UPDATE with more details: Donald Trump addressed the crowd at his pre-inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial just after 6 PM ET. “This journey began 18 months ago,” he said. “I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it. I’m just the messenger. We all got tired of seeing what was happening and we wanted real change.
“This started out being a small little concert, and we decided to do it in front of the Lincoln Memorial — I don’t know if it’s ever been done before.” (Mr. Trump, meet Marian Anderson.) “There’s never been a movement like it. Eighteen months ago a lot of people didn’t give us much of a chance but we understood what was happening. I promise you that I will work so hard, we’re gonna get it turned around. I’ll see you tomorrow and I’m going to be cheering you on. All over the world, they’re talking about it.”
And in an ironic twist worthy of the Deity, one that will not be lost on any journalists covering the Inauguration, news came today that Trump nemesis Wayne Barrett died today in New York City. The muckraking investigative journalist made a career of calling out Trump in the pages of the Village Voice and in scorching books tracing his life over four decades, died of cancer in New York. He was 71.
PREVIOUS: Shortly after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, President-elect Donald J Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and their families made their way to the Lincoln Memorial, where a crowd listened to military music played by a small band dwarfed by the marble edifice and the crowds spread out before it.
First off was RaviDrums in an oversize drum kit at the base of the steps , slamming away and wearing a bold Peace-sign T-shirt and spikey mohawk.
Oscar-winner Jon Voight followed, speaking from a podium where he could be seen by all.
“This is some day,” he said, chuckling, before growing Serious. “Dear friends and fellow Americans, I’m so honored to be here to welcome you all to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald J, Trump. It’s been a very grueling year and a half for the president-elect,” he continued, noting the “barrage of propaganda” spread about him, “not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies about Trump, whose only desire was to make America great again.” No mention of propaganda about Trump’s opponent or what a year and a half it might have been for her.
“He certainly didn’t need this job,” Voight averred. “And God answered all of our prayers, because here it is. We will all be part of history.” Truly reaching, Voight added that Abraham Lincoln was surely “smiling, knowing America will be saved by a good and honest man.”
Voight introduced Sam Moore, who sang “America The Beautiful” a la Ray Charles. Moore was followed by the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps, in Revolutionary War regalia except for the conductor, wh appeared to have borrowed Ralph Kramden’s cap from the Raccoon Lodge. Later we heard those loyal Americans the Rolling Stones over the public address system, singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” as the crowd awaited the President-elect’s appearance. That seemed apt.
Trump and his wife Melania descended the steps to the podium as the Stones on tape sang “Heart Of Stone” before the roaring crowd, before hearing The Frontmen Of Texas singing about “the lonesome, setting sun of Texas setting,” and that seemed apt, as well.
After being warmly embraced by Trump, they turned the stage over to 3 Doors Down, rockers who cried, “This is a call to the broken / Stand up and take back your world today.”