The Trump Transition: Trump becomes president

It’s happening: By noon Eastern time on Friday, Donald Trump will be president. He arrived in Washington with flair Thursday, speaking to tens of thousands of people at a concert at the Lincoln Memorial and praising his incoming Cabinet during a stop at his downtown hotel.

Through it all, Trump remained Trump, abandoning none of his old habits, with less than 24 hours before the inauguration. The president-elect live-tweeted his arrival. He criticized people who underestimated him during the election. And, with characteristic grandiosity, he set the stage for his incoming administration.

“We have by the far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled,” he said in remarks at the Trump International Hotel.


The inauguration is set to start with opening remarks at 11:30 a.m. Nearly 70 Democratic lawmakers have said they won’t attend. After Trump is sworn in and has lunch at the Capitol, the inaugural parade will be held along Pennsylvania Avenue NW. There are three official inaugural balls Friday night.

It’s unclear whether the real work of governing will begin Friday or Monday, Trump’s first full workday in the White House. He’s made a lot of promises about what he’ll do on Day One as president: Begin building a wall on the Mexican border, end the “war on coal,” label China a currency manipulator. Sean Spicer, his incoming press secretary, said to expect a few logistical executive actions Friday and more Monday.

Two or three of Trump’s nominees may be confirmed by the Senate on Friday: Democrats say they’ll vote on defense secretary pick Gen. James Mattis and homeland security secretary nominee Gen. John F. Kelly. They may also vote on Rep. Mike Pompeo’s nomination for CIA director.