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History Unfolds on Capitol Hill; Peaceful Transfer of Power; More Vacancies; Bush '41 Recovering. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 20, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: History unfolds today on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump is set to become the 45th president of the United States.

Nine hours and counting. Early Start walking you through all the festivities beginning right now.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Early Start. I'm Christine Romans.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST. I'm John Berman. It is Friday, January 20th. It is 3 a.m. in the east. We do want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world.

We are just before dawn in Washington, just before the dawn of the Trump presidency. The sun will rise this morning with one commander in chief and will set with another. The peaceful transfer of power really one of the hallmarks of our democracy.

At noon today on the capitol steps behind us, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. This is a day with a jam-packed schedule of events that will be conducted under the tightest of security.

CNN's Athena Jones gives us a preview of what we're going to see. Good morning, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. You said it. A jam-packed schedule on this inauguration day. It all kicks off at 8.30 a.m. with a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church, that's right across Lafayette Park from the Blair House, which is where the Trumps stayed last night.

I should mention that the Trump's selection of the pastor to preach at this private service has been somewhat controversial. His name is Robert Jeffress, a southern Baptist who has a long history of inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and gays.

He is expected to be preaching at that service this morning that the Trumps and the Pence's and their families will attend. After that church service, they head over to the White House where the president and first lady will greet them and host a tea reception for them.

After that, they head to the capitol where the inauguration festivities will get underway at 11 a.m. Noon, as you mentioned, is the swearing in. And then the much anticipated inaugural address by the president.

After the speech, 1 p.m., a luncheon at the capitol that the Trumps and the Pence's will attend. Then a military review. The inaugural parade kicks off at 3 p.m. headed to the White House. And at 7 p.m. tonight is when the inaugural balls and the celebrations continue.

He also had a jam-packed day yesterday -- the president-elect did, arriving in D.C. midday, attending that make America great again welcome concert and also a private dinner with donors. At the concert, he talked about the real change he plans to usher in. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, this journey began 18 months ago. I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it than I did. We all got tired of seeing what was happening, and we wanted change. But we wanted real change. I look so forward to tomorrow. We're going to see something that is going to be so amazing.


JONES: So, there the president-elect speaking last night. All of this is happening, of course, today as you mentioned under intense security. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to be in attendance, as much as 800,000 coming out to hear the president-elect or soon-to-be-president deliver his remarks and be sworn in.

And this is happening while the Trump team is still trying to put together, filling out the positions in the government. There are a lot of positions still left to be filled. They're still trying to work out what will be the new president's first acts upon taking office. He has said he -- he has promised to have very meaningful action on day one, but he hasn't been so specific about that.

And then also there are two votes, two confirmation votes expected in the Senate today. General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and General John Kelly to head up Homeland Security, so a lot going on on this inauguration day. Back to you guys.

BERMAN: A day of pageantry but also business. he will get down to at least business today. Athena Jones, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

ROMANS: And obviously all eyes on the president-elect and his family today, but the world is also watching the inauguration of Donald Trump very carefully.

Foreign leaders wondering whether Trump will stand by many of his campaign promises on trade, on NATO, or Russia, or will he reach out a hand of reconciliation.

CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is with us now from our Moscow bureau. Clarissa, what are world leaders saying? CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think,

Christine, it's no secret that there's actually quite a lot of anxiety out there today as Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office. And also quite a bit of anger.

We know that there are protests being scheduled for different cities across the world. London, Berlin, and Sydney.

[03:05:01] But I think for the most part in terms of world leaders, they're going to be listening very closely to that inaugural address. As you said, looking for clues really about what Donald Trump's or President-elect Trump's foreign policy is really going to look like.

Because I think beyond what we've heard in terms of those more explosive comments, whether it's calling NATO obsolete. Whether it's threatening the continuation of the one China policy, whether it's talking about building a wall with Mexico, whether it's some of his praise for President Vladimir Putin, other than those kind of more explosive comments, there's still a lot of ambiguity about what the contours of a Trump foreign policy will really look like.

And it's that ambiguity, it's that sense of the unknown and the anticipation that has many world leaders on edge. We know that President-elect Trump has essentially dispensed with the rulebook. He does things his own way. He is dispensing with sort of a long-held diplomatic norms. And that leaves everybody kind of on the back foot, not knowing exactly how to react.

So, a lot of people are going to be listening closely to today's inaugural address looking for more clues of what to come. John and Christine?

