WASHINGTON -- On the eve of his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump, at a celebratory concert Thursday evening in Washington, pledged to unify a divided nation.Gallery: Donald Trump inauguration
"It's a movement like we've never seen anywhere in the world," the president-elect declared at the concert, which featured Toby Keith and for which the Lincoln Memorial served as a backdrop. To the supporters who were with him from the start, he promised, "You're not forgotten any more. You're not forgotten any more."
"I'll see you tomorrow," he called out, and then fireworks exploded into the sky.
Trump began taking on more trappings of the presidency during the day, giving a salute to the Air Force officer who welcomed him as he stepped off a military jet with his wife, Melania, at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington. Later, he placed a ceremonial wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, in a tweet, called Inauguration Eve "a momentous day before a historic day," as security barricades and blockades went up around Washington in preparation for today's swearing-in ceremony.
"We are all ready to go to work," Pence said at a morning news conference. "In fact, we can't wait to get to work for the American people to make it great again."
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he'd be putting on his "favorite DHS jacket" and taking to the streets to inspect security preparations for the inaugural festivities.
He told MSNBC's Morning Joe that areas where inaugural crowds will congregate will be "extra fortified this year with dump trucks, heavily armored vehicles to prevent anybody who's not authorized from being in the area from driving something in there." He said there was "no specific credible threat" related to the inauguration.
New York Republicans kicked off their inauguration festivities with a breakfast Thursday morning at a downtown hotel.
The crowd, packed in a ballroom to hear former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, roared as New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox said a kid from Queens was going to be the next president of the United States.
"It's going to be a remarkable couple of days," Gingrich said. "Certainly this is the inauguration that no one in the news media was ready for."
He went on to describe Trump as "part P.T. Barnum" and predicted he would be one of the country's most accomplished presidents.
Keeping a wary eye on the weather forecast, the National Park Service announced that it was easing its "no umbrella" policy for the inauguration ceremony, allowing collapsible umbrellas along the parade route and on the National Mall.
High IQ boasted
On Thursday, appearing at a luncheon with supporters at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Trump praised the collective IQ of his Cabinet members.
"We have by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled," Trump said.
Trump also singled out specific supporters, including Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets football team, who is expected to be appointed U.S. ambassador to Britain.
Johnson is the third ambassador to be announced by Trump, after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as the ambassador to the United Nations and David Friedman, his longtime attorney and appointee as ambassador to Israel.
Trump also assured Israelis in comments posted online Thursday that he planned to follow through on his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv soon after taking office.
Incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer suggested at a briefing Thursday that the president-elect would make the embassy move one of his first acts after taking office. "There will be a further announcement on that," he said. "The president has made clear that Israel has not gotten the respect it deserves."
Spicer said Trump probably will sign four or five executive actions today, mainly focused on logistics and government operations, with more coming Monday.
Spicer declined to give specifics, but he mentioned President Barack Obama's health care law, the fight against the Islamic State group and immigration as "key issues" important to Trump.
On his day one list, Trump said he would formally declare the United States' intention to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which he vigorously opposed during his campaign as detrimental to U.S. businesses and workers. He also promised to declare his intention to renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement or withdraw from the deal.
Also on the list is "cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President [Barack] Obama."
Among those would be cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected about 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The program also offered those immigrants work permits.
If he makes good on his promise to terminate the program, Trump could choose to immediately cancel the deportation protection and revoke the work permits, or he could opt to block new enrollment and allow those already approved to keep their work permits until they expire.
Several advisers used the word "aggressive" to describe Trump's early actions, with another predicting "a tsunami." The plans were still being drafted and tweaked, in a last-minute effort that spans the transition team, including the legal department, policy shop, legislative team and communications operation. The effort is being spearheaded by Stephen Miller, Trump's senior policy adviser.
After the initial rush, the contours of Trump's first 100 days in office offer more of a combination of both undoing some of the Obama administration's policies and implementing his own legislative vision. His priorities, said a senior Trump adviser, include an infrastructure plan; cracking down on what he views as trade abuses; building a wall at the nation's southern border and tackling visa overstays; expanding production of domestic energy sources; a new tax plan that includes a child-care tax credit; and family leave proposals.
Day one, day 100
As he's worked to assemble his new government, Trump has backed off some of his promised speed, downplaying the importance of a rapid-fire approach to complex issues that involve negotiations with Congress or foreign leaders.
On other issues, he's affirmed his plan, indicating significant policy announcements to be teed up in the first hours and days of the Trump administration.
Today, Trump must formally nominate members of his Cabinet, in order to allow some of them to be voted on by the Senate. The transition team also has said he may sign executive orders -- some logistical, others focused on his agenda -- that will kick off his administration.
"Specifically we've focused in the president-elect's direction on a Day One, Day 100 and Day 200 action plan for keeping our word to the American people and putting the president-elect's promises into practice," Pence said during a briefing Thursday. Pence, who chaired Trump's transition team, added: "We are all ready to go to work. We can't wait to get to work for the American people."
Actors Robert De Niro, Sally Field and Mark Ruffalo joined hundreds of other people outside a Trump building on Thursday for a pre-inauguration demonstration organizers said was meant to energize those concerned about the Republican president-elect's policies.
The event, staged in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower near Central Park in Manhattan, was a rally for city residents who have vowed to pursue their own policies on health care, the environment and other issues during the Trump administration. The mayors of Minneapolis and New York attended.
"We can't just mope," said Bronx resident Jawanza Clark, who attended the gathering with his two sons, ages 10 and 5. "I want to give them a sense of the America they're inheriting, the fact that they have to lift their voices up."
Movie director Michael Moore urged people to regularly call their representatives in Congress. And actor Alec Baldwin, who portrays Trump on NBC's Saturday Night Live, said Americans wary of Trump's policies should become more involved.
Trump, who was supported by the Ku Klux Klan while running for president, has been criticized by rivals for his tough talk, especially on immigration. He has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, using a deportation force to remove illegal aliens and banning Muslims from entering the country.
He also has pledged to eliminate gun-free zones and suggested that his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, wanted to abolish the Second Amendment, which declares the right of people to keep and bear arms.
Also on Trump's list was labeling China a currency manipulator. But Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week that he no longer planned to do that on the first day. "I would talk to them first," he said.
Trump's team also faces the process of naming a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump has said he will announce a nominee in about two weeks.
Trump's promises of swift changes have been cheered on by congressional Republicans. Pence and Trump aides have shared some details for the first few days with House leadership and told lawmakers to expect the incoming president to move quickly to undo Obama's legacy.
"There is a call of history and that calls us to put America back on the rails again and we've now been delivered the tools to do this by the voters," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said.
Information for this article was contributed by Nancy Benac, Julie Bykowicz and Deepti Hajela of The Associated Press and by Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker and Steve Eder of The New York Times.
A Section on 01/20/2017
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