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Countdown to Inauguration Day; 35 Words That Make a President; Trump's Inauguration Address; Trump Hours Away from Taking Oath of Office. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired January 20, 2017 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:11] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It is midnight on the nose here in Washington D.C. It's inauguration day.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
And this is a day for the record books; the day Donald Trump takes the oath of office -- 35 words that make him the President of the United States. That happens at noon just about 12 hours from now followed by the new president's inaugural address to the nation, a speech he says he wrote himself.
Then there's the parade, and the inaugural balls and the Trumps expected to dance a first dance to Frank Sinatra's "My Way". But when it comes time for the 45th president to sit in the oval office, what will he do first?
Let's get right to David Swerdlick, CNN political commentator; Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian; former Congressman Steve Israel also a CNN political commentator; Mark Preston, CNN politics executive editor; Emily Jane Fox, CNN contributor; and political commentator Kevin Madden. Thank you very much.
There's a lot of folks to get to.
So Mark, I want to start with you. Official inauguration day, just a short time ago Donald Trump spoke to supporters. It was a candlelight dinner at Union Station. He's talking about his momentous day that he had. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Arlington National Cemetery, I don't know if anyone saw it, it was so beautiful. So many people, so many people -- it was incredible. So we went there, and we laid the wreath with Mike, and it was beautiful.
And then we went to the Lincoln Memorial and had a concert. And we thought it would be a small concert and tens of thousands of people were there. It went all the way to the back. They never had so many people. And very few people ever had a concert at Lincoln Memorial. But what they pulled off was incredible. It was an unbelievable period of time. But tomorrow seems to be the big one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Mark, is he rising to the moment, you think?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, I guess tomorrow he thinks seems to be the big one. I mean I think it is the big one, right, where he actually takes office.
Look, I will give him his ability to kind of relish in the moment during that speech as he was saying that. However, I do think tomorrow he has kind of hit the ground running. He has to kind of give a speech that is very inclusive. It has to be soaring but it's got to somber. He has to acknowledge the times that we are in.
And what we saw later on though Don is that he was very politicized in those remarks later and perhaps we'll see him later on in the show. He can't do that anymore. He can't do that anymore.
He has to be a president for all the people. You don't have to agree with his policies, but the fact of the matter is he's got to go out there and try to unite a divided nation.
LEMON: Do you agree with that, Congressman?
STEVE ISRAEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. Look, if you're advising Donald Trump, your advice to him is we need to bounce out of this inaugural. He begins his presidency with one of the lowest favorability ratings in history.
And so tomorrow is an opportunity for him to get a bounce politically but also to unify the country. If I were one of Donald Trump's advisers I would also tell him if you give that soaring, unifying inaugural speech, please don't tweet within hours after that.
LEMON: Like really -- why do you say that?
ISRAEL: Because he will step on his own speech with some inane tweet. He's going to lead the largest organization on earth in about 12 hours, and he's got to quit tweeting.
LEMON: Yes. Kevin -- why are you laughing?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think there will be -- I agree with him about the tweets that he does have a tendency to sometimes step on his message.
And I think Mark and Congressman Israel are right. There will be unifying themes, but the moment important message that I think Donald Trump is -- wants to send tomorrow is that -- is more in line with the phrase that we heard all throughout the campaign which is make America great again.
I expect that there will be a lot of "America first" themes first and foremost in his speech because I think when you strip away everything, this idea of economic nationalism is really at the heart of the -- of what Donald Trump really tapped into around the country, and I think he wants to reinforce that in his speech.
LEMON: Yes. And listen, this is a really weighty time to be taking the oath of office. And just moments before I think he's going to get the nuclear codes, I mean, and you put your hand on that bible -- that's serious stuff. What is that moment like, do you think?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, the joke is over. You can make fun of Donald Trump all you want, but at that moment, he's our president. He's what we've got, and he's going to be in crisis mode really from day one.
In foreign affairs, North Korea is threatening to do some kind of mischief with missiles this weekend. We will have to see how he responds to North Korea.
And I just think it's a tinderbox out there in foreign affairs. I mean, the NATO allies are concerned about him. We're concerned about the relationship with Russia. What will China do if he does the wrong thing with North Korea?
[00:05:06] So we've got to pull for people like General Flynn and General Mattis to get around him and start talking seriously about foreign policy and get away from this frivolous campaign. Don't talk about the 2016 campaign anymore.
