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The White House has announced it will ask the Congress for emergency funding to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

President Donald Trump is expected to propose an initial $5.9 billion. Texas authorities say the state might need more than $125 billion.

At least 39 people have died in the storm and its aftermath. East of Houston, floodwaters are still rising.

Visiting Texas, VP Mike Pence promised federal help to “rebuild bigger and better than ever before”.

Mike Pence said 311,000 people had registered for disaster assistance. It is not yet clear how quickly funds might reach victims.

Visiting the battered town of Rockport, Mike Pence paid tribute to the people of Texas: “The resilience of the people of Texas has been inspiring.”

He added: “The American people are with you. We are here today, we will be here tomorrow and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before.”

Image source Flickr

Tropical Storm Harvey Slams Louisiana after Hovering in Gulf of Mexico

Houston Flooding: Five People Dead in Hurricane Harvey Aftermath

Hurricane Harvey: Texas at Risk of Severe Flooding

The White House also said President Trump would donate $1 million of his own money to the relief effort.

Firefighters in Houston have been carrying out door-to-door searches for survivors and bodies in an operation that could take up to two weeks.

Rescue operations are still continuing further east, where floodwaters are still rising.

Hundreds of thousands of residents who were evacuated or chose to leave are being warned not to return home until they are told it is safe to do so.

Earlier, a senior White House aide said about 100,000 homes, not all of which were fully insured, had been affected by the storm and the flooding that accompanied it.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said its teams had rescued more than 3,800 people, and more than 90,000 had already been approved for disaster assistance.

FEMA also warned that residents were being targeted by scams. There are reports of criminals impersonating inspectors and immigration officials.

Others were receiving fraudulent calls about flood insurance claiming a premium must be paid or coverage would be lost.

Energy suppliers in southern Texas were forced to shut down refineries and close off pipelines, sending petrol prices higher across the US. Many have restarted operations, but it could take weeks before production is back to normal.

Residents returning to their homes are also facing challenges.

The Environmental Protection Agency is warning residents that floodwater can contain bacteria and other contaminants from overflowing sewers. It said the biggest threat to public health was access to safe drinking water.

One chemical plant in Crosby, near Houston, caught fire on August 31, and more fires are expected in the coming days.

Chemicals stored at the flooded Arkema plant are no longer being refrigerated, making them combustible.

Residents have been evacuated from the plant in a 1.5 mile radius, and smoke was seen rising from the site on August 31.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are expected to return to Texas on September 2.

The president visited Texas earlier in the week but limited his visit to Corpus Christi, which avoided the worst of the flooding, over fears his presence could divert resources from rescue efforts.

Storm Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is expected to dissipate in Ohio on Saturday evening.

Several inches of rainfall are expected in Tennessee and Kentucky over the next two days, and flood warnings remain in effect in parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Louisiana.

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Ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt, has been pardoned by President Donald Trump.

Joe Arpaio, 85, was found guilty after he defied a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants. He was due to be sentenced in October.

President Trump had hinted at the pardon at a rally in Phoenix on August 22.

Thanking the president, Joe Arpaio said his conviction was “a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department”.

Joe Arpaio tweeted: “Thank you…. for seeing my conviction for what it is.”

“I’m not going away,” he said, while declining to say whether he would run for sheriff again.

Image source Wikimedia

Donald Trump to Close Down Government If Necessary to Build Mexico Border Wall

Donald Trump Denounces Removal of Confederate Statues

Donald Trump Decides to Keep US Troops in Afghanistan

President Trump has frequently praised the former sheriff, who is known for his controversial hard-line stance on immigration.

Joe Arpaio appeared on the campaign trail with President Trump in 2016 – describing him as “the law-and-order candidate”.

In a statement announcing the pardon, his first, President Trump said: “Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplify selfless public service.

“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is a worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”

Joe Arpaio, who styled himself as “America’s toughest sheriff”, rose to national prominence for his sweeps of undocumented immigrants in Hispanic communities, and for detaining Spanish-speakers under suspicion of being undocumented immigrants.

