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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
The Inauguration Of Donald Trump. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired January 20, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Dana, you were making an important point about the Hillary Clinton dress.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the color white is the color of the suffragette movement and she happens to like the color. I know that. But it also is quite symbolic that she's wearing that the day that she attends her opponent's inauguration, hoping that she would be the first female president of the United States.
BLITZER: The motorcade has now arrived up on Capitol Hill. The president, the president-elect, they will be walking in with the vice president and vice president-elect, they'll be going up to the inaugural platform for this historic moment indeed. Three former presidents are there as well. Unfortunately, former President George H.W. Bush is still in the hospital, unable to attend.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: But right now there are six, or as of noon or so, in about an hour, there will be six presidents, which I believe is a record or ties the record for how many living presidents there are at a time. And, you know, George H.W. Bush, we all wish him well and hope he gets better, but five out of six isn't bad for an inaugural event.
BASH: As we're all sitting in front of this amazing scene, it really is remarkable. What an American experience. Obviously we're very lucky.
BLITZER: There's the first lady, Melania, the next first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, there right next to her wearing the blue, the first lady wearing the red.
BASH: If you see to your right, this is the ultimate American experience and image. You have the Supreme Court, you have, as you were saying, Jake, as many living presidents and first ladies, former vice presidents, members of Congress. It really is remarkable.
And this kind of pomp and circumstance is more modern and more recent. But since -- someone's coming in, the crowd is cheering. Since the amendment, the 20th amendment to the Constitution, that made it on January 20th at 12:00 noon, the country has really expected to see this as an example. It looks like that's the president-elect.
BLITZER: We're told -- TAPPER: President Obama inside the capitol.
BLITZER: Yes, they're both inside now.
TAPPER: A lot of hands to shake.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the children of Vice President Mike Pence.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hello. Hello, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to reverse the immigration order in the next few days?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're moving.
BLITZER: We saw the Vice President, Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Mike Pence, you see him there. They're walking in, his wife is there as well. Earlier, we saw the president, the president-elect, Roy Blunt, who is one of the inaugural chairs, the senator from Missouri, he faced a tough reelection but he got himself reelected, and the speaker was there, Paul Ryan, all of the leaders of the House, the Democratic, Republican, the leaders of the Senate and the House, they are there for this important historic moment.
And there you see Ivanka walking in with Jared Kushner, the family, the children. It's a moment, Don Junior, Eric Trump, those are the four children. There's Barron, the youngest son, as well.
[11:05:13]TAPPER: The five children.
BLITZER: Barron is only 10 years old. They are all there walking in. They will see their dad become the next president of the United States.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Most of 2016 was spent, first, it was impossible that Donald Trump would be the president of the United States or even the Republican nominee. Then it was improbable that he would be the nominee for president of the United States.
It is imminent as we watch the family come out for the ceremony on this remarkable day. Again, first you have the escorts bringing the family through the building, soon to be former president and future president. It's a remarkable thing to watch.
The leaders of the Trump Organization, the family, and so many questions, again, as to how this plays out, how important his family is to him inside the White House as they take over the brand that made Donald Trump who he is today before he entered politics.
Ivanka is a trusted adviser, as well as her husband, one of the many things we'll learn as we go forward here, how this new White House works. TAPPER: Although Eric and Don Junior, their roles are supposed to be cordoned off from policy making because they'll be taking over the family business. They did play a role during the transition.
BLITZER: They certainly played a role during the campaign.
TAPPER: Yes, absolutely.
BLITZER: Both of those sons, they were very, very important throughout the campaign, often appearing on television and giving speeches. Once the president and the incoming president are introduced, this huge crowd that is gathered here on Capitol Hill and the Washington Mall, you can see it's going on, you have a better view than I do, you can see it's very large.
ANNOUNCER: Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump, and Barron Trump, escorted by the House of Representatives Chief Administrative Officer Phillip G. Keykoe.
BLITZER: There you see the adult children, Ivanka Trump in the middle of the screen, her husband, Jared Kushner, you see her younger brother, Barron, who is there as well, younger sister Tiffany, Eric and Don Junior, the other sons of Donald Trump are there as well with their respective families. So this is a moment, especially powerful, for these children and grandchildren who are there as well of the president-elect of the United States.
TAPPER: And we saw Eric Trump surveying the crowd. I'm an expert lip reader but I believe he said "unbelievable," just looking at the masses of humanity that stretch all the way from the capitol to the Washington monument.
