AS IT HAPPENED: Protests and celebrations as Donald Trump sworn in

Day One… / YouTube

DONALD TRUMP has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Here’s how the ceremony played out…

It’s Sinéad O’Carroll here to take you through the preamble. (Almost wrote pre-drinks there. We promise we’re not imbibing.)

According to our poll this morning, a lot of you won’t be tuning in to see Donald Trump take the oath of office so we’ll make sure to bring you every word, song, dance and reaction.


Speaking of tuning in…

It seems Democrats *really* want to avoid seeing the man who beat their candidate today.

But there is generally less interest across the entire US population about today’s event, compared to the swearing in of Barack Obama for the first time in January 2009.

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Reports from Washington DC just now are saying that Trump is making his way to his first event of what will be a long day for him.

Here’s a quick recap of what we should expect and when (all in Irish time):

From 2.30pm

The inauguration ceremony begins with musical performances

From 4.30pm

Opening remarks

Religious leaders will offer readings and the invocation

From 5pm

Trump will recite the oath of office

Trump will deliver his inaugural address

From 5.30pm

Trump and Pence make their way to the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol

From 8pm

The inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House – an 8,000 strong group of marchers led by Trump

From midnight

The parties: three official inaugural balls will be held across the city.

Wondering what the president-elect has been saying this morning?

He was also happy about last night’s musical performance at the Lincoln Memorial.

There has been a big kerfuffle about Trump’s people not being able to land ‘big name’ musical and entertainment acts to keep the expected 700,000-900,000 spectators busy ahead of the official proceedings today.

Our colleagues over at have compiled a handy of list of who *is* performing.

We’re still uncertain if we’ll be seeing this guy… or just his troupe.

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According to The Sun, he called it a ‘great honour’ for his crew.

Personally, I’m looking forward to these lads.

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And this dude.

AT32010P / YouTube

The Obamas will leave the White House for the last time at 12.45pm (local time) today.



We presume they are doing a lot of messing like this right now as they will have guests in about 30 minutes.

At 9.45am, they will sit down for tea with the Trumps, according to Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources email.

Our video man Nicky Ryan had a look back at the (numerous) times Obama took the oath of office.

It didn’t always go smoothly for the often-unfaltering speaker. / YouTube

Trump saying that his work will begin on Monday – and not today or over the weekend – came as a surprise to many.

He told The Times of London that he didn’t want to be “signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration”.

And there were commentators lining up to criticise him. Stephen Colbert used his show to warn the president-elect that the new job doesn’t come with weekends off.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / YouTube

The main story on the New York Times website today also pointed to how far behind Trump already is. Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush write:

In all, Mr. Trump has named only 29 of his 660 executive department appointments, according to the Partnership for Public Service, which has been tracking the process. That is a pace far slower than recent predecessors, falling far short of the schedule originally outlined by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was Mr. Trump’s transition director before Mr. Trump ousted him 10 weeks ago.

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This just in from the wires: 

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has left the Oval Office for the last time, as he prepares for the inauguration of his successor Donald Trump.

Obama walked into the Oval Office holding a letter, which he placed on the Resolute desk – a 19th-century desk used by many presidents.

It is customary for the outgoing president to leave a personal note for his successor. Obama is now to have morning tea with Trump before they make their way to the Capitol for the inauguration ceremony.


He has also taken some time to tweet to his 13.7 million followers.

“It’s been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man. I won’t stop; I’ll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by your voices of truth and justice, good humor, and love.

“As we look forward, I want our first steps to reflect what matters most to you. Share your thoughts with me at

“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.”

We’ve had our first handover sighting.

The Bidens are with the Pences. And there were hugs and kisses all round.

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We’ve got the first images of the Trumps in and the internet has already blown up with commentary about how she is ‘channelling Jackie O’ in blue Ralph Lauren. (John F Kennedy’s wife wore something similar in 1961 as he was sworn in).

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*The Trumps have arrived at the White House*

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Here are some more images from that greeting at the White House:

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A shot of the crowds about an hour out from the beginning of the ceremony.

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Melania Trump gifted a Tiffany-blue box to Michelle Obama on her arrival to the White House.

The outgoing First Lady wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.


As they’re getting closer to a new administration, the US public’s confidence in a President Donald Trump is, eh, waning just a little.

Just 53% of people believe he can manage the executive branch effectively – that compares to an 84% rating for Obama and a 77% for George W Bush.