In July 2017, the former sheriff was found guilty of violating a 2011 order to stop detaining immigrants.

The decision to pardon the former policeman was condemned by Democrats and civil rights groups.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said it was “disheartening that [the president] set the bar so very low for his first pardon”.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton called the move a slap in the face for the Latino community and those who had been victimized.

Joe Arpaio, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, could have faced six months in jail at his sentencing in October.

He served in the US military before he became a police officer – where he quickly acquired a reputation for his anti-immigration stance and tough enforcement tactics.

Joe Arpaio lost a bid for re-election in Arizona’s Maricopa County in November 2016, after 24 years in office.

He famously forced the prisoners to wear pink underwear and socks and old-fashioned black-and-white striped prison jumpsuits. The inmates lived outdoors while enduring sweltering Arizona desert temperatures.

Joe Arpaio also revived chain gangs, including a voluntary one for female prisoners.

President Donald Trump has criticized the growing number of states refusing to pass on voters’ details to his commission on electoral fraud.

The president tweeted: “What are they trying to hide?”

At least 20 states have said that they will not or only partly comply with the request, citing privacy concerns.

Democrats fear that the commission may be used to justify tightening voting procedures – changes which could make certain groups less likely to vote.

The groups most affected by so-called voter suppression tend to vote Democrat.

However, it is not just Democrats who are opposed to the collection of such data by the federal government.

Mississippi’s Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said in an official statement that his reply to the commission would be “they can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from”.

Donald Trump Describes Wisconsin Vote Recount as Scam

Donald Trump set up the commission to investigate claims – unsubstantiated, but which he repeats – that millions of fraudulent votes cost him the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Image source Flickr

He secured more votes in the all-important Electoral College than Hillary Clinton, thus winning the presidency.

Donald Trump established the Presidential Advisory commission on Election Integrity in May, despite evidence that voter fraud is not a widespread problem in the US.

The aim is to “increase the American people’s confidence in the integrity of our election systems”.

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign to Participate in Wisconsin Vote Recount

Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, said she would not be releasing “sensitive personal data to the federal government”.

She said in a statement: “Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”

The panel, described by President Trump as “very distinguished,” is chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence.

On June 28, its vice-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to the 50 US states and the District of Columbia requesting details from voter rolls including: names, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, last four digits of social security number, voting history since 2006, criminal convictions and military status.

The information would be used “to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting,” the letter said.

Many other states, including Alabama, California, Connecticut and Minnesota have said they will not send the information, or will only send information that is already publically available.

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Rhode Island teacher Nikos Giannopoulos used a black lace fan during an official photo with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the White House.

Thanks to the fan the photo of the special education teacher, the president and the first lady has gone viral.

Nikos Giannopoulos, 29, had traveled to Washington from his home after being named Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.

Along with teachers from every state, Nikos Giannopoulos was invited to the White House to meet President Trump – and he made very specific decisions about what to wear.

Image source The White House

In a Facebook post, Nikos Giannopoulos revealed he wore a rainbow pin, in “gratitude to the LGBTQ community”, a blue jacket and black fan to “celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity”, and an anchor necklace in honor of the Rhode Island.

The black lace fan, which belonged to Nikos Giannopoulos’s partner, was the thing that really stole the show.

Nikos Giannopoulos told NPR that, despite the president’s immediate appreciation for the fan, which he praised as “stylish”, he was told by White House staff to put it away for the official picture.

However, Nikos Giannopoulos decided to quietly keep it by his side until it came time for the photo.

“I just asked the president, <<Do you mind if I use the fan for the photo?>>. He said, <<Absolutely go for it>>. So I popped my fan and did my pose.”

President Donald Trump did not ask fired FBI Director James Comey to pledge loyalty to him, the White House says.

Press secretary Sean Spicer rejected media reports that Donald Trump sounded out James Comey at a private White House dinner in January.

According to the New York Times, James Comey said he would offer the president honesty, but not loyalty.

PresidentTrump has faced a backlash for dismissing Director Comey on May 9.