ROMANS: Well, we are -- and we are told, Clarissa, that his theme will be America first. In all things, America first. Clearly that's why the rest of the world is watching so carefully.

Clarissa Ward at Moscow, thank you for that.

BERMAN: All right. I want to bring in our panel right now to discuss this big day. I'm joined by political economist, Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments, CNN political reporter Eugene Scott, CNN contributor Salena Zito who saw this day coming longer and more clearly than anybody. She's a reporter for the Washington Examiner and New York Post columnist.

Also joined by CNN presidential historian, Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library. Tim, let's start with you. This day is one of the astounding moments in American democracy, filled with all these poignant snippets, right.

Donald Trump walks from Blair House to the White House. The incoming president has coffee with the outgoing president. The two men ride together in the same car to the capitol, but then they go their separate ways, and the country goes a separate way.

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, there will be a moment where there's a split screen where you're going to see President Trump and former President Obama. Former President Obama leaving Washington, President Trump assuming his duties as the new commander in chief.

All of that happens today. And even though the personalities change, the politics change, the ritual stays the same. We'll be talking today about men that didn't like each other. Herbert Hoover said I'll never be photographed with Franklin Roosevelt but in the end he had to be.

We'll talk about how Truman and Eisenhower they didn't like each. We'll talk other presidents that worked very well, George W. Bush and Obama. That was a very good transition. We'll see what happens today. Watch their faces. Watch their posture. A lot's going to be in the pictures today.

It's a remarkable moment, and the world is watching because what everyone gets surprised by is despite the passion of our elections, these days - touch on wood - always go calmly, always go professionally, and always go with a sense of purpose.

ROMANS: A sense of purpose. And Salena, I think the one thing about a day like today is sort of the awesomeness of it. You know, and the word awesome is overused. This is what awesome is about. And this is a day when really the transfer of power, the peaceful transfer of power and our traditions around it are bigger than the man and the men who hold those offices.

SALENA ZITO, WASHINGTON EXAMINER STAFF: Absolutely. This is such a great day, such a celebratory day. And it is not about the men. It is about our process, our history, and how we have continued it for 240 years. And it's just sort of an amazing thing to see.

Last night -- or yesterday afternoon I went down to the mall, and I talked to some of the people who were at the Lincoln Memorial. There was a guy with his cub's hat on and his cubs jacket on. And I said, so, what do you think? He goes, "Well, I'm a baseball fan, but I'm also a little bit of a political junky. This is like opening day for me."

Right. He's like, "I'm just so excited." All that anticipation. You know, you are the best team that day because, you know, you don't have any losses. So, he's -- and I thought it was the perfect metaphor.


BERMAN: You know, I will continue this.

ZITO: And he did not vote for Trump.

BERMAN: I'm going to continue this metaphor because you just said it feels like opening day. Some of the comments that Donald Trump, the President-elect, made over the last 24 hours makes it sound like it was the victory party after the World Series as opposed to opening day.

Let me just play a little bit of sound last night from a formal dinner where Donald Trump was talking about how democrats are going crazy. Let's listen to this.


TRUMP: We have a cabinet, I believe, the likes of which has never been appointed. There's never been a cabinet like this. I will say the other side is going absolutely crazy.


[03:10:05] BERMAN: So, Greg, it is interesting. I mean, that was last night. That was to donors.


ZITO: Friendly crowd. Friendly crowd.

BERMAN: Those are the people you would expect him to talk about campaigns with. But today is different. Today he's not talking to donors or supporters. He's talking to America and really the world.

GREG VALLIERE, HORIZON INVESTMENTS CHIEF GLOBAL STRATEGIST: He's got to heal some wounds. I think he's got to be magnanimous. He's got to reach out to the democrats, people like Chuck Schumer. I think he's going to have to work with some of them. So, hopefully I echo your comments. Hopefully, this will be a big event in the true sense of the word and not in any sense petty.

ROMANS: There's a lot of imagery that we'll see. I mean, yesterday seeing him and his family, it was almost a tableau of the family coming off of the plane and then going to the Tomb of the Unknowns and that moment. All of this is just watching how he reacts.

Everyone wants to see the look on his face, how he reacts. What is his -- what it his demeanor. There will be many, many of those moments today. But there also will be the speech that he is, we're told, writing himself. America first, Eugene.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, very much so. I think we are seeing a desire for him, as we just noted, to unify this country. This is a weekend filled with pageantry. There are so many events happening, but there are also so many protests happening as well.

