£73m Trump cer­e­mony

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News -

A record £73mil­lion has been raised in do­na­tions for Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion.

The amount raised by his Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Com­mit­tee is far more than that col­lected by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s two in­au­gu­ral com­mit­tees.

They raised £45mil­lion in 2009 and £35mil­lion in 2013.

But while Mr Trump has raised more money than any pres­i­dent in his­tory, he aims to do less with it.

Lead in­au­gu­ral plan­ner Tom Bar­rack said Mr Trump’s team wants to avoid a “cir­cus-like at­mos­phere” in favour of a more “back to work” mind­set.

Mr Trump’s com­mit­tee has de­clined to pro­vide de­tails on how it is aim­ing to spend its hefty sum.

Steve Ker­ri­gan, chief ex­ec­u­tive for Mr Obama’s in­au­gu­ral com­mit­tee in 2013 and chief of staff in 2009, said the amount raised looks like overkill.

He added: “I can’t imag­ine how they are go­ing to spend that amount of money – and why they would even keep rais­ing money.

“We planned the two largest in­au­gu­ra­tions in the his­tory of our coun­try and we never spent any­where near that.”

Mr Trump this week promised a “very, very el­e­gant day”.

They will ar­rive to find a party that is not nearly as in­volved as Mr Obama’s.

The pres­i­dent-elect is hold­ing three in­au­gu­ral balls; Mr Obama had 10 balls at his first in­au­gu­ral.

Mr Trump’s team also hopes to keep its pa­rade to 90 min­utes.

The pres­i­dent-elect’s in­au­gu­ral team has also failed to at­tract the kind of A-list per­form­ers who turned out in force for Mr Obama.

Mr Trump has an­nounced that head­lin­ers are teen singer Jackie Evan­cho, the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir and the Ra­dio City Rock­ettes.

Spokesman Boris Ep­shteyn said the in­au­gu­ral com­mit­tee is “fully fo­cused on or­gan­is­ing world-class events that hon­our our na­tion’s tremen­dous his­tory and reach ev­ery cor­ner of the globe”.

Any ex­cess money raised will be do­nated to char­ity.

Mr Obama used his ex­cess in­au­gu­ral dol­lars to help pay for the White House Easter egg roll and other events in his first term, Mr Ker­ri­gan said.

Mr Trump has not spec­i­fied which char­i­ties might ben­e­fit from any left­over cash.

His com­mit­tee has 90 days af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion to re­veal its donors, al­though some pres­i­dents have re­ported do­na­tions as they came in.

A few con­trib­u­tors are al­ready known. Among cor­po­rate donors are Boe­ing and Chevron.

While a big share of the cost is cov­ered by the pri­vate do­na­tions, tax­pay­ers pro­vide a con­sid­er­able amount as well.

They are ex­pected, to cover the close to £4mil­lion cost of build­ing the 10,000sq-ft plat­form on the west front of the Capi­tol for the swearingin.

The pub­lic also pays se­cu­rity costs.

Pres­i­dent Obama wipes his tears dur­ing his farewell ad­dress

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