LEMON: But you know, I want to know if you can, as a historian, just tell us what is that moment like? What is the process like when you're getting the nuclear code because most former presidents have said that was the most sobering moment of their lives?
BRINKLEY: You know, you realize that you have the power of life and death at your fingertips. And that the power is larger and greater than you assumed. It's not just the nuclear codes.
People now in our intelligence agencies are really trying to tell you some of the dark, scary things that are happening in the world. The public is not always aware. We don't live at trying to make America a nation of panic and fear all the time, but he's going to be learning a lot and hopefully he's mature enough to take all that and learn from past presidents.
Look how Kennedy dealt with crises, study the Cuban missile crisis, study Ronald Reagan's diplomacy with Gorbachev -- history can be his friend. My only real concern right now with Donald Trump is he doesn't have that historic background, so he kind of wings it.
And in foreign policy particularly, winging it isn't good enough. And I hope Don, he doesn't put build the wall in the speech tomorrow. Last minute, you know, play that campaign line that might please the million people that are here, many of his supporters. But it will reopen that border thing in an ugly way right out of the gate. I think he shouldn't deliver that kind of a red meat speech.
LEMON: Do you think he understands that when Douglas mentioned the intelligence community and giving classified information and, you know, the briefings that he's going to have, do you think he realizes that it's not about partisanship at that point? This is about the world -- America and the world?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he's going to realize it. President Trump is a smart guy.
LEMON: I ask you because he's having his issues with the intelligence community.
SWERDLICK: Sure. He is a smart guy. He figured out how to become President of the United States. He has these moments of soberness like you saw him today laying the wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. If you look at him, I was watching it on TV, he looked reflective. But then a few hours later he's back giving these sorts of off-the-cuff toasts at these dinners, and it's clear that these things aren't sustained.
Now that we're out of a campaign, there's no President Obama or no Hillary Clinton to triangulate off of. He either does it, he either gets along with Director Pompeo or gets along with the other people at CIA or he doesn't. And then his presidency and, you know, by extension the country either succeeds or suffers for it.
LEMON: Yes. Emily, he places so much stock in his family and getting advice from his family as advisors. We're going to see if Jared Kushner, his son-in-law will be anywhere near the oval office, where his office will be. They will be his advisers, but for this -- the 36-year-old meaning Jared Kushner or his daughter who's in her 30s who have no political experience. He's going to need other people by his side and he's going to have to rely on people other than his family to give him advice.
EMILY JANE FOX, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he already does. It's not like Jared and Ivanka are the only two people in his ear. I think part of Donald's problem is that he has so many people in his ear. And yes he listens to what Jared has to say, yes he listens to what Ivanka has to say, but he listens to any number of people who are around him. I think that that's why we see so many different Trumps all the time.
We see, you know, the last person who was in his ear and that person may have a different view of the next person in his ear. And so I think it's really hard to tell who he's going to have around him and maybe it's going to be a number of different people and that's why we'll see a number of different Trumps.
LEMON: Well, that's the political forecast, but what about the weather forecast?
For inauguration day, today, you got your umbrellas ready? Did you call them -- what is it called? I forgot.
BRINKLEY: Galoshes. LEMON: I thought galoshes, I thought that was -- goulash is a dish and galosh is a shoe. Are we going to need that and an umbrella?
Just say boots, Don, rain boots. We'll be right back.
Oh, there's Derek. Derek -- sorry, I thought we were going to a break.
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey -- Don.
LEMON: Derek -- what's the forecast?
VAN DAM: All right. It literally might rain on Donald Trump's parade tomorrow, I would say. And in his own words, the President-Elect, it sounds like the world will find out if, indeed, his hair is actually real on top of his head.
So we do have rain in the forecast -- Don, as you've already alluded to. And yes, it is called galoshes, by the way. Galoshes -- I should say.
VAN DAM: This is the rain that's actually headed our way. And it's moving through Atlanta where the CNN headquarters is located. But as we focus in on the nation's capital, you can see Virginia, Maryland and the District of Colombia -- that is where the center of the world will be here over the next 12 hours or so.
And when we talk climatologically speaking, temperatures on average over the 45 times that this has happened, we've had an average of about 43 degrees, 33 percent chance of rain, 10 percent chance of snow.
[00:10:07] But look at the polar opposites that President Ronald Reagan had to deal with back in '81, his first swearing in ceremony and back in '85, his second. He actually had the warmest and coldest inaugurations on record.