The Guardian’s correspondent in DC, Paul Lewis, is giving us a feel of what it’s like far back on the Mall right now.

After two hours of listening to the jaunty, jaunty music being played over the speakers as the guests arrive to the National Mall, I’m not that sad to hand over the reins to my colleague Daragh Brophy who will take you through officialdom until America has a new president.



Thanks Sinead,

We’re just over an hour away from the oath of office ceremony.

News feeds from Washington are showing the Trumps and the Obamas leaving the White House and preparing to head to the Capitol.


Nobody’s moving particularly quickly in this motorcade.


Trump’s supporters are out in force in Washington – but plenty of protests have also been scheduled for today.

Here are some scenes from the streets of the city:

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Donald Trump inauguration PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Bill and Hillary are here.


A cheer from the crowd as George W and Laura Bush are introduced.


Trump has arrived.

Was that a grimace, after his handshake with Democrat Nancy Pelosi?


The Trump children are here.


And in case you were keeping an eye out for him, that’s former Bush VP Dick Cheney under that hat.

Fun fact – Dick Cheney was born in Nebraska and is Barack Obama’s 8th cousin (yes, really).

Trump Inauguration Andrew Harnik Andrew Harnik

While we’re on the subject of Obama’s 8th cousins (how’s that for an awkward link) – we paid a visit to another of them a few weeks ago.

Henry Healy showed us around the Offaly motorway service station named after America’s first black president, and the visitor centre where people can learn about his links to the area. / YouTube

Boos ring out from the crowd in Washington as a picture of Hillary Clinton is displayed on the big screen.


On Sky News, Kay Burley has been talking to two women in the crowd about that ‘October surprise’ video of Donald Trump boasting about groping women, which many commentators thought would derail his campaign.

They didn’t think what he said was right but added that it shouldn’t have been dragged up during the campaign, because it was so many years ago.

One of them also added:

I’ve heard worse. I’ve heard women speak worse. Nobody should speak like that.

Here come the current (still current) President and Vice President.


Barack Obama and family will be afforded one last flight on the presidential plane after the ceremony.

They’ll head for the far side of the country to Palm Springs, California for a holiday.

Expect the standard shot of him boarding a helicopter in Washington within the hour.

Smiles and handshakes from the President as he chats with George W Bush and former Democratic president Jimmy Carter.


Here comes Trump.

The incoming president is walking into the ceremony by himself.

Commentators are noting how he looks very serious as he strides in – perhaps weighed down by the enormity of the situation.


Donald John Trump has been announced to the crowd.


Why did we never look that up in all those months.


He greets his children, and delivers a swift peck on the cheek to the incoming First Lady.

Huge cheers from the crowd.

The chairman of the inauguration committee Senator Roy Blunt is now addressing the crowd.

For anyone engaging in some kind of drinking game (not that we’d necessarily endorse that kind of thing) there have already been namechecks for Ronald Reagan and George Washington.


Prayers are now being said in Washington.

In a few minutes Mike Pence will take the oath of office, taking over from Joe Biden.

Back in Ireland, a number of protests are planned for this evening.

One supported by left-wing groups including the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit party takes place outside the Central Bank Plaza in Dublin at 5pm to coincide with the Trump swearing-in.

In Cork, People Before Profit have arranged a protest to take place between 5.30pm and 6.30pm at Daunt Square.

Also, this happened earlier… / YouTube

As we gear up for the Pence ceremony – let’s take a moment to look back at this, between Barack Obama and his VP from last week. / YouTube

Pence has some Irish roots – wonder if he’ll have the same penchant for quoting our literary greats?

They’s still saying prayers and singing hymns in Washington.



And yes, quite a few people have turned out to watch…


Senator Chuck Schumer now addressing the crowd.


We’re getting under way.

Mike Pence about to take the pledge.


That’s it.

“So help me God.”

Pence becomes VP.


Trump will take the pledge in a few minutes.

But first ladies and gentleman, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


Justice John Roberts will now swear Donald John Trump in as the 45th President.


He’s in.


Trump will now give his inaugural address.

It emerged in recent days he’s written it himself.

Trump begins his speech by thanking the former presidents present to watch his ceremony.

The opening lines of his address differ little from his campaign stump speech as he tells supporters how power will be handed back to the people from the elite of Washington.


January 20th will be remembered, he says, as the day “the people became the rulers of this great nation again”.

So far, there’s really not much here that’s all that different to the speeches he’s been making during the campaign, and in the months since the election.