The FBI probe and parallel congressional investigations into alleged Russian political meddling, and whether any Trump campaign officials colluded with the Kremlin, have dogged his young presidency.

The search for a new FBI director is beginning on May 13, with four possible candidates being interviewed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Image source Flickr

In yesterday’s daily briefing, Sean Spicer refused to comment on questions about whether President Trump had been making surreptitious recordings in the White House.

Donald Trump tweeted hours earlier that James Comey had “better hope there are no tapes” of their conversations.

Sean Spicer denied the tweet was a threat.

“The president has nothing further to add on that,” he told reporters repeatedly when pressed about the post.

“The tweet speaks for itself.”

However, James Comey believes “if there is a tape, there is nothing he is worried about”, a source told CNN.

Donald Trump’s comments provoked fresh comparisons between his administration and that of disgraced President Richard Nixon, who famously recorded conversations, speeding his downfall during the Watergate scandal.

The top Democrats on the House judiciary and oversight committees wrote to the White House on May 12 demanding copies of any recordings.

John Conyers and Elijah Cummings’ letter noted “it is a crime to intimidate or threaten any potential witness with the intent to influence, delay or prevent their official testimony”.

James Comey has declined an invitation to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 16.

President Trump told NBC News that James Comey requested the one-on-one dinner, but the former FBI director reportedly maintains it was the president who invited him.

James Comey had said he was “uneasy” before the dinner, according to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

James Clapper told MSNBC on May 12 that he had spoken to James Comey before the White House meal.

The FBI chief had confided he was concerned it might compromise his Trump-Russia inquiry, said James Clapper.

President Trump has said James Comey told him three times he was not a target of the FBI inquiry, fuelling accusations the president was interfering in the investigation.

Still chafing at media coverage of the firing, President Trump tweeted on May 12: “Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future <<press briefings>> and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

Sean Spicer said the president was a “little dismayed” that his press team’s attempts to give out information were being turned into a “game of gotcha” by the media.

President Trump doubled down in an interview with Fox News by threatening to hold the press briefings only once a fortnight, with himself at the podium.

“Unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself, we don’t have them,” he said.

“I think it’s a good idea. First of all, you have a level of hostility that’s incredible and it’s very unfair.”

Ivanka Trump is officially joining the Trump administration as an unpaid employee with the title Assistant to the President, the White House has announced.

Donald Trump’s daughter bowed to pressure following an outcry from ethics experts at her initial plans to serve in a more informal capacity.

Ivanka Trump, 35, said she had “heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity”.

Her husband, Jared Kushner, is a senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

In a statement, the White House said it was “pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter”.

The first daughter said in her statement that she had been “working in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role”.

Image source Flickr

Ethics experts cried foul when it emerged last week that Ivanka Trump was to be given a West Wing office and security clearance, without formally joining the administration.

Critics said Ivanka Trump’s role ought to be made official so she could be bound by federal employee transparency and ethical standards, including a law prohibiting conflicts of interest.

Her lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said her client will file the necessary financial disclosures and be subject to official ethics rules.

Former President Barack Obama’s ethics counselor, Norman Eisen, told the Associated Press that “for a change in what has largely been an ethics disaster, the White House came to their senses”.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out to be an isolated moment of sanity,” he added.

Norman Eisen was among several lawyers and government watchdog experts who wrote last week to White House counsel Don McGahn complaining about Ivanka Trump’s appointment.

Ivanka Trump has already taken steps to limit possible conflicts of interest in her business affairs.

She has passed management of her eponymous fashion label to the company president and established a trust for oversight.

Ivanka Trump has also stepped down from a leadership role in the Trump Organization, although she will continue to receive fixed payments from the real estate company.

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An intruder has been arrested after breaching the White House grounds carrying a backpack, the Secret Service said.

The breach happened around midnight on March 10 while President Donald Trump was in the building, the agency said.

The intruder was arrested without incident and no hazardous materials were found in the backpack.

President Trump and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were briefed on the incident.