Franklin Roosevelt and William Taft, they actually had the worst weather with the heaviest rain and the heaviest amounts of snow that brought down power lines and trees in the nation's capital.
So we timed things out for you here just so you know what to expect. Perhaps you're heading to the National Mall or just outside of the Capitol Building there to go to watch the events unfolding.
By the way, they're expecting about a million people to line the National Mall, the record being Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. They had 1.8 million people show up for that.
Low clouds, fog that's going to perhaps dampen kind of the mood a little bit there, perhaps reduce our visibilities. But the rain really moves in right about noon when Donald Trump puts his hand on the bible. And it will certainly be a wet inauguration. Then the parade starts to take place about 3 p.m. lining the streets there across the nation's capital. Most of the heavy showers should move on by then but certainly drizzle, low cloud and fog anticipated in this forecast. So that will impact perhaps the amount of people that will head out to go see the day's events.
How much rain are we talking? When we get into the specifics, here's the Potomac. Here's the Chesapeake and you can see the nation's capital right there, and the rainfall accumulation, what we're expecting anywhere between a quarter to upwards of a half an inch of rain. That would be the most amount of rain we would get out of this system. Not a lot, but certainly enough to kind of change things up for us here.
But check this out. We put together this really cool graphic. This is what we're expecting near the Capitol Building -- low cloud, fog and mist. And as we take it through the course of the day, we do anticipate temperatures in the middle and upper 40s, Don, and 70 percent chance of rain right about noon. And then as the day goes on, showers move on as well and the forecast starts to clear up.
So that's what we're expecting.
LEMON: You look like a giant -- you look a giant standing next to that White House.
VAN DAM: Looming over the Capitol building.
LEMON: Gulag is a prison. I had that wrong, I was thinking of something else.
All right. Thank you -- Derek.
VAN DAM: Not a dish.
LEMON: I appreciate that.
VAN DAM: You're welcome -- Don.
LEMON: It's a tiny capital. Did you guys see that? Did you bring your rain stuff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have an umbrella.
LEMON: You're ready.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they're allowing small ones tomorrow. They weren't going to but now the park services is.
LEMON: All right, everyone. Stick around.
When we come right back -- Donald Trump promising what he calls very meaningful action right after his speech. Does he have major executive orders in store?
[00:12:34] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: It is past midnight here in Washington, D.C. So it's officially inauguration day, everyone.
In under 12 hours. Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America.
Back with me: David Swerdlick, Douglas Brinkley, Steve Israel, Mark Preston, Emily Jane Fox, and Kevin Madden.
Mark -- Donald Trump is dangling the prospect of taking immediate action after the swearing in but not saying exactly what that is. Do you want to guess?
LEMON: All right.
PRESTON: Nobody knows.
No look, I don't think his aides know, and in fact, his aides have acknowledged as much that they don't know exactly what he's going to do. What he could do though is he could sign executive actions into place that could affect environmental policies that were pushed forward by Barack Obama.
Obamacare -- he could do something on that. He could do something on immigration. He could start the wall. You know, the steps towards trying to build a wall on the southern border, but quite frankly, we don't know what he's going to do -- Don.
LEMON: They're promising a lot of actions. Key positions have been filled. Do you think they're ready -- Kevin?
MADDEN: Yes, I do. I think they -- admittedly I think they're a little bit behind schedule. That's because this was a transition that had to go through a transition early on. And, you know, it is a daunting task.
I mean think about it. There's 4,000 political appointments that need to be made. So making it in a short period of time is a great challenge.
LEMON: Didn't the Clinton administration have a tumultuous transition as well?
MADDEN: They did. I mean there's always rocky roads during transitions. And I think that's the thing that people have to remember is that first of all, it's only one branch of government. They are separate but equal and there are other branches of government. So they're going to be running just fine on -- starting tomorrow as well.
The other part of this is that it is always a process. It is never an event. It never just happens at noon on inaugural, after the inauguration. So I think that process will continue, and -- but I think they're also cognizant that there's a lot of work that still needs to be done.
FOX: The process is moving very slowly. I think the "New York Times" reported tonight that out of 668 executive appointments, only 29 have been made. That's a strikingly low number.
And I think it's also worth noting that Donald Trump gave an interview to the "Times" of London this week saying I know I'm getting inaugurated on Friday, but the work week actually starts on Monday. So any expectations for what's going to happen on the weekend, just remember what he said.
