The Note: Inauguration Day

VIDEO: Whos Who at Donald Trumps Inauguration
WATCH Who's Who at Donald Trump's Inauguration


THE BIG STORY: For a moment, through the familiar pageantry and punditry, it will seem normal. But there’s nothing normal about this moment, and absolutely nothing predictable about the governing style of the incoming president. This is a pivot point in American history, and it’s history that hasn’t been written yet.

THE SLEEPER STORY: Nobody is truly ready for the presidency. But the magnitude of the moment – actually having to govern now – will hit the understaffed Trump team just about immediately. (Do you think they wanted to ask 50 Obama administration officials to stay on?) It may be only hours before a world crisis delivers its first test.

THE SHINY STORY: No, Trump won’t draw the kinds of crowds Obama did – and it won’t be close. And no, it doesn’t really matter. The Trump team will blame the weather, or the security, and surely question the official crowd estimates as rigged. But they needn’t bother. Just as Trump’s campaign crowd sizes weren’t supposed to be a meaningful metric when compared to what the Clinton campaign drew (something worth thinking about now), the number of people making the trip to DC doesn’t truly measure enthusiasm or expectations for this president.

TLDR: Trump goes to Washington: The President-elect spoke to supporters at a candlelight dinner, rocked along with the pre-inaugural concert and watched fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial ahead of his swearing in today.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: It's history waiting to happen. Empty picture frames lined this hallway in the White House next to the colonnade circling the Rose Garden. In just a matter of hours, the Obama family's belongings are moved out and the Trump family's are moved in.


--INSIDE TRUMP’S INAUGURATION DAY: The long and turbulent 2016 election reaches its final milestone today when Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The inauguration of the controversial real estate mogul and former reality television star will largely follow tradition, but there will be several unique changes scattered throughout. The most personal touch comes in Trump’s selection of Bible, as he's chosen his childhood Bible for the swearing-in ceremony. He will also use the Lincoln Bible, which has been used at three previous inaugural ceremonies: that of Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and for Barack Obama both in 2009 and 2013. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more.

--LIVE UPDATES - DONALD TRUMP’S INAUGURATION DAY: Get updates from ABC News on this historic day as Trump takes the oath of office, joins the inaugural parade and attends the inaugural balls.

--ANALYSIS: THE BIG STORYLINES TO WATCH ON TRUMP'S INAUGURATION DAY (AND BEYOND): There will be fewer balls (three, down from Obama’s 10), fewer celebrities (no Beyoncé or Jessica Simpson), fewer members of Congress (John Lewis started something) and almost certainly dramatically fewer people on hand to watch (Obama set the record in 2009: 1.8 million). Yet a day marked by traditions and pageantry, with minute details dictated by the Constitution, will come with dramatic stakes for a nation still divided by an ugly presidential campaign and its aftermath, writes ABC’s RICK KLEIN.

--POWERHOUSE POLITICS - CONSERVATIVES COULD BE 'EQUALLY UNHAPPY' WITH TRUMP, SEN. TIM SCOTT SAYS: Sen. Tim Scott has a word of warning for fellow Republicans on the eve on Donald Trump's Inauguration: Get ready for the "unpredictable." "He did not run, in my opinion, as a conservative," Scott told ABC’s JONATHAN KARL and RICK KLEIN on the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. "He ran as an agent of change. So, we should expect to be equally unhappy with some of his policies -- from the right to the left. That's the one thing we’ll have in common," said the South Carolina Republican. ABC’s RYAN STRUYK has more:


TRUMP TELLS SUPPORTERS: ‘YOU’RE NOT FORGOTTEN ANYMORE.’ President-elect Donald Trump addressed the crowd at his inaugural concert a day before officially being sworn in on Friday -- calling himself the "messenger" of a movement and portraying himself as the champion of the "forgotten man" and "forgotten woman," ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY reports. "This journey began 18 months ago," he said in the brief remarks, following the country music-heavy concert. "I had something to do with it but you had much more to do with it than I did. I'm the messenger," Trump said at the Lincoln Memorial.

WHAT TRUMP’S CHILDREN SAY ABOUT HIS TWEETING. President-elect Donald Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump and his two eldest sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump say their father’s Twitter account is a way for him to bring his message directly to the people. “I see how bad the media can be. I see how deceptive they can be, and if he can get his message directly to the source by cutting out the middle man, I think that’s a great thing,” Eric Trump said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ “20/20.” ABC’s ALEXA VALIENTE and JOHN SANTUCCI have more:

HOW TRUMP’S ELDEST CHILDREN HAVE BEEN HANDLING THE WHITE HOUSE TRANSITION. In the days before the inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump’s eldest children, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, talked candidly in exclusive interviews with ABC News' “20/20” about the transition to the White House and how their lives may change. “I’ve certainly walked into his [Donald Trump’s] office and I said, ‘Mr. President-elect,’ and he smiles,” Eric Trump told “20/20,” ABC’s LAUREN EFFRON and JOHN SANTUCCI report.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WOMEN'S MARCH. Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump takes the oath of office in Washington, D.C., to become the 45th president of the United States, hundreds of thousands of people from across the country will descend upon the nation’s capital to participate in the Women’s March. The march -- which will begin with a rally featuring speakers and musical acts -- is based on a mission that the rhetoric of the 2016 election cycle “insulted, demonized, and threatened” Americans, leaving communities “hurting and scared,” note ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW and ADAM KELSEY.