And so, hoping to communicate is what he's doing to people who aren't on the Trump train, that he's actually on the America train right now and that they should be on it with him.

BERMAN: All right, guys, stick around. We have a lot more to discuss. We'll go much more in depth I think in that speech in a few minutes.

ROMANS: I think we will and America first, again, is what we have heard will be his theme. He's writing it himself we're told. How will he lay out his agenda in his inaugural address?


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert to retreat and to advance.


[03:15:07] ROMANS: It gives me goose bumps. Really does. In just a few hours, newly sworn in President Trump will give his inaugural address. He says he wrote it himself. Will it be a celebration of his electoral triumph? Will he try to build a bridge to those who did not vote for him?

Let's bring back our panel. Greg Valliere, Eugene Scott, Salena Zito, and Tim Naftali. And Tim, let me ask you first. You know, this is an important moment for him. He's setting the tone for the next at least four years. What kind of tone do you expect from Mr. Trump?

NAFTALI: Well, I mean what he and his camp -- what he and his people have been saying is very much what you mentioned. It's America first. It's going to be a unity speech.

What everyone wonders about any president-elect is what their presidential voice is. Is the voice, their voice, going to be the campaign voice? Is it going to be the voice of last night at the fund- raising dinner? What's the presidential voice? Is there a difference? And, Mr. Barrack said that he's found his friend, that there's been a shift he see, and Tom Barrack said, there's been a shift in his friend.

ROMANS: He said he gets the gravitas, and he knows he has to live up to the role.

NAFTALI: So this is the moment. This is the moment. You know, John F. Kennedy was never more eloquent than he was in his inaugural address. Ted Sorensen helped a lot, but there was a -- there's a certain presidential rhetoric that starts today.

So we can all make bets and say, well, what Trump will do and what he won't do. But this is his chance. If he wishes to set a new tone, this is his time. It's ground zero. It's the beginning. He can erase that he can erase everything before, all those tweets now. Whether he does or not, we'll see.

BERMAN: Salena, you've been with the crowds and you've been following his campaign and the transition up until now. What are you expecting?

ZITO: I'm expecting hopeful. I'm speculating, but I think that -- I think he -- you know, you could see it yesterday when he was at Arlington, and you could see it when he was moved yesterday.

BERMAN: That was an overwhelming moment. It has to be for any person.

ZITO: Think of it this way. You're at Arlington. And you are all of a sudden -- I mean, so aware that all of those bodies there have been the responsibility of the man -- have been the responsibility of the men who have come before you.

ROMANS: Right.

ZITO: So, I think -- I'm guessing, but I'm thinking when you go there now 24 hours before you're president and you realize, I'm now in one of those long lines of men that are responsible for what happens to our national treasure.

ROMANS: I thought that moment was really interesting because it really was his first act as president. He's not president yet, but that was the first moment the whole world watching his family, that tableau of his family. I thought it was interesting the young children of the family were not there.

ZITO: Right.

ROMANS: They knew it was going to be a somber moment and serious.

ZITO: Serious.

ROMANS: You know, I mean one thing about this moment, Greg, let me ask you this. Eight years ago, when we were in this moment, again, it was incredibly heavy, a deep, important moment. The world was in a very different place. We were going down. We weren't going up.


ROMANS: Donald Trump is coming in at a time when he has tailwinds, I think, that allow him to be optimistic about what he can do.

VALLIERE: Yes. He's impatient. Lest we forget, he's a CEO, and CEOs are famously impatient. And I think it will probably be a very magnanimous speech. But by this evening, he's going to start moving. I think he's going to kill a lot of regulations. I think he'll announce we're pulling out of NAFTA. We're going to stop negotiations on the Trans-Pacific partnership.

So, while, yes, I agree with Tim, this would be quite a memorable moment, within hours afterwards, we're going to start to see some real action.

BERMAN: Christine was talking about eight years ago how we were coming in during this time of crisis. And of course, then things calmed down and got better over the last eight years.

Eugene, we saw these letters from past presidents to incoming presidents that were released last night. Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. And then George W. Bush to Barack Obama. There was one from the Clinton letter to George W. Bush that jumped out to me.

The first line said, "You are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change." That's January 20th, 2001.

SCOTT: Right. BERMAN: September 11th, 2001, that time of positive change, you know, that changed so much, which is a reminder that there's so much unpredictability. Things happen. You just don't know.