ISRAEL: I'm glad you brought that up. We reported that on this show, and then tonight I was surprised to hear Kellyanne Conway say something completely different than Donald Trump said in an interview that came out of his own mouth. She said of course, well, we're going to start right away. He said he's going to start on Monday.
BRINKLEY: You know, what, because he said day one on the campaign trail. He almost could have gotten emblazoned on his T shirt day one. And if he'd waited until day three, his critics would say what happened to day one, Mr. Trump.
He doesn't want the media world to think he's not going full bore the second he's sworn in.
LEMON: Congressman --
ISRAEL: This has been a very bumpy transition. Look, if you watched the confirmation hearings, you've seen people who have not exactly inspired confidence in their ability and their readiness to lead.
Steve Mnuchin today saying that, you know, acknowledging he forgot to include $100 million in assets as if it was like a $20 bill fell between the cushions of his couch. Or Betsy DeVos who struggled to understand the special education at the Department of Education. And Rick Perry who recently announced he now knows that the Department of Energy which he will lead actually has responsibility for our nuclear warheads. So this is not a team that has inspired confidence.
Having said that -- look, I'm a Democrat, but I'm an American Democrat. I want them to succeed. I don't think that over the long haul they're going to be remembered based on what has happened over the past few weeks, but they need to get on their game -- Don.
[00:20:08] LEMON: Yes. And you're going tomorrow?
LEMON: You're going to be a Democrat that goes tomorrow, not one who sits at home?
You mentioned Rick Perry. And Rick Perry is up for secretary of Energy, and he was on the Hill today. He said he'd like to close a few years ago, the department he would like to close a few years ago that he regretted even making that comment.
And then he had this light moment with Senator Al Franken. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY, ENERGY SECRETARY NOMINEE: I hope you're as much fun on that dais as you were on your couch.
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: Well --
PERRY: May I rephrase that, sir?
FRANKEN: Please. Please. Please. Oh, my lord. Oh, my lord.
PERRY: Well, I think we found our "Saturday Night Live" sound bite.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDEN: I like that Senator Franken has never lost his comedic timing, and Perry has comedic timing we never knew he had.
LEMON: Yes. He'll probably end up on "Saturday Night Live" as well. That was awkward but a classic moment.
SWERDLICK: It was awkward, but they both somehow managed at the end to get to a place where we can all laugh about it. Maybe a little bit of levity was nice amid all these rancorous hearings.
The Democratic senator and the, you know, not totally prepared secretary of Energy have their work cut out for them.
PRESTON: You know, in contrast to what we saw there which was a very light-hearted moment and it was a nice moment in many ways. You know, on the other side we saw a very bad moment happen on Capitol Hill today where you saw two senators actually get very vicious towards one another.
And that's when Pat Roberts told Ron Wyden, a Democrat, he needed to take a valium. This happened during the Mnuchin hearing, which then sparked another Senator to then jump in and criticize Pat Roberts who's a Republican. And it was a very nasty moment this morning.
Having said that, I think it is going to show how things are going to get really nasty just on Capitol --
ISRAEL: It's going to be mean and tough. Yes.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, everyone.
Up next, 35 words that make a president -- the oath that Donald Trump will take in just a few hours.
[00:22:22] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: In just a few hours Donald Trump will recite the oath of office, 35 words that will make him the President of the United States. But there is a lot of -- that you may not know about the oath.
CNN's Kamau Bell has that.
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, do --
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORM PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I Lyndon Baines Johnson --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- do solemnly swear --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- do solemnly swear --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that I will faithfully execute --
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The office of President of the United States.
KAMAU BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's this moment --
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And will to the best of my ability --
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- to the best of my ability --
BELL: It's these words --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- preserve --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- protect --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and defend.
BELL: -- once spoken --
BUSH: The constitution of --
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- the United States.
BELL: -- have the power to transform any citizen into a President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
OBAMA: So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations Mr. President.
BELL: So don't mess it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully. OBAMA: And I will execute --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Faithfully the office of President of the United States --
OBAMA: -- the office of the President of the United States faithfully.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The office of the presidency of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maintain and defend --
OBAMA: The office of president of the United States --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm ready to administer the oath.
BELL: To tell the story of the presidential oath of office let's start at the beginning with this guy, the old $1-bill himself George Washington, or the next best thing.
As our nation's first president he was the first to recite the oath back on April 30th, 1789.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Washington do solemnly swear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do solemnly swear.
BELL: The oath of office is written into the United States constitution. It's the only part meant to be administered word for word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Preserve, protect and defend.
