2016

President Trump: ‘From This Day Forward ... Only America First’
45th president signals major policy shifts in inaugural address

Donald Trump greets President Barack Obama moments before Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, on the West Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, very much still in campaign mode, vowed in his inaugural address to use his new powers to turn the country inward and “rebuild” America, telling his countrymen and the world he will govern with a simple principle: “It’s going to be only America first.” 

In a striking scene, the bombastic businessman and former reality television star, spoke from the very spot where American political giants like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama delivered their first remarks as commander in chief.

Protesters Greet Inauguration Guests, Clash With Police in Streets
People swarm Metro stations, event entrances and damage property in protest against Trump

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire near 13th and Massachusetts Ave. Friday morning before Donald Trump was sworn in. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

Pockets of protests erupted throughout Washington, DC, Friday, at times threatening to overshadow the pomp of Donald Trump's inauguration and presenting a reminder of the stark divisions facing the 45th president.

Demonstrators arrived early, touting concern for issues including immigration, border control, labor and racism. Some attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to block the crowds that filed into the Capitol grounds before Trump was sworn in. In what appeared to be isolated outbursts of violence, other groups set small fires throughout the city, broke windows and clashed with police in the Franklin Square area.

Highlights of Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Bushes arrive for 45th president’s swearing in

President Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was full of both Trump bombast and the ceremonial pomp and circumstance that comes with the swearing in of a new commander in chief.

On one end, many worked to uphold the democratic traditions while Trump sought to drive home the points of his inauguration.

Trump’s Inauguration Day Arrives, With Many Questions
Top spokesman, amid concerns, vows ’we're ready to go’

Members of Marine Barracks Washington gather on the West Front of the Capitol on Inauguration Day before President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:51 a.m. | Washington is undergoing a major transformation, but Donald Trump’s inauguration brings more questions than answers.

To be sure, very little is known about what to expect from his much-anticipated inaugural address from the West Front of the Capitol. His top spokesman has promised a “personal” speech that is “unique” while laying out a vision for his presidency.

Trump Administration’s First (Unofficial) Day in Washington
Spokesman clashes with Schumer; press credentials get you to nowhere

Several temporary toilets placed on Capitol grounds for the Inauguration have been labeled “Trump’s Tower” with a marker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inauguration Day is Friday but the Trump administration’s first official day in Washington was Thursday, as the incoming team clashed with Senate Democrats over its Cabinet nominations.

“There is no excuse,” White House Press Secretary-designee Sean Spicer said, for what he dubbed “delay tactics” by Senate Democrats on some of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet selections. Spicer was in mid-administration form as he added that the Democrats’ tactics “call into question” whether they want a “government of continuity.”

Global Events Drive Inauguration Security
Capitol’s top law enforcement officials consider new threats

Larkin, left, and Irving, right, must weigh security versus access when it comes to the inauguration. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Threats, both domestic and foreign, are driving some of the logistics of the 58th presidential inauguration as the Capitol’s top law enforcement officers prepare to secure the public and members of all three branches of government at the same time in the same place.

Recent events in France and Germany, where terrorists drove trucks into crowds of people, pose a new type of threat to consider when handling planning for the day, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin said.

History Provides Trump a Guide for His Inaugural Address
Changes in party rule show how presidents both praise and criticize

An aide to President-elect Donald Trump, seen here at a news conference on Jan. 11 at Trump Tower in New York City, says his inaugural address will be “unique to him.” (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Newly sworn-in American presidents taking over for a predecessor of another political party have employed a number of rhetorical approaches from which Donald Trump could choose to borrow on Friday. Trump has met with historians and watched past inaugural addresses, but a top aide said his first speech as president will be “unique to him.”

Given the unprecedented tone of both his campaigning style and brash tenor during the transition period, anything is possible when the new president steps to the podium bearing the seal of the president around noon Friday. It is a safe bet some or most of Trump’s address will sound much different than those delivered in the past. 

Barack Obama Has Left the Building, Or At Least the Brady Room
Obama's hope fades a bit: 'I think we’re going to be OK'

At his final news conference as president, Obama wished the press, and the country, luck. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In his final press conference as president, Barack Obama warned that economic and other forces could further divide Americans, and sent messages anew to Donald Trump, particularly that he could re-enter the political arena if “our core values may be at stake.”

Less than 48 hours before he will cede all powers of the presidency to Trump, the 55-year-old Obama, with more salt than pepper atop his head, showed flashes of the optimistic candidate who toppled both Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during the 2008 presidential campaign. But by the end of the session, his concerns about the next four years appear to show through.

Mike Pence Tells Mayors Infrastructure Bill Will Be ‘Big’
Obama commutations draw a crowd

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, pictured here with House GOP leaders, on Tuesday let a group of U.S. mayors know the incoming Trump administration plans to push a “big” infrastucture bill. How to pay for the measure, however, will be a major hurdle. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President-elect Donald Trump wanted a group of U.S. mayors gathered in Washington to know his administration will be a “friend” starting Friday, when he will be sworn in.

So he instructed his vice president-in-waiting, Mike Pence, to deliver a message to them on Tuesday when he addressed their conference: “Tell ‘em we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big,” the Republican president-elect said during a phone conversation with Pence.

Lewis Backs Out of Inauguration Ban Claim
Georgia Democrat acknowledges Trump won’t be first swearing-in he refused to attend

Rep. John Lewis testifies against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions,  President-elect Trump’s nominee for attorney general. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Lewis’ office is walking back comments he made Sunday about boycotting the presidential inauguration for the first time after he was blasted by Donald Trump about not attending the swearing-in of former President George W. Bush.

Citing a 2001 Washington Post article, Trump tweeted Tuesday that Lewis had also skipped the inauguration of the 43rd president because “he thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.”