Hundreds of thousands of people poured into Washington to watch Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th US president. Donald Trump took to the stage on January 20, when he was sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol. The new President then went to the US Capitol surrounded by his wife Melania and the rest of his family, and signed the official documents that marked the beginning of his presidency. The Republican nominee achieved one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history – despite a series of controversies that would easily have destroyed other candidacies, including ‘locker room banter’ about sexual assault, mocking a reporter with disabilities, inciting his supporters to violence and allegations that his campaign pandered to the American far-right. He has pledged to unite America after his shock election win and now the tough work starts – turning the rhetoric into workable and affordable policies. On the other hand, in his last speech as president, Obama said (January 11): “The peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next, I committed to President-elect Trump my administration would ensure the smoothest transition, just as President Bush did for me.”
Historically, the incoming president was inaugurated on 4 March, but the period of delay was shortened when the 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933. Presidents have been inaugurated on January 20, since Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office in 1937, moving up from the previous day of March 4. Donald Trump signed the formal documents at the US Capitol minutes after vowing to give “power to the people”, “put only America first” and “eradicate Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth” in his inaugural address.
In front of a crowd of 750,000 (officially claimed) Americans, Trump took to the stage and vowed to unite a divided country in his inaugural address. In an attempt to heal the rifts his election has crystallised, Trump said: “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.” He added: “Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.” Continuing the theme of uniting the country under the American flag, his speech was a patriotic clarion call. “From this day forward it’s going to be only America first…we must think big and dream even bigger. A nation is only living as long as it is striving,” he said. With the eyes of the world on him, as well as famous faces and former presidents in the packed crowd, Trump also used his platform to blast the establishment. He said: “Today will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. “We are transferring power from Washington and giving it back to you, the people.”
Highlights of Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech
- “You will never be ignored again.”
- “We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.”
- “From this day forward it’s going to be only America first.”
- “We must think big and dream even bigger. A nation is only living as long as it is striving.”
- “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”
- “Together, we will make America great again.”
- “January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
- “The time for talk is over, now begins the hour of action.”
- “We will make America safe again.”
- “Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”
- “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.”
- “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you…”
- “When your heart is filled with patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
- “I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never, ever let you down.”
- “Don’t allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done.”
- “We must think big and dream even bigger.”
Controversies in the inauguration
The inauguration was marked by some controversies as well. First Some 45 members of the US House of Representatives announced that they weren’t attending the ceremony – most of them skipping it for the first time in their political careers. Many of the representatives chose to opt out in solidarity with Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights hero who Trump attacked on Twitter for deciding not to attend the bash. Raúl M. Grijalva and Ruben Gallego from Arizona, Jared Huffman, Zoe Lofgren, Barbara Lee, Mark DeSaulnier, Ted Lieu etc. from California, Darren Soto and Frederica Wilson from Florida etc. were among those who boycotted Trump’s inauguration.
Second, the Organizers of the event struggled to find any A-List musicians willing to perform – with America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho, who sang the national anthem after the ceremony, the only contemporary star on the list. The award-winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir are favourites at the inauguration, having previously performed at the past five, and took their usual place at the swearing-in ceremony. The choir has 360 members but one member has dropped out after refusing to sing for Trump. Irish dancer Michael Flatley was also signed up also take to the stage at the official inauguration ball – but faced criticism for agreeing to perform. Rockers 3 Doors Down were among the acts at the traditional concert the night before the inauguration, along with high-profile country singers Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood, and Midnight Cowboy actor Jon Voight, who gave a speech. Charlotte Church refused Donald Trump’s request to perform at his inauguration ceremony. The Welsh lass tweeted directly at the President-elect and said: “Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye”
Third, even on the day of inauguration a controversy arose about the crowd that attended it. Mr Trump’s press secretary said it had been “the largest audience to ever see an inauguration” even though figures he cited add up to under 750,000 people. He said the new US administration would hold the media accountable. Critics and many news papers and websites had questioned the claim of largest crowd in Trump’s inauguration and even called it a false official propaganda. Some even published photographs of crowds attending Obama’s inauguration and Trump inauguration to prove official effort of Trump’s supporters to exaggerate.
Controversies did not stop. A day after Trump’s inauguration, women around the world marched to protest at Donald Trump’s election. Officials in Washington say up to half a million demonstrators joined the Women’s March there. Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, who campaigned for Barack Obama, was one of the famous faces at the Washington demo. Hundreds of marches were held worldwide.Priyanka Chopra, a famous Indian acress also participated New York protest. The protests, like this one in London, called for greater inclusivity and respect for women’s rights. In Macau, China, even the youngest were encouraged to take part, however aware they were of politics. Protests were reported from England, Germany, Australia, India, Thailand, among others.
Professed Beliefs of Donald Trump
The BBC looked back at 24 of his professed beliefs as follows:
The New York businessman-turned-politician said many controversial things and flip-flopped on a number of policy positions during the campaign.Here, we look back at 24 of his professed beliefs.