According to the Secret Service, agents searched the grounds and found “nothing of concern to security operations”.

Intruders have broken into the grounds of the White House before by scaling the perimeter fence. They are usually handed over to local police.

In his first speech to Congress, President Donald Trump has said the US is witnessing a “renewal of the American spirit”.

Adopting a measured, upbeat tone, Donald Trump spoke of a “new chapter of American greatness”.

The Republican president condemned recent vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and a hate crime in Kansas that left an Indian man dead.

Donald Trump’s primetime address sought to bolster his low approval ratings after a bumpy start to his fledgling presidency.

At the outset of the hour-long speech, President Trump tackled recent suspected hate crimes, saying “we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its very ugly forms”.

On immigration, Donald Trump dangled the intriguing possibility of a major policy shift towards a goal that eluded his two predecessors, insisting that “real and positive” reform was possible.

Image source Flickr

That line came hours after he told news anchors off the record at a White House lunch that he might be open to granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.

In his remarks on Capitol Hill, President Trump also talked tough on the issue, pledging to make US communities safer “by finally enforcing our immigration laws”.

The president defended his early actions in office, touting his moves to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and order work to start on a US-Mexico border wall.

However, the most thunderous ovation of the night came when a war widow wept as Donald Trump paid tribute to her husband.

Navy Seal Ryan Owens died in a US raid on a suspected al-Qaeda base in Yemen, days into Donald Trump’s presidency.

“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” President Trump told the grieving Carryn Owens, who sobbed and looked upwards.

It was one of the rare moments when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle applauded.

Despite the president’s appeal for both parties to “unite for the good of our country”, Democratic lawmakers mostly sat in silence or openly laughed at parts of the speech.

Donald Trump’s feel-good exhortation for national unity, some noted, was in stark contrast to his doom-laden inauguration speech of a month ago.

In his concluding remarks, Donald Trump – whose political honeymoon has been soured by acrimonious spats with the media – said “the time for trivial fights is behind us”.

Among First Lady Melania Trump’s special guests in the gallery were three California residents whose relatives were killed by people in the US illegally.

At least a dozen Democrats brought as their guests young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children.

Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivered the Democratic rebuttal to the speech, accusing Republicans of planning to “rip affordable health insurance” from Americans and being “Wall Street’s champion”.

According to RealClearPolitics, Donald Trump’s popularity has hit a historic low for modern presidents after a month in office – just 44% of Americans think he is doing a good job.

In a Fox News interview broadcast earlier on February 28, President Trump gave himself an overall “A plus” for effort, but added that “in terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus”.

Donald Trump’s first month in office was overshadowed by missteps that included a high-profile court defeat to his controversial travel ban and the firing of a top aide.

President Donald Trump has launched another fierce attack on the media at a “campaign rally for America” event in Melbourne, Florida.

He told the crowd the media did not want “to report the truth” and had their own agenda.

President Trump also defended the achievements of his presidency so far, insisting that a spirit of optimism was sweeping the United States.

He had attacked the media at a press conference on February 16, as pressure mounted on his presidency.

President Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn quit earlier in the week. Donald Trump is to interview candidates for the role on February 19.

Image source Flickr

On February 18, Donald Trump and his wife Melania were greeted by thousands of supporters at the rally in a state he won in November’s election, while hundreds protested outside.

In his speech, Donald Trump said he wanted to speak to Americans “without the filter of fake news”.

Describing the media as “dishonest”, the president repeated his assertion that some outlets “don’t want to report the truth” and were making up their stories about him.

He said: “We will continue to expose them.”

It is unusual for a sitting president to hold a rally in the style of those held during election campaigns.

Throughout the week, President Trump launched attacks on the media while indicating his excitement at facing crowds in Florida again.

On February 16, Donald Trump held a 76-minute press conference where he told reporters their level of dishonesty was out of control, citing coverage of his campaign’s alleged contacts with Moscow.

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, resigned on February 13 after he misled VP Mike Pence about whether he had discussed US sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before his own appointment.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported earlier this week that members of Donald Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.

