On Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America, commencing the peaceful transition of power from the Obama administration to his own.
Trump’s inaugural address opened with an attempt at unity while discussing the new agenda of America – to rebuild the divided nation, declaring “We the American people are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.”
Trump made assertions of corruption within the political sphere, stating that the victories of institutions have not belonged to the American people – President Trump assured the crowds that “This moment belongs to you.” Ultimately, he focused on the promises he made to his supporters. He reinforced his campaign promises to “drain the swamp,” secure borders and bring jobs to America. The speech continued the themes of his campaign: putting “America first, America first, America first.”
Despite many refusals, a few well known artists gave performances including America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho singing the national anthem. Other artists that performed at the inauguration concert included Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, The Frontmen of Country and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to name a few.
The inaugural proceedings faced scores of protesters throughout the day. According to The Washington Post, the majority of protesters were nonviolent and they included official organizations like Future is Feminist, Movement for Black Lives and Communities under Attack. Nonviolent protests also included self-organized groups like a number of LGBT protesters throwing blue and purple glitter and a group of chanting women tied together with purple yarn.
Despite the largely peaceful demonstrations, a mob of anarchist protesters a few blocks away smashed the windows of a Starbucks and Bank of America branch, knocking over newsstands and burning trash. The local police had to intervene, making 217 arrests.
Controversy followed, particularly about the size of the crowd in attendance at the inauguration. Photos were released of President Trump’s inaugural turnout compared to President Obama’s inaugural turnout causing Trump and his team to insist the photos were misleading – they argued the crowd in attendance of his inauguration was “historic.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the crowd the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,” in spite of the fact that former President Obama’s 2009 inauguration holds that record.
The statement was false, and led to Trump’s senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway calling the falsehood an “alternative fact,” sparking even more controversy for the newly minted administration.