For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industries at the expense of our industries, Trump says.

US leaders have also failed to invest properly in the American military.

One by one, factories shuttered and left American shores, he says.

The wealth of the middle class has been ripped from their homes and distributed across the world.

But that’s the past, he says to applause. We’re here to talk about the future.

“From this day forward it’s going to be only America first. America first.”

Trump says America will eliminate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth.


Finally we must think big but dream even bigger, Trump says

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action always complaining and never doing anything.

“The time for empty talk is over.”

“We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.”

Americans are also ready to unlock “the mysteries of space,” he says, a little incongruously.


He rounds off the speech with his typical sign off – upping the volume a little perhaps.

His final line?

Something about making America great again. 

Here’s a six-second highlight package, if you’re just tuning in now.


Meanwhile on Twitter… 



The reviews are in.

More of this sort of thing later – but here’s some instant reaction.

Meanwhile, in Dublin…

The Obamas and Bidens are preparing to depart Washington.



The obligatory ex-pres helicopter shot.


Missed the pledge?

We’ve put together this highlight reel. / YouTube

There goes Obama…



Our reporter Cormac Fitzgerald is at the Dublin protest at the Central Bank Plaza.

A protest is also taking place in Cork, and there are marches planned for Dublin and Galway tomorrow. / YouTube




Photos: Cormac Fitzgerald

Our editor Susan Daly was at a viewing reception at the American Embassy in Ballsbridge. She writes:

“At the US Embassy, Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth (who is running the show until Trump appoints an ambassador to Ireland) told assembled US citizens, embassy staff and media, that Ireland should not forget ‘that it is the only country in the world whose leader has a standing appointment with the US president’. So that would imply that the shamrock-in-a-bowl Patrick’s Day meeting is still a safe bet for this year.

“There was a life-sized cardboard cutout of Donald Trump beside a large screen showing the inauguration, and some red-white-and-blue bunting but the inauguration ‘party’ was a subdued affair, lasting just the two hours around the ceremony from 4-6pm.

“Smyth said that ‘despite speculation in the press’, if he was to be asked who would be the next Ambassador of Ireland, he could only say: ‘I don’t know’. He also said that he had no idea and no indication of when one would be appointed.”

We’d love to bring you a photo of the Trump cardboard cutout, but all phones and other recording devices were taken from guests on the way in the embassy gates…



Photos: Susan Daly 

No choppers for Joe Biden.

He’s taking the train home to Delaware…

This just in from the deputy weather editor at the Washington Post.

From the plan:

“For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.”

While we were all otherwise occupied, Fox News made a big-name hire.

From Associated Press, on the protests: 

POLICE DEPLOYED PEPPER spray in a chaotic confrontation blocks from Donald Trump’s inauguration as protesters registered their rage against the incoming president.

Spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, ‘Resist Trump Climate Justice Now’, ‘Let Freedom Ring’, ‘Free Palestine’.

But at one point, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off the protesters, who shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” as a helicopter hovered overhead.

The confrontation happened about an hour before Trump’s swearing-in at the Capitol.

Closer to that scene, lines for ticket holders entering two gates stretched for blocks at one point as protesters clogged entrances.

More details here.

From earlier.

President Obama waves goodbye as the former first family fly off for a holiday (much-deserved no doubt) in southern California. / YouTube

From the Central Bank in Dublin earlier:

37 Anti-Trump protest_90500592 Leah Farrell Leah Farrell / YouTube

People have noticed a similarity between a phrase used by Trump in his speech and a certain Batman villain.

The inaugural parade is set to begin…


From our video journalist Nicky Ryan:

You might have caught our livestream of Trump’s oath of office and inaugural speech over on Facebook earlier. We invited our viewers to leave a reaction as the speech went on.

For those unfamiliar with Facebook Live, you have six options: A like, a laughing face, a heart, a shocked face, a sad face, and an angry face – the final option proved to be the most popular by far.

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Angry reactions peaked during the following line of the speech:

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action — constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

Shocked faces peaked as religious readings began after Trump finished his speech, and sad reactions at the start of the broadcast just as Vice President Mike Pence finished his oath.

There are no obvious highs for the other reactions.

The most liked moment? When Trump left the stage – take from that what you will.

Watch Trump’s full speech here.

As the Trumps and Pences line up for the inaugural parade, we’ll leave our liveblog coverage there for the evening.

Our team will bring you any breaking news over on the main site throughout the night.



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