Kanye West will not perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration, which is a “traditionally American” event, chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee Tom Barrack has said.
There has been speculation since Kanye West told a concert crowd he would have voted for Donald Trump – if he had voted – and then turned up at Trump Tower.
However, Tom Barrack told CNN the ceremony is “not the venue” for the rapper.
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The chief organizer said Kanye West is “a great guy” but “we haven’t asked him”.
Tom Barrack said: “He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it’s not the venue.
“The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it’s perfect, it’s going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy but we just haven’t asked him to perform. We move on with our agenda.”
More Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president on January 20.
The boycott comes amidst a feud between Donald Trump and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.
Up to now, more than 50 House Democrats announced they are refusing to watch the president-elect’s inauguration.
John Lewis, a revered member of the 1960s struggle, sparked controversy on January 13 when he called Donald Trump’s victory illegitimate because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election.
Donald Trump hit back on Twitter, attacking the Georgia lawmaker as “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results”, which prompted a wave of outrage from people saying if anyone embodied action, it was John Lewis.
Dozens of members of Congress have announced they will skip the inauguration ceremony.
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota tweeted following the row: “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”
Maryland Representative Anthony G. Brown also tweeted: “Skipping Inauguration. @RepJohnLewis a civil rights hero. Enormous responsibility to be POTUS. I respect the office, can’t tolerate disrespect.”
Image source Flickr
The number grew to more than 40 over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, but that did not stop Donald Trump from continuing to rail against the 76-year-old civil rights icon on January 17.
Donald Trump tweeted that John Lewis had falsely claimed this would be the first inauguration he has missed since joining Congress in 1987.
“WRONG (or lie)!” the president-elect tweeted, saying John Lewis had skipped George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.
John Lewis’ office confirmed that he did miss President George W. Bush’s ceremony.
Spokeswoman Brenda Jones said: “His absence at that time was also a form of dissent.
“He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the US Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”
An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 people are expected to flood Washington on January 20 for the inauguration, but it is unclear whether they will be there in celebration or protest, officials said.
President Barack Obama drew an estimated 1.8 million people to Washington when he took office in 2009.
The “level of enthusiasm” and demand for hotel rooms has not reached that of previous inaugurations, according to Elliott Ferguson, president of Destination DC, the city’s convention and tourism bureau.
In fact, some hotels have reduced the minimum-night stay from four nights to two.
Other hotels are only 50% full, but higher-end hotels appeared to have more bookings, he added.
Donald Trump’s swearing-in comes at a time when the nation appears deeply divided after the contested election.
Though Donald Trump swept the Electoral College, his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million more votes.
Recent polls have also showed historically low marks for any presidential transition.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found just 40% of Americans view Donald Trump favorably compared with the 79% President Barack Obama received in 2009.
A CNN/ORC survey released on January 17 also showed Donald Trump with a 40% approval rating compared with the 84% Barack Obama had in 2009.
A Gallup poll conducted two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration found 51% of respondents disapproved of how he is handling the presidential transition compared with 44% who approved.
More Democrats said they will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
The number of Democratic members of Congress boycotting the inauguration ceremony has increased to 26.
Many have cited as a reason Donald Trump’s recent attack on civil rights icon and fellow congressman John Lewis.
The president-elect lashed out at John Lewis on Twitter on January 13 after the civil rights campaigner said he was not a “legitimate president”.
Donald Trump said that John Lewis was: “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results.”
John Lewis was a prominent member of America’s civil rights movement and is a hero to many Americans. He was among those beaten by police during the infamous Selma-Montgomery voting rights march of 1965.
He joined the House of Representatives in 1987 and has served Georgia’s fifth congressional district, which Donald Trump went on to call “crime-infested”, ever since.
Image source Flickr
Donald Trump’s insults, made just days ahead of Martin Luther King Day, were the final straw for a number of Democrats who will break with tradition by missing the inauguration ceremony on January 20.
Yvette Clarke, one of five representatives for New York who will boycott the event, said: “When you insult Rep. John Lewis, you insult America.”
There are 535 members of Congress, across both houses.
California representative Ted Lieu said: “For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”
Illinois representative Luis Gutierrez was the first member of congress to say he would boycott the inauguration – announcing his decision in December.
Luis Gutierrez told the House: “I could not look my wife, my daughters, or my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attended, as if everything that the candidate said about the women, the Latinos, the blacks, the Muslims, or any of those other things he said in those speeches and tweets, and that all of that is okay or erased from our collective memory.”
He has said he will attend the alternative Women’s March on Washington on January 21.
John Lewis’ announcement of his own boycott in an interview with NBC News, in which he said that Donald Trump was an illegitimate president, prompted the outburst from the president-elect.
Donald Trump’s inauguration will be the first not attended by John Lewis in all his 30 years in congress. He cited alleged Russian interference in the election among his reasons for regarding Donald Trump as illegitimate.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” he told NBC News.
Sales of John Lewis’ memoir soared to the top of Amazon’s US bestseller list following Donald Trump’s attack, eventually selling out completely.
John Lewis led a sit-in protest at the House of Representatives in July 2016 to demand a vote on gun control legislation, in the wake of the deadly Orlando shooting.
Republicans adjourned the House early to try to quash the sit-in, switching off the TV cameras, but the C-Span network picked up live streams from some Democrats’ phones.
Katherine Clark, a representative for Massachusetts, was among the first to join John Lewis for the gun control protest. She said last week she would skip Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In a statement, Katherine Clark said: “Families in my district are fearful that the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and divisive promises that drove the Trump campaign will become the policies affecting the health and safety of every American.
“I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”
Donald Trump has struggled to book any established musicians to perform at his ceremony, despite his team appearing to have cast a wide net.
The event will feature Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old America’s Got Talent contestant, alongside military bands and the Radio City Rockettes, although some members of the Rockettes troupe have publicly refused to take part.
Barack Obama has revealed he advised his successor Donald Trump not to attempt to run the White House “the way you would manage a family business”.
In an interview with ABC News, the outgoing president said that Donald Trump must “respect” US institutions.
Barack Obama said: “After you have been sworn in, you are now in charge of the largest organization on Earth.”
The president warned that there was a difference between governing and campaigning.
“There are world capitals and financial markets and people all around the world who take really seriously what he [Donald Trump] says,” he said.
Image source AP
Barack Obama also talked about the US intelligence agency’s report into alleged cyber-attacks by Russia and the attempt to influence the 2016 US presidential campaign.
He said that he had “underestimated” the impact of such attacks.
Barack Obama said: “I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation… and so forth to have an impact on our open societies.”
He added that a conversation had taken place with Donald Trump in which he had discussed the importance of having faith in the intelligence community.
“There are going to be times where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working,” the president said.
Last week Donald Trump said he was a “big fan” of intelligence agencies, after months of casting doubt on the Russian link to the security breach. But he later raised questions over how the Democratic Party had responded to the cyber-attacks.
Donald Trump will be inaugurated on Friday, January 20.
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