While in Florida, President Trump is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort for the third weekend in succession. In a tweet, he referred to the property as the “Southern White House”, although the private club is part of Donald Trump’s portfolio and is not government property.

President Donald Trump has announced a “big day” on national security, including an announcement to build a wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

He is expected to sign several executive orders regarding immigration and border security over the next few days.

The executive orders are likely to include the “extreme vetting” of people coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

This would restrict refugee access.

Donald Trump tweeted on January 24: “Big day planned on national security tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

Image source Flickr

Building a 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border was one of Donald Trump’s key proposals during the presidential election campaign.

There will also be measures that force so-called sanctuary cities in the US to co-operate with the authorities on deporting illegal immigrants.

“Sanctuary cities” are places that don’t arrest or detain immigrants living in the country illegally.

Later this week, Donald Trump is expected to announce immigration restrictions from seven African and Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

President Trump is also likely to halt access to the country for some refugees – until the vetting process can be made more rigorous.

He also took to Twitter to express his concern about the level of violence in Chicago.

Donald Trump threatened to “send in the Feds” – federal authorities – if the city did not “fix the horrible carnage” taking place.

Local media has said that more than 40 people have been murdered and 228 shot so far in 2017.

The White House has defended Donald Trump’s voter fraud claim, saying that the president believes that millions of people voted illegally in the US election based on “studies and evidence”.

Press secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump “does believe that”, but offered no evidence to support the claim when pressed by reporters.

Donald Trump has repeated his claim to explain why he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

However, any notion of widespread voter fraud has been widely rejected.

Sean Spicer told reporters on January 24: “He continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.”

The press secretary’s comments came after President Trump told congressional leaders behind closed doors on January 23 that three to five million undocumented immigrants had illegally voted in the election.

Donald Trump, who first made the claim in a late November tweet, has never provided any evidence.

Fact-checkers have rejected it as untrue and Republican election officials in key states have said they found no proof of fraudulent voting.

Image source CNBC

On January 24, the National Association of Secretaries of State said it had confidence in the “systemic integrity of our election process” and was not aware of any evidence related to Donald Trump’s claims.

Hillary Clinton received nearly three million votes more than Donald Trump, who won the presidency by prevailing in so-called swing states.

Republicans admonished Donald Trump and urged him to drop the matter a day after the closed doors meeting with congressional leaders.

Senator Lindsey Graham called the comments “inappropriate”, adding that Donald Trump should “knock this off”.

He continued that President Trump “seems to be obsessed with the idea that he could not have possibly lost the popular vote without cheating and fraud”.

House Speaker Paul Ryan also said there was no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claims.

Republican Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent also weighed in, saying Donald Trump needed to move on and “get to the serious business of governing”.

Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said it was “nonsensical” and he feared Donald Trump was paving the way for Republican governors to “go forward with voter suppression”.

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Donald Trump has accused the media of dishonestly reporting the size of the crowd at his inauguration on January 20.

The president said the crowd had reached the Washington monument as he spoke at the US Capitol, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

Later, his White House press secretary said it had been “the largest audience to ever see an inauguration, period”.

On January 21, millions of demonstrators in the US and around the globe protested against Donald Trump’s new administration.

The largest rally was in Washington, which city officials estimated to be more than 500,000-strong. By most estimates, it surpassed the crowd at January 20 inauguration.

The protest’s aim was mainly to highlight women’s rights, which activists believe to be under threat from the new administration.

Donald Trump did not mention the protests during a bridge-building visit to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on January 21 but instead turned on the press.

The president accused the media of inventing a feud between him and the intelligence community and he called reporters “among the most dishonest human beings on earth”.

Donald Trump said TV footage and photos of his inauguration had painted an inaccurate picture.

Image source USA Today

“It looked like a million and a half people” there on Friday, he said, rubbishing media reports that there were as few as 250,000 people.

Donald Trump also said the crowd extended all the way back to the Washington Monument, although this claim is contradicted by aerial shots from the day.