BELL: The framers carefully added the specific 35 words as the binding pledge a new president makes to the country.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States --
BELL: And Washington was the first person ever to get a crack at it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I will to the best of my ability.
BELL: He took the oath at Federal Hall in New York City. But these days most presidents take it outside the U.S. Capitol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The office of president of the United States.
BUSH: The office of President of the United States.
BELL: The constitution doesn't say who has to administer the oath, but generally it's the chief justice. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The constitution of the United States.
BELL: It was Washington's idea to kiss the bible. And almost every president after him did the same. That is until Dwight Eisenhower decided enough of that. He put the tradition to rest in 1953 and said a prayer instead.
DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That I will make full and complete, so help me God.
BELL: Now, that line is up for debate. The words "so help me God" are not written in the constitution. And historians are not sure whether Washington was the first to say them, but most presidents have added them to the end of their oath.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
BELL: Fast forward two centuries later, the oath remains a very sacred tradition in our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.
REAGAN: So help me God.
BRINKLEY: This is the grand theater and the grand spectacle of watching a democracy at work where an entire government hands over a baton to the next government. It does not happen until the words of the oath are uttered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I will faithfully execute.
CLINTON: The office of president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- preserve, protect and defend.
BRINKLEY: And the words matter. You have to say the words correctly. And if it goes sideways, you're going to have to do a do-over like Barack Obama did.
[00:30:02] BELL: Yes, Barack Obama had a redo in 2009.
BRINKLEY: The oath of office went sideways largely for Supreme Court Justice Roberts' mistake.
JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?
OBAMA: I am.
BRINKLEY: President Obama started taking the oath, but Justice Roberts` language was different than what Obama was thinking.
ROBERTS: -- swear--
BARACK OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear -- BRINKLEY: But they were kind of counterpoising each other. And they would go kind of back and forth and it was an awkward moment.
ROBERTS: That I will execute the Office of the President of the United States faithfully --
OBAMA: That I will execute --
ROBERTS: The -- faithfully the President -- the Office of President of the United States --
BARACK OBAMA: -- the office of the President of the United of States faithfully.
BRINKLEY: Immediately, people called it a botched oath. Some people even questioned, is President Obama a real president?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, AUTHOR OF THE OATH: THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE AND THE SUPREME COURT: The next morning, a new Justice Department official named David Barron called the White House counsel and said, you know, we might want to think about doing this again.
And that's what set in motion the redo later that day.
I would describe the atmosphere in the White House as kind of sheepish.
Everyone was kind of embarrassed to have to do this again.
BELL: Four years later, he took it two more times, but that's because in 2013, January 20th landed on a Sunday. When that happens, the president-elect takes the oath privately in the White House and then publicly the next day.
SASHA OBAMA, DAUGHTER OF BARACK OBAMA: Good job, Daddy.
OBAMA: I did it.
S. OBAMA: You didn't mess up.
BELL: Yes, dad, good job. Can I call you dad?
OBAMA: Thank you, everybody.
BELL: In all, Obama has taken the oath four times.
The only other president to take the oath that many times is FDR, but that's only because he was elected president four times. A little different.
Of course, Obama isn't the only president whose swearing-in ceremony has been a little bit weird.
For example, it didn't go so smoothly for President Truman in 1945.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: Vice President Harry S. Truman takes the oath of office as 32nd president.
BELL: There's no audio of it, but when Harry S. Truman took the oath, Chief Justice Harlan Stone said, "I, Harry Ship Truman." But Stone made that up.
Truman's middle name was just the letter S.
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT: Faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States.
BELL: It also wasn't perfect for Herbert Hoover in 1929.
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT: To the best of your ability that you will preserve, maintain, and defend.
BELL: It's subtle, but did you pick up on that?
Chief Justice William Howard Taft said "maintain" instead of protect the Constitution.
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT: The Constitution of the United States.
BELL: In 1909, when Taft himself was sworn in, his oath was also misquoted.
JOHN ROBERTS: And will, to the best of my ability --
OBAMA: And will, to the best of my ability --
BELL: While those earlier administrations played a little fast and loose with the oath, Obama's camp felt differently, because of well, you know, I'm not going to say it.
TOOBIN: Obama himself had nothing to do with the decision to redo the oath. It was the people around him. His aides, who knew that politically as much as legally, it was very important to establish his legitimacy.
They knew he was the first African-American. They knew these false questions had been raised about his birthplace. So they decided, let's foreclose any controversy and redo the whole thing.
