President-elect Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, waves as they arrive at Andrews Air Force Base. (Photo: AP)
Washington: With one day to go before he takes the oath of office as the 45th US president, Donald Trump arrives in Washington on Thursday determined to transform US politics over the next four years.
With President Barack Obama's departure on Friday, Trump becomes Air Force One's most exclusive passenger. Trump is "very anxious to get to the White House and get to work for the American people," said his vice president, Mike Pence, a 57-year-old Christian conservative from Indiana.
For new American leaders, the tone, style and agenda of their presidencies are often set from their arrival in Washington through their first few days in office.
Here are the latest updates:
President-elect Donald Trump and his family are making an appearance at the "Make America Great Again Welcome Concert" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Thousands of people have gathered on the mall in Washington for the event, many donning Trump's signature red "Make America Great Again" campaign hats.
Trump is expected to deliver remarks at the event. Also expected to make appearances are country singer Toby Keith, actor Jon Voight and the band 3 Doors Down, among others.
President-elect Donald Trump is laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery as he continues his countdown to inauguration. Trump was joined in the ceremony by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
The pair silently placed a wreath in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns - a monument dedicated to service members whose remains were never identified.
After placing the wreath, the two men put their hands on their hearts as solemn music played.
Trump's family, including his wife, Melania, and adult children and grandchildren were also present. Fields of white gravestones rolled into the distance under the warm winter sun.
President-elect Donald Trump is planning to visit the CIA on Saturday, the day after he is sworn in as president. Two individuals briefed on Trump's plans told The Associated Press about the visit. They were not authorized to discuss details haven't been made public and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Trump has sharply criticized the intelligence community over its assertions about Russian hacking and over leaks about his briefings that have occured since he was elected. Asked Thursday about whether Trump plans to visit the CIA, incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said it's "not just the CIA, but several departments he's going to visit and make sure that he tells them how much he appreciates their service to our country."
President-elect Donald Trump says he and House Speaker Paul Ryan are getting along wonderfully, even though Ryan sometimes wants him to hold his tongue. Trump said at a luncheon Thursday in Washington he's "starting to really, really love Paul." He says, "I just want to let the world know: We're doing very well together."
But the pair sometimes have different ideas about what to say to the media. Trump says Ryan called him several days ago to suggest they not talk publicly about taxes. Trump says he agreed, but that an interview he'd given several days previously about taxes was published after they talked. Journalists were escorted from the room while Trump was talking and were not allowed to hear the rest of his remarks.
President-elect Donald Trump appears to have announced that billionaire New York Jets owner Woody Johnson will become the next ambassador to Britain.
Trump was speaking at a luncheon in Washington when he introduced a guest as "sitting next to the ambassador Woody Johnson, going to Saint James."
Trump said, "Congratulations, Woody."
The appointment has not been formally announced, but Johnson is considered a favorite for the job. The billionaire businessman and philanthropist from the Johnson & Johnson family has known Trump for years. Johnson originally backed Trump rival Jeb Bush in the GOP primary.
President-elect Donald Trump had arrived in Washington area on Thursday morning to kick off his inauguration festivities. Trump arrived in a military plane, without media on board, just after noon at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews. He was joined by his wife, Melania, and other members of his family.
Trump has a busy day of inauguration-related activities planned. He'll be attending a leadership luncheon with transition officials and incoming staff at his Washington hotel, attending a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and making an appearance at a concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
He'll end the day at a VIP reception and candlelight dinner at Union Station before spending the night at the presidential guest house across the street from the White House.
The chief of staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Snyder, will become the agency's interim leader after Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.
Trump has picked VA undersecretary David Shulkin to head the agency, replacing Bob McDonald.
But Shulkin still needs to be confirmed by the Senate and hasn't had a hearing yet. There was some expectation that Shulkin would serve as acting secretary until his confirmation. But a 1998 law prohibits nominees from serving as interim leaders.
Shulkin, the only Obama administration official named to Trump's Cabinet, is expected to win confirmation. He'll serve in his current role as undersecretary of health until then.