Later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer berated reporters at a news conference over photographs that had shown large, empty spaces during the ceremony.

“This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe,” Sean Spicer said in a fiery statement.

“These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm about the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”

In addition to the photographic evidence, Washington’s Metro system said trips were down on previous inaugurations.

According to TV views were less than Barack Obama’s and Ronald Reagan’s first inaugurations.

Sean Spicer, who did not take questions, added: “There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable, and I’m here to tell you it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable as well.”

Outgoing CIA chief John Brennan accused Donald Trump of “a despicable display of self-aggrandizement” over the statement at Langley.

His former deputy, Nick Shapiro, said in a statement carried by CNN: “Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of agency heroes.

“Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Last week, John Brennan called on Donald Trump to be more “disciplined” in what he said and warned him not to underestimate Russian intentions.

Donald Trump’s visit had sought to mend relations with the intelligence community after weeks of doubting their conclusions about alleged Russian interference into the US election.

“I love you, I respect you,” he said, adding that he was “1,000%” behind the spy agency.

The president said the media had invented a feud between them, although in a recent row over a leaked dossier that alleged the Kremlin held compromising material on him, he had likened the actions of intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany.

Donald Trump tweeted: “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to <<leak>> into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

Taking his first steps as president, Donald Trump signed an executive order which targets the ObamaCare, the signature health care reforms of ex-President Obama.

Donald Trump’s proclamation ordered agencies to ease the economic burden of the healthcare laws.

In his inaugural address President Trump pledged to put “America first” and to end the “American carnage” of abandoned factories and rampant crime.

Later, about 200,000 people are due to join a Women’s March in Washington.

The Women’s March organizers say they want to highlight racial and gender equality and other issues perceived to be under threat from Donald Trump’s administration.

Similar marches are already taking place in Australia and New Zealand and many others are planned around the world.

Donald Trump’s team quickly overhauled the White House website to include his pledge to roll back Barack Obama’s strategy on climate change.

Image source CNBC

Shortly after taking office as the 45th US president, Donald Trump sent his Cabinet nominations to the Senate.

President Trump also signed a waiver to allow retired General James Mattis to serve as defense secretary, even though he left the military less than the required seven years ago.

Gen. James Mattis, whose appointment has been approved by the Senate, was later sworn in by Vice-President Mike Pence.

Mike Pence also swore in John Kelly as head of Homeland Security.

The revamped White House website replaces Barack Obama’s policies with Donald Trump’s new agenda.

The new administration lists only six issues on the website – energy, foreign policy, jobs and growth, military, law enforcement and trade deals.

Critics point out that it makes no mention of civil rights, LGBT rights, healthcare or climate change.

One of Donald Trump’s key election pledges was to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said President Trump’s executive order was for federal departments to “minimize the economic burden”‘ of the act, but he gave no details.

Donald Trump also signed a proclamation declaring a national day of patriotism.

Asked about his first day, which was capped by a dance with First Lady Melania to My Way, Donald Trump said “it was busy but good – a beautiful day”.

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.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to unify America as he addressed cheering supporters at Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration concert on the eve of his presidential inauguration.

Speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Donald Trump also pledged to bring change.

Among attendees at the two-hour event were his family, actor Jon Voight and Soul Man singer Sam Moore.

President-elect Donald Trump earlier laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration on January 19 was open to the public and featured performances by country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood.

In brief remarks at the end of the concert, Donald Trump said: “We’re going to unify our country.

“We’re going to make America great for all of our people. Everybody, everybody, throughout all of our country. That includes the inner cities.”

Image source Getty Images

Donald Trump’s supporters have been streaming into Washington DC, and he reminded them that many had doubted the campaign’s chances of success.

“They forgot about a lot of us,” he said.

“On the campaign, I called it the forgotten man and the forgotten woman. Well, you’re not forgotten anymore.”

Pledging to bring back jobs, build up the military and strengthen the border, Donald Trump added: “We’re going to do things that haven’t been done for our country for many, many decades.

