to sit around and take it.”
However, photos show more people attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.
Reince Priebus said on Fox News Sunday that the “media from day one has been talking about de-legitimizing the election”. He said Donald Trump’s presidency would fight such coverage “tooth and nail every day”.
The latest row was mainly sparked by the inauguration figures.
There were no official estimates. President Trump said during a visit to the CIA on January 21 that it “looked like a million and a half people”, but provided no evidence. He called reporters “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” for saying it was far lower.
Image source CNBC
Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer outlined figures amounting to 720,000 people in Washington’s National Mall, despite also saying that “no-one had numbers” for the inauguration.
Sean Spicer also said it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe”.
Many outlets, using photos of the National Mall showing the difference in numbers attending the 2009 inauguration and Donald Trump’s, hit out at Sean Spicer’s statements.
The New York Times denounced “false claims” and described the statements as a “striking display of invective and grievance at the dawn of a presidency”.
Both CNN and ABC News went into detail to refute Sean Spicer’s claims.
Donald Trump’s aide Kellyanne Conway also criticized the media in a feisty exchange on NBC.
Kellyanne Conway was challenged by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press to say why Sean Spicer’s first appearance had been to “utter a probable falsehood”.
“If we are going to keep referring to our press secretary in those type of terms, I think we are going to have to rethink our relationship here,” she said.
Pressed on Sean Spicer’s claims, Kellyanne Conway said he had been presenting “alternative facts”.
“Alternative facts are not facts they are falsehoods,” Chuck Todd replied.
Kellyanne Conway insisted there was “no way to really quantify crowds” and, taking offence at a laugh from the reporter, said: “You can laugh at me all you want. It’s symbolic of the way we are treated by the press the way you just laughed at me.”
She also highlighted another issue that caused friction with the media – the Time Magazine reporter who incorrectly reported that a bust of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. The reporter later apologized for the error.
On January 22, Donald Trump tweeted about TV ratings of the inauguration, saying that 31 million people had watched, 11 million more than four years ago.
The president also referred to January 21 protests that saw millions in the US and hundreds of thousands around the globe take to the streets in some 600 demonstrations against his presidency.
Donald Trump’s initial tweet said he was “under the impression that we just had an election”, asking: “Why didn’t these people vote?”
A later tweet said that “peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy”.
Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th US president after taking over from President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the Capitol Hill.
The new president has delivered his inaugural address before leading a parade to the White House.
He has painted a bleak picture of a broken country speaking of abandoned factories, crime and a failed education system as problems of the past, pledging that his presidency would bring about change.
President Trump said on the steps of the Capitol: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
Thousands of Donald Trump supporters travelled across the country to witness the occasion from the National Mall.
The moment marks the end of an improbable journey for the billionaire after a campaign marked by controversy.
Shortly after the ceremony Donald Trump was seen signing his first official actions as the 45th president.
He sent his Cabinet nominations to the Senate as well as a signed a proclamation for a national day of patriotism, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Donald Trump also signed into law a waiver allowing retired Marine General James Mattis, his pick for defense secretary, to serve in the post.
In his inaugural address, President Trump promised to be the voice of the “forgotten people”, ignored by Washington politicians.
Today, he said, was “the day the people became rulers of this nation again”.
Image source CNBC
“I will fight for you with every breath left in my body and I will never ever let you down,” said President Trump after Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath.
“America will start winning again, winning like never before.
“We will bring back our jobs, bring back our borders, bring back our wealth and we will bring back our dreams.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence waved goodbye as the Bidens and Obamas left the Capitol.
Barack and Michelle Obama held hands as they boarded a military helicopter that took them to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Barack Obama delivered remarks to staff and supporters before he and his wife flew to Palm Springs, California, for vacation.
He told a crowd they “proved the power of hope” and that “this isn’t a period, it’s a comma in the continuing story of building America”.
The historic moment drew congratulation messages from dignitaries around the world including Pope Francis, who said he was praying Donald Trump’s decisions would be guided by the “rich spiritual and ethical values” that have shaped America’s history.
Hillary Clinton, who lost to Donald Trump in a dramatic upset in November’s election, attended the ceremony with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Former presidents and first ladies, including George W. Bush and his wife Laura as well as Jimmy Carter, were in attendance.