- The US should use waterboarding
This and other methods of “strong interrogation”should be deployed in its fight against the Islamic State group. These methods, Mr Trump said, are “peanuts” compared to the tactics used by the militants, such as beheadings. “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough,” he said in June (2016) of the banned practice.
- 2. Mexico should pay for the “great, great wall”
Mr Trump has said he wants to start building the much-touted wall on the shared border from the first day of his presidency, and that Mexico will pay for it. In some of his earliest campaign comments, he suggested that Mexicans coming to the US were criminals and “rapists”. BBC analysis estimates the border wall could cost between $2.2bn and $13bn.
- Muslims should not be admitted to the US
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, Mr Trump wrotethat he was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
He’s since gone back on the announcement, instead saying that that he would temporarily suspend “immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”.
- Arab-Americans cheered the attacks on 9/11
Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that on 11 September 2001, there were thousands of Arab-Americans celebrating in New Jersey after two planes flew into the Twin Towers. He says such public demonstrations “tell you something” about Muslims living in the US. However, there are no media reports to back up the claim.
- Obamacare is a “disaster”.
Mr Trump says he wants Congress to fully repeal the president’s Affordable Care Act, which aims at extending the number of Americans with health insurance, but he believes that “everybody’s got to be covered”. A spokesman for Mr Trumpsaid he would propose “a health plan that will return authority to the states and operate under free market principles”. The increase in premiums revealed just before the election bolstered the Trump attacks.
- Climate change is just “weather”
While Mr Trump believes that maintaining “clean air” and “clean water” is important, he has dismissed climate change science as a “hoax” and believes environmental restrictions on businesses make them less competitive in the global marketplace. “I do not believe that we should imperil the companies within our country,” he told CNN on the issue. “It costs so much and nobody knows exactly if it’s going to work.”
- The world would be better off if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power
Mr Trump told CNN that he believes the situation in both Libya and Iraq is “far worse” than it ever was under the leaders of the two countries. While he concedes Saddam was a “horrible guy”, he says he did a better job combating terrorists.
- Illegal migrants should be deported
Trump once said that he wanted to deport all of the approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the US, despite criticism that this idea is both xenophobic, next to impossible and prohibitively expensive – the BBC estimates a cost of $114bn. His official policy now says only those with criminal records will be deported immediately, although immigration controls will still be massively beefed up. Any undocumented migrants would also face the risk of deportation.
- Syrian refugees could be a “Trojan horse”
He says that the Paris attacks prove that even a handful of terrorists posing as migrants could do catastrophic damage, and so he will oppose resettling any Syrians in the US, and deport those who have already been resettled. It’s unclear if he still believes that deportations are necessary, though he has still vowed to suspend the intake of Syrian refugees.
- Vladimir Putin is a “leader”
He has noted the Russian president’s “great control over his country” and criticised the state of the relations between it and the US. He told CNN: “I would probably get along with him very well. And I don’t think you’d be having the kind of problems that you’re having right now”. More recently he has said that Mr Putin doesn’t “respect” the US, although that was no reason to get tough on him.
- Taxes should be reduced for everyone
Trump wants to condense the current seven tax brackets to just three, with no income tax for “low-income Americans”. He would lower the business tax to 15%, from 35%. He would also allow multinational companies keeping profits overseas to repatriate their cash at a 10% tax rate.
- Hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder”
Mr Trump found common ground with Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warrenwhen he said that hedge fund managers and the ultra-wealthy did not pay enough taxes. However, after the campaign released specifics of his plan, analysts argued that hedge fund managers would actually get a tax cut along with the middle class.
- China should be taken to task on a number of trade-related issues
He has said he will make China stop undervaluing its currency, and force it to step up its environmental and labour standards. He is also critical of the county’s lax attitude towards American intellectual property and hacking.
- The Black Lives Matter movement is “trouble”
Mr Trump mocked former Democratic candidates like Martin O’Malley for apologising to members of the protest movement against police brutality and cast himself as a pro-law enforcement candidate. “I think they’re looking for trouble,” he once said of the activist group. He also tweeted a controversial and widely debunked graphic purporting to show that African Americans kill white and black people at far higher rates than white people or police officers.
- He’s worth $10bn
Based on Mr Trump’s 92-page personal financial disclosure form, Bloomberg calculated last year that the real estate mogul was worth about $2.9bn, while Forbes recently put Trump’s net worth at $3.7bn. Mr Trump has however insisted that he is worth “in excess” of $10bn.
- Veteran healthcare in the US needs a major overhaul
Mr Trump wants to clear out the executive level in the Department of Veterans Affairs, saying that waiting times for doctor visits have only increased after previous interventions failed. Thousands of veterans have died while waiting for care, he says. He will invest in the treatment of “invisible wounds” like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He would also increase the number of doctors who specialise in women’s health to help care for the increasing number of female veterans.