BELL: Maybe we should just go back to the way they administered the oath in the 1800s.
BEN ZIMMER, LINGUIST: Originally, whoever was administering the oath would ask it as a question.
Do you, such and such, solemnly swear?
And then the person would respond just by saying, I do, or I do solemnly swear.
HERBERT HOOVER: I do.
ZIMMER: In more modern times, the new president actually repeats every single word.
GERALD FORD: That I will faithfully execute --
RONALD REAGAN: The Office of President of the United States --
ZIMMER: The whole idea of taking an oath to assume a new office goes back to ancient time.
TRUMAN: I, Harry S. Truman, do solemnly swear
BELL: The presidential oath is shorter than any other official oath. It's shorter than most wedding vows, shorter than the Hippocratic oath.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: On my honor, I will do my best --
BELL: Even the Boy Scouts have a longer oath. The Boy Scouts, it takes more words to promise to get an old lady safely cross the street than it does to get the nuclear codes.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Eventually awake and morally straight.
BELL: But how much do Americans know about the Oath of Office. We decided to test a few to find out. And since we like our test with chicken wings, we headed to the Founding Father Bar in Buffalo, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Founding Fathers. We're going to be taking the "CNN Oath of Office Trivia Challenge."
Are we ready?
BELL: Not really.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Who was the only president to take the oath of office from a female official?
BELL: Bill Clinton? He was good with the ladies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: LBJ. It was Federal Judge Sarah Hughes, aboard Air Force One in Dallas, Texas.
BELL: Oh my God, I totally didn't know that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which president and what year was the first oath of office to take place in Washington, D.C?
BELL: 1492. 1776. My mom's birthday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jefferson, right here, 1801.
BELL: This guy is going too fast, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was the first president to affirm rather than swear the oath of office?
BELL: What's the difference? Those are synonyms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Franklin Pierce. We have a winner.
[00:35:15] BELL: Pierce, that's a president?
Here's another piece of trivia. When Donald Trump takes the oath of office this year, he'll be the first since Eisenhower to be sworn in without any political experience.
What won't be different is all the fanfare, including the president's own United States Marine band.
Hey, how can I get a Marine band?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think we've played for every presidential inauguration since 1801, since Thomas Jefferson. Music is actually central to the inaugural ceremony. It really is the thing that glues the entire ceremony together. And when we come to the part of the presidential oath, the music really is the thing that I think seals the deal for the new president of the United States.
BELL: I feel more presidential right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately following the oath, we play "Ruffles and Flourishes." And then we play "Hail to the Chief," which is official honors for the president of the United States.
BELL: These guys are good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is the first time the new president hears "Hail to the Chief". When we have an inauguration, where the new president is not the incumbent, we actually play "Hail to the Chief" twice.
We will play "Hail to the Chief" for President Obama for the very last time in his administration, and then when President Trump is sworn in, we will play "Hail to the Chief" for the very first time for the new president.
The oath and the music brings the entire ceremony to its zenith.
BELL: Sure, it may seem like a lot of pomp and circumstance, but in the end it is so much bigger than that. Because even when all the fanfare is stripped away, even in a simple home like Chester Arthur, on board a plane in a time of crisis like Lyndon Johnson, even behind closed doors at the White House to make up for a mistake, it really is all about the oath. 35 words with the power to make a president and hopefully unite the country.
LEMON: Thank you, Mr. Bell. I appreciate that.
After Donald Trump takes the oath of office, he'll make the most important speech of his life. We'll preview his inaugural address when we come right back.
[00:41:57] LEMON: Donald Trump's inauguration address is his chance to set the tone for his administration.
Let's discuss now. Republican strategist John Brabender is here; Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of "The Hill" and CNN political commentator Kevin Madden.
Good evening -- oh I should say, good morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.
LEMON: Happy inauguration day.
Bob, you first.
President-elect Donald Trump has written his inauguration address draft himself, he says, with some help from Stephen Miller. Here's what he said just a couple of hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I made a speech tonight at the Lincoln Memorial in front of all those people and all of those live television cameras. I can't stand them.
But, actually, a couple of them are starting to get honest. But I thought it was a very good speech. And so instead of saying it was a good speech, they are saying it doesn't matter tonight, how will he do it tomorrow? They never give you credit. But tomorrow we have a speech. Probably around 12:00. It may rain. It may not rain. I don't care. It doesn't matter.
