Donald Trump Inauguration: a day of ceremony, protests and celebration

Donald Trump Inauguration: a day of ceremony, protests and celebration

President Trump’s era on the government web began almost immediately with the wiping out of Obama-era initiatives and a new brand of policy pronouncement. But two sides can play that game.

As Mr. Trump dined with dignitaries and members of Congress in the Capitol, the police skirmished with protesters, hurling flash-bang grenades to drive them from the inauguration parade route.

Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by nearly three million but lost the presidency, was on hand for her former rival’s swearing-in at the Capitol.

Churchill returns to the Oval Office

British Prime Minister Theresa May has sought to make inroads with President Trump, but the Brit who will immediately get the most access with the new American leader is Winston Churchill. Or, at least, a bust of him.

Reporters at the White House to witness Mr. Trump signing his first executive order — scaling back parts of the Affordable Care Act — noticed that a bust of Sir Winston had returned to the Oval Office. The small but meaningful gesture harkens back to an Obama administration mini-drama: the Churchill bust was removed from the Oval Office and replaced with a likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Mr. Obama clarified last year that he wanted the King bust in the Oval Office “to remind me of all the hard work of a lot of people who would somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office.” But he said he also kept the Churchill bust nearby, just outside his private office in the second-floor White House residence.

Days after winning the election, Mr. Trump told the British politician and Brexit champion Nigel Farage that he would bring back the Churchill bust. And so he has, the Dr. King bust also remains in place.

Generals sworn in at security agencies

Hours after the Senate confirmed James. N. Mattis as secretary of defense and John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, President Trump signed their commissions in the Oval Office. Vice President Mike Pence swore in both generals in his ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across from the West Wing.

Mr. Mattis, a retired Marine general, issued a statement to the Defense Department casting the United States as a bulwark of the international order and the guardian of important alliances. He vowed the Pentagon would work “for an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.”

“Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances,” Mr. Mattis added.

In tone and substance, Mr. Mattis’s short statement, like his congressional testimony last week, seemed intended to reassure partners abroad. It also appeared at odds with Mr. Trump’s populist vision of putting America first at the expense of longtime allies.

Source: The New York Times

Date: January 2017

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