FIRST ON ABC: GEORGE W. BUSH'S INAUGURATION DAY LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA. Writing a letter to the next commander-in-chief has been a tradition for outgoing presidents. As Barack Obama prepares to hand the baton to Donald Trump, ABC News has obtained an exclusive look at the missive he received from his predecessor as well as the note from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush in 2001. The letters came from the National Archives and Records Administration.

A LOOK AT WHERE TRUMP SPENT INAUGURATION EVE. At the conclusion of Inauguration Day, the White House will be home to President-elect Donald Trump. But on the last night before Trump will call 1600 Pennsylvania Ave home, he spent his final night as president-elect at a lesser-known address just across street at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's the location of the Blair House, the president's guesthouse. ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS has more:

WHAT TO EXPECT IN TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS. After Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday as the 45th president of the United States, he will face the first test of his presidency: his accomplishments in the first 100 days in the White House. In October, when Trump was trailing Hillary Clinton in the polls, the then–GOP nominee released his plans for his first 100 days in office. Titled "Donald Trump's Contract With the American Voter," it included a constitutional amendment imposing congressional term limits, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and canceling every executive action from President Barack Obama he deemed unconstitutional. ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS and ALANA ABRAMSON look at a few of the big issues to watch in the early days of the new administration:

INSIDE THE MASSIVE INAUGURATION SECURITY EFFORT. As thousands of people descend on Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, months of security planning, intelligence gathering and coordination are coming to fruition to protect lawmakers and the public, report ABC’s PIERRE THOMAS, GENEVA SANDS and JACK CLOHERTY. The event, like the pope’s visit and the Democratic and Republican national conventions, is designated as a national security event, which unlocks federal resources and allows Secret Service to assume the leadership role for security.

VP-ELECT MIKE PENCE SAYS TRANSITION FINISHED 'ON SCHEDULE AND UNDER BUDGET.' Vice President–elect Mike Pence said the transition team finished its job "on schedule and under budget," borrowing a line that President-elect Donald Trump has used in discussing his real estate projects. "We will actually return some 20 percent of taxpayer funding back to the U.S. Treasury," Pence said. He thanked supporters and members of the transition team for getting as many people as they could in place for jobs before the inauguration. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more:

NO, DONALD TRUMP DIDN'T UN-INVITE HILLARY CLINTON FROM THE INAUGURATION. Facebook has been buzzing with news about Friday's presidential inauguration -- but not all of the stories filling our feeds have been true. One recent story headlined "BREAKING: Clinton Invited Herself To Trump’s Inauguration -- Trump Uninvited Her 30 Minutes Later" has been going viral over the last two weeks. But it's not true, explains ABC’s RYAN STRUYK.

HISTORY OF CHANGE AND TRADITION ON INAUGURATION DAY. Presidential inaugurations have been steeped in tradition and ceremony since the nation’s first president, George Washington, took the oath of the office. But from the parade processions to the swearing-in ceremony, those traditions have changed over time. ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI explains a few lesser-known facts about the history of presidential inaugurations:

TRUMP NAMES NEW YORK JETS OWNER WOODY JOHNSON AS AMBASSADOR TO THE UK. Donald Trump inadvertently announced his pick for United States ambassador to the United Kingdom Thursday at a leadership luncheon held at his new Trump Tower hotel in Washington, D.C. Turning to address Woody Johnson, the owner of the National Football League’s New York Jets, Trump called Johnson "ambassador" and said "good luck in St. James," notes ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW. In the United Kingdom, the official representative from the United States is known as "Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St James’s."

PRESIDENT OBAMA COMMUTES SENTENCES FOR 330 PEOPLE. President Obama granted commutations Thursday to 330 people, most of whom were serving long sentences for drug crimes. Obama granted commutation to a total of 1,715 people during his time in office, including 568 people who were sentenced to life in prison, writes ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW. “I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” Obama wrote in a letter to these individuals.


Democracy for America, the grassroots group started by former presidential candidate and DNC chair Howard Dean, announced today its first endorsements of the 2018 election cycle. The group is endorsing four Democratic senators who are up for reelection in 2018. “The very moment Donald Trump takes his hand off the Bible he will be running the most corrupt, corporate, and bigoted presidential administration our country has seen in generations, making it more important than ever that we have steel-spined, populist progressive champions like Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders holding him accountable in the U.S. Senate,” Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean said in a statement today.


@realDonaldTrump: It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!

@JenniferJJacobs: Putin is unlikely to watch Trump’s swearing-in ceremony live, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on conference call.

@ThePlumLineGS: This new Fox News poll finding would surely be a rude shock to Fox News viewers: …

@shushwalshe: .@DonaldJTrumpJr on @GMA on his dad: "He's not the kind of guy who gets nervous easily...I see him usually do better under pressure."

@maggieNYT: Trump wanted nothing to do w transition planning during campaign, considering it "bad karma." That had impact.