Wild mustangs tamed and trained at a Kansas prison will be part of Donald Trump's inaugural parade. The Fort Riley Army base and U.S. Border Patrol agents are bringing about 10 of the horses to the parade Friday from the Capitol to the White House.
Since 2001, the Bureau of Land Management has sent horses to the Hutchinson Correctional Facility for training. They come from public lands in the western United States, where their numbers are too high to sustain.
Over the years, more than 60 horses trained at the prison have patrolled the border from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego. Hundreds of others have been adopted. Dexter Hedrick leads the prison horse training program. Hedrick says inmates are "taking great pride in knowing that they contributed to something so meaningful."
Donald Trump's choice to run the Treasury Department is promising the government won't default on the debt and wants to raise the debt ceiling "sooner rather than later" when it is due to be reset later this year.
Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-chin) told the Senate Finance Committee during a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing that he and Trump believe that "honoring the U.S. debt is the most important thing."
Raising the debt ceiling must be done to avert a first-ever default on U.S. obligations, but Trump raised eyebrows by suggesting he might renegotiate the government's obligations to save money. But Mnuchin sought to dispel any doubts and said, "The U.S. has the obligation to honor its debt," and, "We don't want to risk defaulting."
President-elect Donald Trump's spokesman is dismissing concerns about the absence of a Latino in the new Cabinet. Trump's selection of Sonny Perdue for the position of Agriculture Secretary finalizes his Cabinet - and makes it the first Cabinet absent a Latino in nearly three decades.
Sean Spicer says the president-elect is committed to "uniting this country."
At a news conference Thursday, Spicer defended the diversity of Trump's chosen Cabinet by pointing to nominees Elaine Chao, Ben Carson and Nikki Haley - three ethnically diverse Cabinet picks.
He says that when the broader administration is taken into account, people will "respect the level of diversity." Lauro Cavazos was the first Latino Cabinet member, serving as Education Secretary at the end of the Reagan administration and the start of the George H.W. Bush administration.
Donald Trump's first meal as president of the United States isn't too far from the typical power lunch for a billionaire businessman - lobster, beef and a rich chocolate dessert.
The inaugural committee Thursday released the lunch menu following the swearing-in ceremonies on Friday and Trump and some 200 guests will be tucking into a first course of Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp in a saffron sauce, Angus beef from Virginia with Idaho potatoes and a dark chocolate sauce, and a chocolate souffle with cherry vanilla ice cream.
The three-course menu isn't too far from previous lunches other new commanders in chief have enjoyed, with lobster, in some form, usually making the first course.
It may rain on Donald Trump's parade. Due to the forecast of rain for Inauguration Day, the National Park Service is revising its "no umbrella" policy for Friday. The park service says collapsible mini umbrellas will be allowed on the parade route as well as on the National Mall for the inauguration. Long, noncollapsible umbrellas will not be allowed along the route or on the Mall.
Incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer says the first few daily media briefings will be held in the usual briefing room. At an on-camera news conference Thursday, Spicer said it will be a little crammed, but that the sessions will be in the James S. Brady briefing room at the White House.
Last week, senior administration officials said they might relocate daily briefings to accommodate the large number of journalists interested in covering the Trump administration.
The proposal raised concern that it might result in limited access given President-elect Donald Trump's contentious relationship with the media. Donald Trump spokesman Sean Spicer says new Cabinet nominees have been subjected to "delay tactic after delay tactic" by Democrats.
At a news conference Thursday, Spicer said partisan politics have delayed confirmation of Elaine Chao as Trump's transportation secretary, Ben Carson as housing secretary and Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador.
The incoming White House press secretary says those three "weren't even on their political hit list" and questions why their nominations are being held up. Ethics reviews had not been completed on some nominees, slowing the process. Several critical nominees, such as Trump's defense secretary pick, James Mattis, could be confirmed as soon as Friday.
Incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer says it "shouldn't be a shocker" that Donald Trump will be staying at his new Washington hotel. Spicer said at a news conference Thursday the hotel is a symbol of the kind of government Trump wants to run, "ahead of time and under budget."
Trump made a surprise visit to Trump International Hotel on Wednesday night, grabbing a late dinner before heading back to New York. Reporters were not allowed inside the hotel, which is currently off-limits to journalists.