I mean, the truth is if it really pours, that's OK, because people will realize it's my real hair, and that's OK. That's OK.
It might be a mess, but they're going to see that it's my real hair. But we have a speech that I wrote, and worked with Stephen Miller who is around here someplace, and Stephen is great. He's been with us from the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The hairline was a good one. I have to give it to him. But is it unusual for him to write his own inaugural speech?
BOB CUSACK, THE HILL: I mean, I think he has help. There's no doubt.
CUSACK: Yes. And I think that he's looking at the first draft and he'll have some say, and we were talking about it in the break. I do think he's going to have a unifying speech. I don't think it's going to be long, but I think he's going to realize, you know, this was a nasty campaign. It was terrible in a lot of ways. It was not good for the country. And I think he's got a -- that's one of his big challenges. He's got to unify the country. He's got to do something almost line, I think.
LEMON: Unifying challenge.
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I don't think he thinks that's his job. I think he thinks his job is to have a vision --
LEMON: You don't think his speech is going to be unifying?
BRABENDER: I don't. I don't -- I think it will be a vision speech and his hope is that everybody will unify behind the vision. But I think he's going to lay out here's what I'm going to do, guys, just like I said.
He's going to reiterate everything he said during the campaign and say we're going to do this together. I hope you're with me.
But I don't think he's going to say all the lines about I'm the president for everybody. I'm going to worry about everybody. I think he thinks that smacks of what most politicians would do. And, instead, I think he really just wants to get some stuff done and doesn't care what anybody thinks.
LEMON: Real quickly before I go to Kevin. You were in the room, tonight, when he made that speech.
LEMON: And what it was? How did it go over?
BRABENDER: Well, look, I mean, it's the audience, all these people are here to see the inaugural with Donald Trump. So it went really well. They actually love the hairline, and I think that was -- you know, what really made the speech sort of special. But I don't think there's anybody in that room sitting there saying they have any idea. I think that I wouldn't be shocked if he goes off teleprompter tomorrow. I mean, we don't know. It's Donald Trump.
[00:45:11] KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I tend to agree with John. I think Bob is right in that there will be unifying themes there. There will be an element of unification in the speech. But when you write a speech like this, I think the goal is to ask yourself what's the headline I want driven the next day. And I think the headline that Donald Trump wants out of this speech is America first. Donald Trump is going to put America first. And so I think it's going to be much more about a bolder vision of America being strong, strong economically, strong on national security. And that is really what he's going to drive, and it's going to be much more on brand with what we saw during the campaign.
And I think he believes it's his job to reinforce many of the themes that got him there in the first place.
LEMON: He had a rocky start with his own party. Do you think it's going to be -- he's going to address some of the Republicans? Some of the speech will be directed at Republicans.
MADDEN: Well, look, nothing -- I don't think anything worked as well when it came to unifying Republicans as the prospect of beating Hillary Clinton. But Hillary Clinton is now beginning to be put into the rear-view mirror. And instead it's all about what can Donald Trump deliver? Can he deliver results? And Republicans, I think on Capitol Hill recognize that, too, which is the American people sent them up there to deliver some results. And that's their charge right now. And I think many Republicans are very cognizant of that.
LEMON: When you see his family at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow, and you see them all standing there, right? And he takes that oath of office, the Clintons will be there. The Obamas will be there. You know, coming down the Capitol steps.
It's -- sometimes it's still hard even President Obama and George Bush say sometimes it's so hard to understand the magnitude of what they went through.
Do you think Donald Trump will get that even if his speech is not unifying, because that's a big job.
CUSACK: It's a big job. And I think a lot of eyes are going to be on Hillary Clinton, who I think had to attend, obviously.
Bill Clinton is going to attend because he's a former president. Hillary Clinton is going to be there. I don't think he's going to like go through the whole campaign rally speech of how the pundits didn't think I was going to win or that kind of thing. But, overall, I think it's going -- there are going to be some, I think, awkward moments, you know, later.
I don't know about it. You never know with him. Everyone seemed to be surprised that Hillary Clinton was going to -- of course, she had to. She's a former first lady and former senator.
CUSACK: Right. It's going to be painful, though, for her to sit and watch that.
LEMON: I would imagine.