SCOTT: You just have no idea. And yesterday I was reading the letter that President Barack Obama wrote to the American people, the last letter that he writes before he writes the letter to Donald Trump.

And what these, all of these letters communicate is a large amount of humility and an awareness that as much power as you have, you really are not as aware of all of the things you can't even imagine being aware of.

[03:20:07] And perhaps to be cautious and to be gracious and thoughtful, but to take the magnitude of the responsibility very seriously.

ROMANS: Right. Even as Donald Trump was coming to town with his family yesterday, there was a lot of work getting done. Right behind us there were all of these -- all of these hearings. I'll tell you about one of them, the secretary of treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin, defending his record, trying to correct the record of his time as a banker at his nomination hearing.

Senate democrats attacking his role at One West, a California bank he founded after buying the failed mortgage lender IndyMac from the federal government. Now lawmakers claim One West is at fault for a series of troubling foreclosures on widows, on military families and other vulnerable home owners. Mnuchin he was apologetic for any oversights.


STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY NOMINEE: To the extent that we made any errors or we ever foreclosed on anybody, I completely understand the hardship that created. As I mentioned, we did go through an independent foreclosure review.

And unfortunately, there were some issues, very, very low rates relative to everybody else, but there were some issues, and we paid -- we paid money to those people to make them whole. And I earnestly feel terrible for any mistakes of the bank.


ROMANS: He really put the blame on regulators, saying that the bank would have done more but was bound by contracts and regulations, almost pivoting from that to say we need to fix a whole bunch of HUD, a whole bunch of regulations that he would try to usher through and help Dr. Carson if he is nominated.

BERMAN: You know, today is a break in the hearing process.


BERMAN: But only two of these nominees will be put through today. A lot more still to come. A lot of business still to do.

Meanwhile, a big question here in Washington. Will Donald Trump's day get some rain? Will it rain on his parade literally? We'll look next.


ROMANS: There is good news this morning on former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, both of whom are in a hospital in Houston. A family spokesman says the two are on the upswing. Bush '41 remains in intensive care but he's alert, in stable condition. The former first lady is being treated for bronchitis and is said to be feeling, quote, a "1,000 percent better." Their son, former President George W. Bush will still be at today's inauguration.

BERMAN: We will miss George H.W. Bush.


BERMAN: We are glad he is doing better. But there is a man you know who did love this moment in history and was part of so many in so many different roles.

ROMANS: He even wrote a personal note to Donald Trump saying, you know, "I would love to be there, but my doctor says I should not be standing outside in January D.C. weather. I'd be six feet under." That's what he said. It's a little bit of humor even in his note declining the invitation.

BERMAN: Yes. Well, be thinking of him today. One of the big -- the biggest questions here in Washington, will the weather hold? The prospect of rain been hanging over these festivities all night.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the latest forecast.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, John and Christine. All eyes on the nation's capital today, and it literally might rain on Donald Trump's parade. We've got a lot of activities taking place in D.C. We'll highlight everything. But look what's coming from the west.

We have a batch of rainfall that will likely impact the inauguration and the parade taking place at 30 p.m. this afternoon.

So let's time things out for you. We do anticipate cloud cover, perhaps some low cloud and fog to settle into the nation's capital through the course of the morning. And then about the noon hour, right when we expect the inauguration to take place, a band of showers should move across D.C. and then eventually move out just in time for the parade.

But I do expect cloud and perhaps some drizzle to stick around. Certainly, fog perhaps impacting visibilities. How much rainfall can we expect? Well, really the rainfall total should stay just under a half an inch. So, a quarter to a half an inch is really what we anticipate.

The good news is that the National Park service has actually allowed collapsible umbrellas into the national monument. So, they had updates their rules and regulations because of this high chances of rainfall.

So, timing things out for you, this is what you can expect if you're heading to the capitol or perhaps watching it on TV. Again, low clouds, fogs and mist a possibility. Temperatures in the middle and upper 40s, which is actually above average where we should be this time of year. And you can see our chances of rain diminish as the afternoon and evening progresses. Back to you.

ROMANS: All right. John Berman, did you bring your galoshes?

BERMAN: I did bring. I don't own galoshes although I like to make jokes about them but we can't do that.

ROMANS: You have to keep your golf umbrella in the hotel.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

ROMANS: You can't bring that. All right. A tradition unique to America set to unfold on the steps behind us today. Donald Trump will take the oath of office in just a few hours. Early Start's coverage resumes in a few moments.