The only absences were 92-year-old George Bush Senior, who is in hospital being treated for respiratory problems, and his wife Barbara.
Members of Congress were also in attendance, although more than 50 House Democrats had refused to attend the ceremony in protest.
Donald Trump takes power at a time when the country appears to be deeply divided. He enters the presidency with historically low approval ratings.
He has vowed to roll back many of his predecessor’s policies, including repealing Barack Obama’s signature health care law and building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Authorities arrested nearly 100 people protesting against the inauguration, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Many were apprehended for “vandalism and destruction of property”, said spokesman Lieutenant Sean Conboy.
Sean Conboy also said two police officers were hurt during clashes.
Earlier, about 150 protesters dressed in black marched through Washington, smashing windows and rolling rubbish bins into the street to form blockades.
The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday – for racial and gender equality, and other issues perceived to be under threat from Mr Trump’s administration – is expected to draw about 200,000 people.
Meanwhile in New York, thousands of people attended a rally where dozens of celebrities and politicians voiced their concerns about the president-elect.
Some spectators had waited for hours, although crowd numbers seemed to be lower than some other recent inaugurations.
Kanye West will not perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration, which is a “traditionally American” event, chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee Tom Barrack has said.
There has been speculation since Kanye West told a concert crowd he would have voted for Donald Trump – if he had voted – and then turned up at Trump Tower.
However, Tom Barrack told CNN the ceremony is “not the venue” for the rapper.
Photo Getty Images
The chief organizer said Kanye West is “a great guy” but “we haven’t asked him”.
Tom Barrack said: “He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it’s not the venue.
“The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it’s perfect, it’s going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy but we just haven’t asked him to perform. We move on with our agenda.”
More Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president on January 20.
The boycott comes amidst a feud between Donald Trump and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.
Up to now, more than 50 House Democrats announced they are refusing to watch the president-elect’s inauguration.
John Lewis, a revered member of the 1960s struggle, sparked controversy on January 13 when he called Donald Trump’s victory illegitimate because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election.
Donald Trump hit back on Twitter, attacking the Georgia lawmaker as “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results”, which prompted a wave of outrage from people saying if anyone embodied action, it was John Lewis.
Dozens of members of Congress have announced they will skip the inauguration ceremony.
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota tweeted following the row: “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”
Maryland Representative Anthony G. Brown also tweeted: “Skipping Inauguration. @RepJohnLewis a civil rights hero. Enormous responsibility to be POTUS. I respect the office, can’t tolerate disrespect.”
Image source Flickr
The number grew to more than 40 over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, but that did not stop Donald Trump from continuing to rail against the 76-year-old civil rights icon on January 17.
Donald Trump tweeted that John Lewis had falsely claimed this would be the first inauguration he has missed since joining Congress in 1987.
“WRONG (or lie)!” the president-elect tweeted, saying John Lewis had skipped George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.
John Lewis’ office confirmed that he did miss President George W. Bush’s ceremony.
Spokeswoman Brenda Jones said: “His absence at that time was also a form of dissent.
“He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the US Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”
An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 people are expected to flood Washington on January 20 for the inauguration, but it is unclear whether they will be there in celebration or protest, officials said.
President Barack Obama drew an estimated 1.8 million people to Washington when he took office in 2009.
The “level of enthusiasm” and demand for hotel rooms has not reached that of previous inaugurations, according to Elliott Ferguson, president of Destination DC, the city’s convention and tourism bureau.
In fact, some hotels have reduced the minimum-night stay from four nights to two.
Other hotels are only 50% full, but higher-end hotels appeared to have more bookings, he added.
Donald Trump’s swearing-in comes at a time when the nation appears deeply divided after the contested election.
Though Donald Trump swept the Electoral College, his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million more votes.
Recent polls have also showed historically low marks for any presidential transition.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found just 40% of Americans view Donald Trump favorably compared with the 79% President Barack Obama received in 2009.
A CNN/ORC survey released on January 17 also showed Donald Trump with a 40% approval rating compared with the 84% Barack Obama had in 2009.