BRABENDER: Yes, but here's the problem. We're losing context of who Donald Trump is. When Barack Obama became president, the only full term of office he ever served was as a state senator. Donald Trump has lived five lifetimes. You know, I mean, if you look at all that he has done, it's been pretty remarkable. You can argue how successful, but it's remarkable. This is somebody who is coming to a new position, but has a skill set. I think people are going to be surprised how comfortable he is at it. And I think where they're going to be really surprised is the speech tomorrow is he's going to make it very clear. He doesn't care that there's 60 Democrats or whatever that are not there. They're either coming along or they're not. And I think that a lot of what he's going to address is to make the point that he's going forward and they're either coming along or they're not.
LEMON: So what does that have to do with tomorrow, though?
BRABENDER: I think his speech will recognize that somewhat. And I think people are going to find from day one what Donald Trump is talking about is everything I said I'm going to do, I'm going to do.
LEMON: I get that, but what I'm saying is that, you know, people are saying you should -- everyone should go, come to the inauguration because they should respect the office. Everyone should respect the office. Should he not respect the office and the people who have come before him when the way that they deliver and the way they conduct themselves in office?
BRABENDER: I think he should. I think he will in a sense with the Clintons there and Obamas. But I'm saying the biggest mistake everybody can make is thinking even if he does that tomorrow, that we've moved into this new phase of a new Donald Trump. He's going to be the same Donald Trump that ran for president.
LEMON: OK. When we come right back -- stay with me, everyone. When we come right back, Republicans control the White House and Congress. But what will they do with their new power?
[00:53:00] LEMON: Welcome back to Washington.
Donald Trump's inauguration just a few hours away. They put the G.O.P. in the top position here in Washington.
Back with me now John Brabender, Rob Cusack -- Bob Cusack -- I'm changing your name, and Kevin Madden.
Kevin, the first time the Republicans, they have the White House, they've got the Senate, they also have a fairly new president. So it's going to be easy for them to get things passed. But, as you know, there's often a political price to pay with. Are Republicans worried about that? Are they concerned?
MADDEN: I think they recognize that they have this moment and that they -- they can't waste any time. And they are aligned on a number of big issues that they all ran on and won on. Repealing Obamacare is one of them. Putting a greater emphasis on border security is another. And then I think there's some other issues out there. A number of issues, which is a bipartisan issue is tax reform. People believe that the current tax code that we have right now is too complex and it's outdated. So I think those are some of the top priorities that the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress are going to focus on right away.
LEMON: Obamacare and tax reform, I mean, those are big issues.
MADDEN: They are. And if you look at it, historically, you have to move on big items like this in the first 100 to 200 days, because pretty soon everybody starts looking at their election. They start looking at polling numbers. They're not as interested in making those hard decisions.
LEMON: And you start losing capital.
Bob, the president and his team -- they talk -- they speak of their victory as a landslide and that they have a mandate.
LEMON: It wasn't a landslide. But are they misreading the American public?
CUSACK: Well, I mean, it's all about expectations. And nobody thought that Donald Trump would get more than 300 electoral votes, but did lose the popular vote. But I agree with Kevin. It's that they got to get some wins early on. And it's going to be tough to get tax reform, which hasn't been done -- comprehensive tax reform haven't been done since 1986, you know.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare is going to be very difficult. So they have to rack up some wins in the first 100 days. And also, I think he's got to reach out to Democrats in the first 100 days so that Democrats are like, OK, I can work with this guy on some issues. And the big issue there, transportation infrastructure.
LEMON: Infrastructure. Do you think?
BRABENDER: I don't know. Using the bipartisan word, your hopefulness in all view is so cute.
CUSACK: Our little bipartisanship.
BRABENDER: Did you, guys, happen to watch any of the confirmation hearings? I did a show earlier this week with Maxine Waters who actually used the impeachment word already.
LEMON: Oh my God.
BRABENDER: Relative to this president. My point -- I believe strongly that the Democrats decided that this was a fluke election and that they are going to use the next four years to get the White House back and take with it the Senate, and they are not going to play bipartisan. I would --
MADDEN: I agree with John. I am highly cognizant of that. That there is a -- there's still that threat of partisanship on "The Hill." But everybody at the table right now in Washington, Donald Trump has the most political capital, and he is going to have to spend it right up front. And I think that's why you're going to see big movement very quickly, and don't look at it as 100 days. I know we all is used to looking at 100 days. I'll look at it in a 200-day win.
LEMON: That's going to have to be it. Thank you so much, everyone. I appreciate it. That's it for us.
Stay with CNN for live coverage of every minute of the inauguration of Donald Trump. I'll see you right back here with all the highlights later tonight.