Saturday 21 April 2018

Donald Trump claims his inauguration will draw record crowds

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during the Chairman's Global Dinner in Washington (AP/Evan Vucci)
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during the Chairman's Global Dinner in Washington (AP/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump has told a pre-inauguration dinner that the event will attract record crowds to Washington.

The president-elect also told the event that he is putting together a Cabinet "the likes of which has never been assembled before".

Mr Trump travelled to Washington on Tuesday evening to attend the black-tie Chairman's Global Dinner, which drew nearly 150 diplomats and ambassadors.

He told them: "We have great respect for your countries. We have great respect for our world."

The dinner was also attended by well-heeled donors and people who will soon be members of his White House staff.

Mr Trump joked about the "beauties" he had considered as potential running mates, referred to the scrutiny his choice for secretary of state has received, and bragged about his support from bikers.

He also claimed people are predicting record crowds for his inauguration on Friday, despite the fact that plenty of hotel rooms remain available.

The president-elect had earlier tweeted that his inauguration will bring record numbers of people to Washington - and he is doing his utmost to make that happen.

The Trump team is posting ads on Facebook and Twitter encouraging people to come to Washington for the inaugural festivities.

The ads say Mr Trump "wants to personally invite" people to Thursday's inaugural welcome concert and Friday's swearing-in ceremony.

They include a video from Mr Trump promising the concert will be "really fantastic".

Christopher Geldart, the district's director of homeland security, says officials are planning for an inaugural turnout of 800,000 to 900,000 people.

That would be a sizeable turnout but nowhere near the 1.8 million who attended Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

Mr Trump will on Wednesday meet Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, a Democrat and a possible 2020 White House contender.

Mr Cuomo said he hopes to use the meeting in Manhattan to focus on the needs of New York state, including his ambitious plans to upgrade and rebuild bridges, railway stations and airports.

Mr Trump and Mr Cuomo have known each other for many years and spoke shortly after the Republican won the election in November.

Mr Cuomo supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election.

He has called on the state to stand up to the intolerance and discrimination that he says was revealed in the election.


Press Association

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