BERMAN: An American moment. History unfolding on the steps of the capitol. Look at it just waiting. Donald Trump hours away from becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Welcome back to Early Start, everybody. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Thirty one minutes past the hour. We welcome all of our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. Good morning, everyone. This is it.

The historic day is here for a hallmark of American democracy, the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. At noon today precisely, right behind us on the capitol steps, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Inauguration day has a jam-packed schedule of events. They will be conducted under tight security. Behind the scenes, the Trump team is still scrambling to fill vital roles. What is in store as citizen Trump becomes President Trump?

Let's bring in CNN's Athena Jones live for us in our Washington bureau. Good morning, Athena. Walk us through this very busy day.

JONES: Good morning, Christine. Big, big day ahead. It all kicks off at 8.30 with a church service at the church right across the park from the Blair House, which is where the Trumps stayed last night.

I should note that the president-elect's selection of who to preach at this private service is getting some attention. His name is Reverend Robert Jeffress, and he has a long history of inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and gays. After that church service, the Trumps and the Pence's will head over

to the White House for tea with the Obamas. Then of course it's up to Capitol Hill for the swearing in and the inauguration festivities and of course the inaugural address.

After that, a luncheon at the capitol. Then a military review, the inaugural parade. And at night, the balls to celebrate. So, a big day ahead. The president had a busy, the president-elect, I should say, had a busy day yesterday as well, flying into D.A. at midday.

He met briefly with the Supreme Court Justice -- Chief Justice John Roberts to talk about what to expect today. And he attended that make America great again welcome concert last night and a private dinner with donors. At the concert he talked about real change. Take a listen.


TRUMP: So, this journey began 18 months ago. I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it than I did. We all got tired of seeing what was happening, and we wanted change. But we wanted real change. And I look so forward to tomorrow. We're going to see something that is going to be so amazing.


JONES: The president-elect there, promising something amazing. We could hear more of the same in his inaugural address. And this is all taking place, as you mention, we're under intense security. Huge crowds. Some 800,000 people expected to turn out to see President Trump make history.

This is all happening, of course, as the Trump team is still scrambling to put together its government, to fill the many open positions still left, and also to determine what will be the new president's first acts as president.

He has talked about taking very meaningful action on day one without offering many specifics. So that is what's in store for us all today on this historic inauguration day. Back to you.

ROMANS: All right. Athena Jones, we know you'll be with us all day covering it. Thank you.

BERMAN: And obviously this isn't just a national event today, but it's a world event as well. Country after country, leader after leader looking for signals from the incoming president about his positions and priorities.

[03:34:58] Senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward, citizen of the world watching from her post in the Moscow bureau. Clarissa, what are world leaders saying about today?

WARD: Well, John, I think it's no secret that there is certainly a degree of anxiety as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office today. There's a lot of ambiguity about what exactly some of his positions are going to be.

Of course we all remember some of the more explosive comments he's made recently calling NATO obsolete. He's also questioned the continuation of the one China" policy. He's talked about potentially banning Muslims, building a wall with Mexico, and these sorts of comments have definitely captured the world's attention.

But what they haven't really done is to give a better idea of what exactly foreign policy will look like under a Trump presidency. So, there is a lot of concern there. There's also some anger out there too, not so much from world leaders but from citizens of the world who dislike some of the rhetoric that they heard during the Trump campaign.

We do know that there are protests scheduled today. They're going to be taking place in a number of cities, London, Berlin, and Sydney. But I think for the most part, people internationally will be listening to that inaugural address, looking for clues as to what America will look like under President Trump because the bilateral relationship that all countries share with America is one of the most important relationships that there is. John and Christine?

BERMAN: All right, Clarissa Ward for us in Moscow. Thank you so much. I know you'll be watching right alongside the rest of us.

ROMANS: So, let's talk about this day, this day for Donald Trump with political economist Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments, CNN politics reporter, Eugene Scott, CNN contributor, Salena Zito, she is a reporter for the Washington Examiner and the New York Post columnist, and CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library.

And Tim, let me start with you. Donald Trump is famous. He's been in front of the cameras. He talks for a living in front of a lot of people, right? He is a celebrity. He's not afraid -- he knows he is followed by cameras.

Today is different. Today is going to be Donald Trump in front of the cameras in a different way, in a more important role. It's just different today for someone who has been in front of the cameras.

NAFTALI: Well, certainly it's different. And one of the things that he's going to begin to understand or come to grips with is that as president, every word matters. As a reality TV show star, as a reality TV star, as a CEO perhaps, maybe every word doesn't matter.