“It’s going to change, I promise you. It’s going to change.”

Donald Trump’s first stop on January 19 was at his Trump International hotel, located just blocks from the White House.

Donald Trump appeared with his wife Melania at a luncheon for members of his incoming administration.

Melania Trump briefly spoke, telling the crowd: “Tomorrow we’re starting the work.”

Donald Trump told the crowd in the presidential ballroom: “We have a lot of smart people. I tell you what, one thing we’ve learned, we have by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.”

He hinted that Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets NFL team, would be US ambassador to the UK.

After the welcome concert, Donald Trump spent the night at Blair House, the presidential guest residence located just steps from the White House.

He is due to be sworn in at noon on Friday, January 20.

Despite Donald Trump’s appeal for unity, billionaire investor George Soros launched a stinging attack on him.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, George Soros labeled Donald Trump “an imposter, a conman and a would-be dictator”.

Donald Trump has nominated all 21 members of his cabinet as well as six other roles that require Senate confirmation, according to his team.

The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on January 20 to confirm General James Mattis, the defense secretary nominee, and retired General John Kelly, the pick for Homeland Security.

Donald Trump has asked about 50 senior Obama administration officials to stay on until they are replaced, spokesman Sean Spicer told a news conference.

They include Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the US-led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State, as well as Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

Down the road at the White House, President Barack Obama spent his last day in office with the daily briefing and lunch with Vice-President Joe Biden.

Barack Obama also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in his final conversation with a foreign leader as president, according to the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, also joined the call.

Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, Reince Priebus, has defended the choice of right-wing media man Stephen Bannon as chief strategist, calling him a “force for good”.

A number of critics have denounced Stephen Bannon as supporting white supremacism.

Reince Priebus said this was “not the Steve Bannon that I know”, adding he was a “very, very smart person”.

His appointment is seen as an attempt by Donald Trump to improve links to the Republican establishment.

Donald Trump himself said he fought the election as the “ultimate outsider”, and it would fall to Reince Priebus, the current chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), to act as a conduit both to the party and to Congress.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

One of Reince Priebus’ first tasks was to defend the appointment of Stephen Bannon, who had stepped aside from his role as chief executive of the Breitbart News Network – a combative conservative site with an anti-establishment agenda – to act as Donald Trump’s election campaign chief.

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said of Stephen Bannon: “It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top aide.”

Jonathan Greenblat, of the Anti-Defamation League civil rights group, said: “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the <<alt-right>> – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the <<people’s house>>.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center group said: “Stephen Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill… Bannon should go.”

However, Reince Priebus told Good Morning America: “I don’t know where they’re coming from… that’s not the Steve Bannon that I know.”

On November 13, Stephen Bannon on thanked Donald Trump for his appointment, saying: “We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

In a statement released by his campaign, Donald Trump described Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon as “highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory”.

Donald Trump has said he is open to keep key parts of President Barack Obama’s healthcare bill, the ObamaCare.

The president-elect, who has pledged to repeal the 2010 law, said he will keep the ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he also favored allowing young adults to be insured on their parents’ policies.

“I like those very much,” he said of the two pillars of the bill.

Photo AP

Photo AP

It was his meeting with President Obama on November 10 that had made him reconsider his calls for an all-out replacement of the Affordable Care Act, he told the newspaper.

Asked whether he would implement a campaign promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, Donald Trump said: “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve healthcare, jobs, border control, tax reform.”

Meanwhile, protesters angered by Donald Trump’s election gathered in several cities for a third night on November 11. Thousands took to the streets of Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, voicing anger at the president-elect’s comments about immigrants, Muslims and women.

In a separate interview with CBS, Donald Trump said the parts of ObamaCare he was “going to try to keep” were “the strongest assets”.

He said that while the bill would be repealed and replaced, the changes would provide Americans with “great healthcare for much less money”.

Donald Trump made the statement during an interview with the 60 Minutes program, which is due to air on November 13.

Also on November 11, Donald Trump put Vice-President-elect Mike Pence in charge of his transition team, replacing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.