WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) – After a day of celebration and inauguration, Donald and Melania Trump capped the night off as president and first lady at three balls in Washington, DC.
The Trumps danced their first dance to Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Before the balls, an Inauguration Day tradition, Trump signed his first executive order as commander-in-chief to direct federal agencies ease the “burden of Obamacare.” No specific details about the order were available. Throughout his campaign, Trump declared that repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law would be a top priority in his administration.
Earlier in the day, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walked part of the 2-mile route from the Capital to the White House while people along the Inaugural parade route cheered.
Not far away, protesters clashed with police.
In his inauguration speech Trump reiterated bold promises of new jobs, rebuilt infrastructure, improved borders and other ways the U.S. would be “winning” under his administration.
He said that this moment was the American people’s moment and they would follow two simple rules to grow the economy – buy American and hire American. He also gave a message of unity under the American flag.
“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice,” the president said.
He did not take long in his speech to get to familiar campaign talking points, pledging he would work to “take the power” from Washington and give it back to the people.
“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth,” he said. “Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.”
He spoke of the plight of people in the inner cities, of shuttered factories and of an education system flush with money that is not effective. He
“We protect other countries’ borders but not our own. We have made other countries rich. One by one, factories shuttered and left our shores,” Trump said. “But that is the past, now we look only to the future.”
The U.S. does not seek to impose its way of life on anyone. Rather, the country would “let it shine as an example.”
“We will unite the world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eliminate from the face of the Earth,” he said.
Among Trump’s first official business attended to after the ceremony was signing orders to nominate his cabinet and cabinet-level picks.
As Trump carried on business at the Capitol, protests turned violent only blocks from the presidential parade route.
He was sworn in Friday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, using Abraham Lincoln’s Bible, as well as one from his own childhood. Vice President Mike Pence took his oath of office, with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swearing him in. Pence placed his hand on the Reagan family Bible during the ceremony.
The crowd appeared to be smaller than the one at Obama’s first inauguration, and potentially Obama’s second, according to multiple news outlets.
Side-by-side images show 2009 #inauguration compared to 2017 https://t.co/R2Hdwci6mk pic.twitter.com/AQe1UcDRA6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 20, 2017
Jim Work, from Alexandria, VA; was in attendance and thought Trump’s speech was great.
“I thought it was the first time someone recognized that this country is based on the people, not on the government. I like the fact that I now have a voice,” he said. “I liked the fact that he put all politicians – Republicans and Democrats – on notice.”
Several groups of protesters were rallying in the National Mall and other areas around Washington, DC, including groups representing minority issues and women’s issues. A Virginia man took part in a pro-pot protest, saying they wanted to show that people who smoke marijuana are peaceful.
“It’s time for weed to be legal on a federal level,” Glenn Arias said.
Some of the protests took a confrontational turn. Police formed a line while wearing riot gear, as people threw objects at them.
Police used pepper spray on a protest they said turned violent, with broken windows at restaurants located about a mile from the inauguration site.
The Women’s March on Washington, slated for Saturday, is expected to bring hundreds of thousands out in protest.
A supporter for Trump from Queens, NY, Anthony Nunziato, said he hopes the tone of the incoming president doesn’t change.
“(Protesters) have to realize he’s the president of the United States,” he said. “If you want to pull America together, you have to put your signs down and embrace it.”
Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the joint committee on inaugural ceremonies, welcomed everyone. Among the attendees sitting on stage with Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, included his vice president-elect, Mike Pence, wife Karen Pence, as well as former presidents and vice presidents.
Among them was former President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the general election.
Donald Trump wore his traditional outfit for the day – navy blue suit, long, red tie. Melania Trump wore a Ralph Lauren dress reminiscent of one of Jackie Kennedy’s iconic dresses.
President Barack Obama and his family got on a helicopter a short time after the ceremony ended, departing the Capitol and headed to Joint Base Andrews. Trump and Pence saw the outgoing first family off.
The Trumps met with the Obamas, along with the outgoing and incoming vice presidents, at the White House, prior to the inauguration ceremony.