A Gallup poll conducted two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration found 51% of respondents disapproved of how he is handling the presidential transition compared with 44% who approved.
More Democrats said they will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
The number of Democratic members of Congress boycotting the inauguration ceremony has increased to 26.
Many have cited as a reason Donald Trump’s recent attack on civil rights icon and fellow congressman John Lewis.
The president-elect lashed out at John Lewis on Twitter on January 13 after the civil rights campaigner said he was not a “legitimate president”.
Donald Trump said that John Lewis was: “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results.”
John Lewis was a prominent member of America’s civil rights movement and is a hero to many Americans. He was among those beaten by police during the infamous Selma-Montgomery voting rights march of 1965.
He joined the House of Representatives in 1987 and has served Georgia’s fifth congressional district, which Donald Trump went on to call “crime-infested”, ever since.
Image source Flickr
Donald Trump’s insults, made just days ahead of Martin Luther King Day, were the final straw for a number of Democrats who will break with tradition by missing the inauguration ceremony on January 20.
Yvette Clarke, one of five representatives for New York who will boycott the event, said: “When you insult Rep. John Lewis, you insult America.”
There are 535 members of Congress, across both houses.
California representative Ted Lieu said: “For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”
Illinois representative Luis Gutierrez was the first member of congress to say he would boycott the inauguration – announcing his decision in December.
Luis Gutierrez told the House: “I could not look my wife, my daughters, or my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attended, as if everything that the candidate said about the women, the Latinos, the blacks, the Muslims, or any of those other things he said in those speeches and tweets, and that all of that is okay or erased from our collective memory.”
He has said he will attend the alternative Women’s March on Washington on January 21.
John Lewis’ announcement of his own boycott in an interview with NBC News, in which he said that Donald Trump was an illegitimate president, prompted the outburst from the president-elect.
Donald Trump’s inauguration will be the first not attended by John Lewis in all his 30 years in congress. He cited alleged Russian interference in the election among his reasons for regarding Donald Trump as illegitimate.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” he told NBC News.
Sales of John Lewis’ memoir soared to the top of Amazon’s US bestseller list following Donald Trump’s attack, eventually selling out completely.
John Lewis led a sit-in protest at the House of Representatives in July 2016 to demand a vote on gun control legislation, in the wake of the deadly Orlando shooting.
Republicans adjourned the House early to try to quash the sit-in, switching off the TV cameras, but the C-Span network picked up live streams from some Democrats’ phones.
Katherine Clark, a representative for Massachusetts, was among the first to join John Lewis for the gun control protest. She said last week she would skip Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In a statement, Katherine Clark said: “Families in my district are fearful that the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and divisive promises that drove the Trump campaign will become the policies affecting the health and safety of every American.
“I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”
Donald Trump has struggled to book any established musicians to perform at his ceremony, despite his team appearing to have cast a wide net.
The event will feature Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old America’s Got Talent contestant, alongside military bands and the Radio City Rockettes, although some members of the Rockettes troupe have publicly refused to take part.
A number of Hollywood stars will join a women’s march on Washington on January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.
America Ferrera, who backed Democrat Hillary Clinton, is helping to organize the protest.
Other actresses taking part include Amy Schumer, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand and Zendaya.
In a statement, America Ferrara said: “Since the election, so many fear that their voices will go unheard.
“As artists, women, and most importantly dedicated Americans, it is critical that we stand together in solidarity for the protection, dignity and rights of our communities.”
Scarlett Johansson, who has criticized the Donald Trump’s incoming administration for “attacking” reproductive rights, said she was taking part to make her voice heard and “stand up for what I believe in”.
The protest organizers say they expect more than 100,000 people to turn out for the march on January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Chelsea Handler will lead a sister march in Park City, Utah, one of more than 150 solidarity marches planned around the US and the world next Saturday.
Other stars who have said they will take part in the Washington march include Uzo Aduba, Lea DeLaria and Diane Guerrero.
According to organizers say a number of other celebrities will either participate in the march or express solidarity with the marchers in other ways.
They include Katy Perry, Julianne Moore, Cher and Debra Messing.
Not many Hollywood stars have said they will be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
2010 America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho will perform the national anthem at the inauguration ceremony.