- Lobbyists should be more restricted
Mr Trump proposes that there be a five-year ban that prevents government officials and members of congress from leaving and then immediately becoming lobbyists. He also calls for a lifetime ban on senior administration officials from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.
- He is a “really nice guy”
In Trump’s most recent book, Crippled America, he writes that “I’m a really nice guy, believe me, I pride myself on being a nice guy but I’m also passionate and determined to make our country great again”. The news site Gawker points outthat he calls himself a “nice guy” throughout the book, and Mr Trump repeated that self-assessment in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live and in an interview with the Washington Post.
- He could not have groped an unattractive woman
A video from 2005 showed Mr Trump making obscene comments about womenand triggered numerous claims of alleged sexual harassment. At one rally, he suggested that one of the accusers – a “horrible woman” – was not attractive enough for him to have groped: “I don’t think so! I don’t think so!”
- Tokyo and Seoul should build up nuclear arsenals
He has said Japan and South Korea should not rely on the US so much and would benefit from having their own weapons. Nuclear war between Japan and North Korea may be “terrible” but it would be “pretty quick”.
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) is a “rip-off”
Why? Because the US pays more than anyone else. But he later said he was “all” in favour of the alliance.
- Doctors should be punished for administering abortions
Or should they? In an interview with MSNBC, Mr Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, women should be punished for obtaining them. He then retracted, saying the doctor would be responsible and he or she should be punished, instead.
- The Republican National Committee’s rules were “stacked against him”
He called the delegate system “crooked” and “unfair”. He repeatedly clashed with the RNC over its nomination process and how it treated his candidacy during the primaries. He called rules that allowed Senator Ted Cruz to gain more delegates than him in some states “rigged”, as he did later when talking about the electoral process when polls were showing Hillary Clinton ahead of him.
- The federal minimum wage should be raised
Workers should be paid more than the current level of $7.25/hour, he has said. though this is another issue he has flip-flopped on repeatedly.
Donald’s Wealth history
The Donald Trump family starting from his grandfather struggled very hard to make a living first and the big money from a barbers shop, to brothels and further to real estate after migrating to the US. Trump’s grandfather Friedrich, who emigrated to New York City from Kallstadt in southwest Germany in 1885. He was just 16 years old and arrived by boat to join his eldest sister and find work. Young Friedrich became a barber for six years in the city but later moved to Seattle, Washington, and anglicised his first name to ‘Frederick’.
A 22-year-old Frederick opened a 24-hour establishment called the Poodle Dog in Seattle’s red light district. His clients could buy alcohol and food at the establishment… as well as ‘private rooms for ladies’, which was essentially a code-name for prostitutes. The business was a huge success and Frederick was able to relocate to Yukon, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush. In Yukon, Frederick opened up more brothels where bedrooms were said to have scales so clients could pay in gold dust.
Fredrick trump Trump visited his home in Kallstadt around this time and became engaged to his neighbourhood sweetheart Elizabeth Christ. The couple married and tried to settle in Germany but Trump was deported back to America because he had dodged military service by emigrating. The couple moved to New York City, where they had two sons Fred and John, but Frederick died in 1918 from Spanish Flu, leaving eldest son Fred to take on the family’s entrepreneurial spirit.
When Fred was still in High School he set up a garage business with his mother called Elizabeth Trump and Son. The business was a success and he went on the start building single-family houses in Queens, which gained a good reputation as good quality housing. The real estate mogul also gained a reputation as an extremely frugal man and would often pick up nails that could be reused as he visited building sites. Fred Trump married Mary Anne MacLeod in 1936, who had emigrated to the USA from Scotland, and they had five children together: Fred Jr, MaryAnne, Donald, Robert and Elizabeth.
His housing business continued to do well and he was given large federal housing grants after WWII to facilitate the building of new homes in Brooklyn and Queens. Many of his tenants were Jewish, so Fred Trump hid his Germany nationality, claiming instead he was originally from Sweden. Fred Trump died in 1999 a multi-millionaire, said to be worth as much as $300 million – one of America’s richest men.
Donald Trump, who says he is ‘really rich’, claims to have started building his empire with $1 million borrowed from his father and $100 million in bank loans. Rather than build on his father’s low-income real estate homes in Queens and Brooklyn, Donald started several luxury building projects in Manhattan instead. This included the 58-floor Trump Tower, the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Trump Plaza, later buying golf courses (thought to have raised $193 million in income), resorts, condo sales ($77 million) and others. He also has made around $18 million in management fees, $9 million in royalties and $2 million public speaking. Like his father, Trump also claimed he was of Swedish heritage. While Trump claims to be worth $10 billion, his wealth is estimated to be around $4.5 billion, according to Forbes, or $2.9 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Not including the help he received through his father’s creditworthiness, Trump is said to have inherited $40 million after his father’s death.