Barack and Michelle Obama greeted Donald and Melania Trump and the new first lady presented a gift to them in a Tiffany Blue box. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden greeted VP-elect Mike Pence and Karen Pence a few minutes before the trumps arrived.
Trump and by his wife left Blair House on Friday morning after spending the night there, and they attended a church service at St. John’s Episcopal.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress held the private service for Trump and his family. Jeffress heads the First Baptist Church of Dallas and was a vigorous supporter of Trump’s candidacy. Every president has attended a service on Inauguration Day since Franklin Roosevelt, with the exception of Richard Nixon in 1973.
From businessman to president
With no political experience, but with an understanding of branding and showmanship honed by his years in business and as star of NBC’s reality show The Apprentice, the billionaire rode a wave of populism into office that surprised most pundits and establishment politicians, including Republicans and tea partiers.
Trump’s inaugural committee stuck with his campaign theme “Make America Great Again” for the big event to promote unity. But the tone still appealed to the base of voters who elected him.
“The idea is to have a crosscut of harmony of America and normal Americans that reflects on them, not on the power and prestige of this man,” Trump inauguration chairman Tom Barrack told ABC News.
However, the program printed by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies called the theme “Uniquely American.” That committee plans the ceremony and issues tickets for the event.
The message of unity isn’t getting over to those across the aisle. At last count, 67 House Democrats planned to boycott the inauguration.
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
The national anthem was performed by 16-year-old singer Jackie Evancho, of America’s Got Talent.
During the campaign, the president-elect pledged to undo many of his predecessor’s laws and achievements as soon as he took office, with a priority of tightening border protection. His campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico – and to make that country pay for it – was the focus of his campaign.
However, in an interview with the Times of London, Trump said he will consider his first day Monday so he can take part in the ceremonies and celebrations through the weekend.
“I mean, my Day 1 is going to be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration, but one of the first orders we’re going to be signing is going to be strong borders,” he said during the interview.
He also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. The Republicans control both houses of Congress, and have already begun working to repeal the law. Trump said he wants a plan in place to replace the law before the repeal, but Congress may get ahead of him.
Trump will also target the Environmental Protection Agency and regulations the president-elect views as harmful to business.
The Washington Post reports that Stephen Moore of the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation created a “First Day Project” for the president-elect, which is a series of actions Trump could do immediately upon taking office to roll back Obama’s policies.
“The idea has always been to get Trump ready with a pen that he can use his first day in the Oval Office to start overturning executive actions and executive orders that Obama has signed into law over the last four or five years,” Moore told The Post. “If a president signs an executive order, a new president can come in and with the stroke of a pen rescind that order.”
Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015 at Trump Tower in New York City and hired actors to round out the crowd. Pundits and opponents on both sides of the aisle did not give him a chance.
Trump weathered scandals and gaffes that would have felled candidates in earlier campaigns. His supporters rallied in support when a tape leaked of him using vulgar terms in a conversation with Billy Bush, the host of Access America. He survived an ugly lawsuit with students from the failed Trump University. He even tussled with the leaders in his own party.
But his platform resonated with the people, who cheered his talking points that were distilled into chants and slogans. Crowds swelled as his populist movement grew, cheering his talk of a Muslim ban, threats to punish American businesses who took their manufacturing plants out of the country, and attacks on opponents.
Trump was not afraid to call his opponents names, from “Lying” Ted Cruz to “Crooked” Hilary Clinton. The crowds followed suit with chants of “lock her up,” every time he mentioned Clinton’s name. Trump even took on the popular Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who will join Clinton on the dais with Trump.
Trump won the electoral college vote with strategic campaigning in states that had gone Democrat in the past two elections. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million.
During the campaign, Trump fired back at those who disagreed with him through Twitter, and he’s promised to continue to tweet while in office.
The incoming president’s style and demeanor is in stark contrast with the outgoing Obama. “No drama Obama” made it through his presidency with no major scandals.
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
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