BLITZER: A huge crowd is gathered here. I hate to say it, Dana, but fortunately the weather has cleared, it was drizzling earlier in the day, but fortunately it's good right now, not too cold. The sun is not out there. But it's definitely a lot better than it could have been.
BASH: Absolutely. Better than it was this morning, when it was raining. I'm not going to say it, I'll let you say it, if it starts to rain, we can blame you.
TAPPER: You can get an idea from that shot right there how much this sea of humanity has these red hats, the "Make America Great Again" hats throughout the crowd.
[11:10:10]BLITZER: They've really come out in big numbers, John, to see this historic moment unfold here in the nation's capital.
KING: Large crowds are a trademark of the Trump campaign, as recently as yesterday he was talking about the crowds and the campaign. It's going to be an interesting perspective for the president, soon to be president of the United States, to stand out and look at this. This is his moment. This is all of Washington. It's an important moment for the country. Jake was reading Secretary Clinton's tweet about how important it was for her to be here for the country. When Donald Trump steps to that podium behind the presidential seal for the first time and looks out at this, this is his day and his moment as well. A remarkable turning of the page here in Washington.
As I said, throughout most of the campaign year, even people on his own team up to halfway through Election Day didn't think we would be sitting at the Donald J. Trump inauguration for 45th president of the United States.
BLITZER: Now that the Trump children have been announced, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will be announced, followed by Mrs. Trump, Mrs. Pence, then President Obama and Vice President Biden, finally President-elect Trump will be announced to the platform.
BLITZER: The crowd chanting "USA, USA," a very impressive crowd that has gathered on Capitol Hill, out on the mall all the way up to the Washington Monument, maybe further up there as well, people have gathered, and they are about to have a moment that they will always remember, when Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
Jake, this is something that Donald Trump himself probably until relatively recently didn't anticipate would necessarily unfold.
TAPPER: I think he's spoken publicly about how nobody was more surprised on election night as he was. But here he is, he will take the Oath of Office. We are told he will have, I believe, two bibles with him, his family bible and the Lincoln bible.
The Lincoln bible was given to the Library of Congress by the Lincoln family, and it was one of the bibles that Barack Obama used when he was inaugurated in 2013. He used three different bibles. He used his family bible, the Lincoln bible, and he also used Martin Luther King's bible.
So it's not unusual to have more than one bible for when you take the Oath of Office. Abraham Lincoln's bible will be part of the ceremony again today. Just part of the rich history of this country and how much things change.
John, inside the Lincoln bible, there's a reference to the Supreme Court Justice Tenney, one of the key votes on the horrific Dred Scott decision. Then years later you have Barack Obama putting his hand on that bible on which Tenney's name appears. It shows you how things change in this country yet there is still respect for history and those who came before.
BASH: And sometimes when presidents open the bible to a certain passage that they want to be open while they are -- while they're getting the Oath of Office, sometimes like in the case of President Obama, he raised his hand, his right hand and put his left hand on the closed bible.
BLITZER: Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, and George Bush is there, George W. Bush and Laura Bush are there, Jimmy Carter, Rosslyn Carter, they are all there to participate in this truly historic moment.
KING: And George H.W. Bush, the only living president not here, his former chief of staff, Andy Card, who was out with Anderson Cooper last night had a quick chance to say hello to him. He said he had been in touch and both George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush are doing better, they're both hospitalized in Houston, that's good news as well. We wish George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush the best as things go forward.
BLITZER: The announcements are about to take place in this order, Mrs. Obama, Dr. Biden will be announced from the platform, then Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Pence will be announced, and then President Obama, Vice President Biden. Let's listen in as this historic moment continues.
[11:16:24]BLITZER: This is an important moment, I just want to point out, as we take a look, there's the energy secretary nominee, Governor Perry, former governor of Texas. All the prospective cabinet members are there. They're up on the platform. They're getting ready to watch this historic moment unfold as well.
You can see that everybody shows up with their little cameras, with their iPhones, they're taking pictures. It's a special moment. There's Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate, he got close, Jake, but not close enough to get that Democratic nomination.
TAPPER: You know, there was some overlap ideologically between Sanders and Trump, both in terms of how the system is rigged. Let's listen in.
