National News

Trump inauguration speech hyperbolic, combative and unsurprising

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Jan 24, 2017 - 6:42:02 PM

What's your opinion on this article?

Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office on Jan. 20 becoming the 45th U.S. president. | Washington D.C. riots break out in the streets on Inauguration Day. Photos: MGN Online
WASHINGTON—Donald J. Trump is President of the United States. And, as was typical of his entire political life, the first shrill words out of the new president’s mouth required fact-checking. “Today’s ceremony has very special meaning because today we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you the people,” Mr. Trump said in his Inaugural Address at noon Jan. 20.

His tone was hyperbolic, combative, with a populist twist, as though his own billionaire cabinet whose combined net worth is greater than that of a third of the U.S. population were not the very elites he seemed to condemn, as though his own business empire had not been built with products imported from a dozen countries.

“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed,” he said. Mr. Trump of course did not point out that the elevated median income in the Washington metropolitan area has much more to do with government—particularly defense—hiring and spending, than with wealth hoarded by politicians residing here.

“One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world,” Mr. Trump declared. But the new president did not mention his treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin. Mr. Mnuchin made a fortune owning banks which misled their borrowers and then foreclosed on their homes.

“But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists,” the new president continued. “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops here.”

Overall however, violent and property crime rates have already been declining for nearly two decades, even without Mr. Trump’s intervention.

President Donald Trump during his visit to the CIA.
And while voters may in fact want “great schools for their children,” as Mr. Trump said, his own nominee to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, has never spent a day working or attending a public school. Instead, she’s an heiress who inherited billions through marriage and her inheritance.

Mr. Trump emphasized his strident campaign themes, rather than unifying themes which embraced those who did not vote for him as well as those who did. “From this day forward it’s going to be only America first. America first.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries stealing our companies and destroying our jobs,” he continued.

“America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor,” Mr. Trump said, reiterating his oft-repeated campaign themes.

Mr. Trump—who received nearly 2.9 million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton—did not fail to exaggerate his own support during his inaugural address, and throughout his first day in office. “You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

In fact, Mr. Trump’s victory margin was so narrow in three key states—Michigan, by 10,704 votes; Wisconsin by 22,177 votes; and Pennsylvania 46,435 votes—that if just 39,659 voters in those three states had switched their votes, Mrs. Clinton would have won the Electoral College vote as well as the popular vote in the election.

Mr. Trump’s first official appearance as the nation’s 45th president was a Jan. 21 visit to CIA headquarters so he could ostensibly “thank” the intelligence community, and reassure them of his support. But Mr. Trump could not resist attacking the news media, in particular for reports that his inaugural crowd was smaller than that of President Barack Obama in 2009.

Side-by-side photographs of the National Mall and the West Front of the U.S. Capitol from atop the Washington Monument appear to show large areas where people were standing in the frigid weather for the Obama inauguration. This year there are vast bare spots where there are no people in the photo.

“I have a running war with the media,” Mr. Trump told about 400 CIA personnel. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number one stop is exactly the opposite,” Mr. Trump said.

“We did a thing yesterday at the speech and everybody liked the speech? But we had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field. I’m like, wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million and a half people.”

Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary and Communications Director for President Donald Trump
New press secretary Sean Spicer reinforced the patently false claim of the president during his first appearance in the James Brady Press Briefing Room. “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period,” Mr. Spicer said with emphasis. “Both in person and around the globe.”

Mr. Spicer accused the media of “deliberately false reporting” both with regard to photos of the crowd that were published as well as the crowd estimates. Uncustomarily, Mr. Spicer took no questions after delivering his remarks.

According to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority 570,557 people took trips on Friday, Jan. 20, in total, compared with 1.1 million trips at Mr. Obama’s 2009 inauguration and 782,000 at his 2013 inauguration.

In fact, Metro authorities reported that the massive Women’s March—the day after the inauguration—posted eight times as many riders as did Inauguration Day, and parking authorities announced they received 1,200 requests for bus parking spaces for the Saturday, Jan. 21, protest march, compared with only 200 inaugural requests.

Kellyanne Conway in an interview talking about statements said by White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the Donald Trump inauguration audience being largest ever.
When confronted White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the White House press secretary was simply giving “alternative facts” when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as “the largest ever” during his first appearance before the press.

For his part, Mr. Trump’s brief inaugural remarks ended on a high note: “So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.”