Donald Trump booed and jeered by thousands as he takes oath of office

Polls show that Mr Trump is the least popular President for four decades

Andrew Buncombe
Washington DC
Friday 20 January 2017 21:24 GMT
Protesters on the national mall watch the inauguration of US President Donald Trump
Protesters on the national mall watch the inauguration of US President Donald Trump (Getty)

Pat Fitzgibbons was seated beneath a statue of General Winfield Scott Hancock and she was clapping her hands.

The general, a dirty green colour, looked rather sad. By contrast, Ms Fitzgibbons, from New Jersey, looked positively delighted.

It would be a bold person who tried to guess whether supporters of Donald Trump outnumbered those opposed to him on inauguration day. But at the US National Archives, one of the main sites where people were expressing their anger and fury towards the America’s new president, Ms Hancock was definitely in the minority.

“I think we need a change,” she said, explaining why she voted for him. “I want him to create more jobs and to cut taxes.”

By sharply chiselled contrast, many people gathered at the archives were adamant that they did not even consider Mr Trump their President. As the New York tycoon was sworn in, they booed and hissed, their noise drowning out the words of Mr Trump being broadcast over loudspeakers, as he promised to protect and defend the Constitution.

As he spoke, delivering a speech that many believed was more likely to further stoke the US’s divisions rasher than heal then, they shouted out their disagreement. They carried banners and signs, or at least as many as they were able to get past the security check.

Lessons in eloquence with Obama and Trump

“I’m opposed to Donald Trump on a number of levels – both about his tone and his substance,” said Larry Udell, 68, a philosophy teacher from Philadelphia. “And I do not agree with his plan to create jobs by cutting taxes.”

Victoria Najlis moved to the US from Nicaragua thirty years ago. Now she works in a health department in Atlanta. She had flown to Washington to voice her opposition to Mr Trump’s fiery and frequently racist rhetoric about immigrants and Hispanics.

“The night he was elected, it felt as though somebody in my family had died. There was such grief,” she said. “I am very worried about what will happen to immigrants in this country.”

David Beigel, a child psychologist from Washington, said he believed America had been founded on a idea of fairness towards each other, along with freedom of speech.

“We just elected a half-logical narcissist who wants to turn things back to the 1950s when any sort of dissent got met by McCarthyism,” he said.

Betsy Andrews had travelled from New York with two friends. She said all three of them were gay.

She said: “He is anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-women, a sexual assaulter – [Mr Trump has denied a number of accusations of sexual assault] – and he has appointed people to his cabinet who are just going to make sure more money goes to the wealthy.”

The Trump supporters who were present, were – in the large part – keeping a largely low profile.

“We came because we’re Trump supporters,” said Tom Campbell, a service technician from Yorktown, Virginia. “We voted for him because we did not want Hillary Clinton imposing her liberal agenda.”

And what policies of Mr Trump did he particularly like? He said: “His plan to build a wall and his plan to bring jobs back to America.”

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