ANNOUNCER: Mrs. Michelle Obama and the wife of the vice president, Dr. Jill Biden, escorted by the Democratic staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Kelly Fado, Ms. Iris Weinshall, and Mr. Paul Pelosi.
BLITZER: There you see the first lady and a former first lady, and Dr. Jill Biden, they are there as well. A disconnection between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. I don't know what you know about the personal connection, but it seems to have been pretty good.
TAPPER: They became friendly obviously even after having fought that hard battle for the Democratic nomination against one another in 2007- 2008. It's worth pointing out I think that Michelle Obama really stepped outside the normal traditional first lady role.
And I think it's fair to say she campaigned harder for Hillary Clinton than she ever did for Barack Obama. She really was on the trail, throwing some vaguely referenced, but clearly elbows in the way of the president-elect. She worked her heart out for Hillary Clinton.
KING: Especially after that "Access Hollywood" tape came out and Michelle Obama gave an emotional speech saying she had to do this for women. It's a remarkable reminder that Michelle Obama, the current president of the United States, said Donald Trump was unfit for office. He didn't just criticize but he said he was unfit to be commander-in-chief.
Today they'll walk out together momentarily. It's what we do in America, we put campaigns behind us, even very, very bitter campaigns. You see the different faces, including Secretary Clinton's, it's just remarkable.
BLITZER: We're not going to be seeing the introduction of Melania Trump and Mrs. Pence. They will be introduced to this crowd as well. There's Mrs. Pence and there's Melania Trump. That's the listen in.
BLITZER: The introduction of Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Pence will be followed by President Obama and Vice President Biden and the last introduction will, of course, be the president-elect himself, Donald Trump.
TAPPER: And the crowd here in Washington on the mall, the crowd stretches from here to the Washington Monument.
ANNOUNCER: Mrs. Melania Trump and Mrs. Karen pence, escorted by the secretary of the Senate, Julie Adams, the clerk of the House of Representatives, Karen Haas, Mrs. Abigail Blunt, Mrs. Jen Orion, the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, and Mrs. Judy McCarthy.
BLITZER: There's the president and the vice president. They will be introduced followed by the Vice President-elect Mike Pence and finally President-elect Donald Trump. There you see incoming first ladies of the United States, Melania Trump.
TAPPER: Melania Trump with her son, Barron. You also see Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump behind them. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are going to be key parts of her father's White House. Jared Kushner will be a top adviser and Ivanka Trump is moving down to Washington. She's going to play a role, a policy role. As of yet we don't know what it will be and where her office will be, whether it's in the White House or the adjacent building.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the president the United States, the Honorable Barack H. Obama, and the vice president, Joseph R. Biden, escorted by Senate Democratic secretary, Gary Myrick, Senate Democratic leader and Rules Committee ranking member, Charles Schumer, and House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.
BLITZER: There you see the president meeting with the family, the kids, the children, the adult children of the next president of the United States. The president is there, the vice president is there. Now we're about to see -- hear the introduction of the Vice President- elect Mike Pence, and it will be followed by the introduction of the president-elect, Donald Trump. There you see the president of the United States with the vice president and the former presidents are there as well.
TAPPER: Yucking it up there, George W. Bush made some comment about how President Obama hadn't shaken his hand. It's incredible, after all the animosity of an election, how much once you become a member of the presidents club, how much of that can be put away just because there are literally only six people on earth who know what the experience is like and you're one of them.
BLITZER: I think the introduction is coming right now. The introduction of the Vice President-elect Mike Pence, he'll be introduced next, followed, as I point out, by the President-elect Donald Trump. They'll be on the platform. They'll all be there. You see the president receiving the members of the Supreme Court who are there as well, including John Roberts. There you see the Republican leaders bringing in the next president of the United States.
KING: In Washington, all of Republican Washington right there.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the vice president-elect, Michael Richard Pence.
BLITZER: The Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, Vice President Joe Biden, you see the former presidents, the current president, he'll shake hands with Hillary Clinton. I think he shook hands with her, I'm not exactly sure he did. Meeting with the family. There's Melania. This is a moment that Mike Pence probably didn't necessarily anticipate.
TAPPER: There would be questions whether he would be able to be reelected governor of Indiana, but he was asked to be vice president, and he has been a dutiful soldier and a good representative, an envoy for President-elect Trump on Capitol Hill.
He used to be a member of the House Republican leadership here. He has lots of relationships. He will be sworn in -- there's the vice president and the president. He will be sworn in Mike Pence --