But people are going to -- everybody is going to listen. And as mentioned, foreign leaders are looking for signals. They're used to presidents sending subtle signals. Tweets are not subtle signals. And so they're going to expect a somewhat different language from Trump.

So, even though this man is accustomed to the limelight, in fact, apparently he loves it, this is a different kind of scrutiny.

ROMANS: Yes. NAFTALI: I don't believe he's ever had this kind of scrutiny before. By the way, nobody else who becomes president has before because it's a big step. But for Donald Trump, maybe the kind of celebrity he's had in the past may not actually be as useful to him now. He may not have yet developed the skills that he's going to need starting today. I'm not saying he doesn't have those skills, but this is the challenge for him.

BERMAN: You know, Salena, on that point, I'm going to ask you because you're the author of this observation. Donald Trump in some ways taken literally, not seriously during the campaign instead of, you know...


ZITO: And the voters take him seriously, but not every word is literal. So they don't expect, you know, I'm going to do this. I'm going to build this big wall. And you know, if you ask them, and you talk and you can double down, well, I don't think he's going to build a wall all the way across. But he's going to protect us.

BERMAN: So what about Tim's point, though, that today especially and starting today at noon, that every move you make, every word you say matters?

ZITO: Well, he does not -- he has shown up until this point that he does not value words the same way we do. So, you know, as reporters, you know, we're used to a sentence or a word going -- and politicians as well, going through all these massages and editing and make sure that everything is perfect.

He does not place the same value on words the way we do. I don't know if that changes. That's like that unknown thing. And for his voters and for the people that supported him, that did not matter. And so, we may be entering a completely different world that we don't know.

ROMANS: You know, Greg, let me ask you this because the rest of the world is watching. You know, you cover all of this for people, for companies, for people who invest.


ROMANS: And it's been hard to pin Donald Trump down on what parts of his policies, what parts of his words he really believes in. Do you think that's going to change?

[03:40:03] VALLIERE: No. I think it's still going to be ambiguous. A lot of the things he says may confuse the markets. A lot of his appointees disagree with him on key issues.

Quick point. I was in New York yesterday with some very, very bright investors. They're excited about tax reform. They think the economy will do well. They like regulations being reduced. But there's one thing they do worry about, and they're going to listen carefully today.

They really worry in the markets about a trade war. If he sounds really provocative toward the Chinese, if he raises tariffs tonight, if he pulls out of NAFTA tonight, that's not going to please the markets.

ROMANS: Right. America first sounds great for all the people who voted for him as a game-changer. America first if you're an investor or you're somewhere else in another country, that's worrisome.

BERMAN: So, Eugene Scott, one of the big questions today is what is President Trump going to do and when? Which orders will he sign and when? Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said we might have to wait until Monday. Just listen to what she said.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Well, the president- elect has said the very first day of business will be (Inaudible). The president-elect have said that in his very day of business will be Monday.


BERMAN: I had a little hard time hearing what she said.


ROMANS: There is a lot of marble in that room.

BERMAN: The bottom line is she says -- she says a lot of the changes will come on Monday, the first day of business on the 23rd, but we'll start seeing something signed today.

SCOTT: Yes. And what he will sign exactly, as I was reading yesterday, was still being figured out. But people are thinking that some of the top issues that he could address today are related to Obamacare, national security and ISIS, and/or immigration.

And so those are three big campaign areas that he campaigned on that people who backed him, who listened to him literally and seriously and in every other way possible are hoping to see some type of change on because that's what they wanted from him. Some change in those areas.

BERMAN: You know, guys, this has been great having you here. I appreciate it. It's an all-star squad to talk about this speech. The perfect group of people to talk about this historic day.

What will Donald Trump say when he walks on those capitol steps behind us? He's promised a Jacksonian address. What does that mean exactly coming up.



KENNEDY: The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.


BERMAN: Nineteen sixty one, young President John F. Kennedy and words along with one of the great speechwriters of all time, Ted Sorensen. Donald J. Trump we are told largely crafting his own inaugural address. So, what will he say?

Let's bring back the panel right now. Eugene Scott, what do you expect from him? You know, Christine Romans was talking about America first. We've heard the Jacksonian. We've heard 20 minutes but not much beyond that.

SCOTT: I think he gave us a taste of what he may say yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial event. If you notice, he said, you know, I had a big part of this piece happening, but you all had a much bigger part. We didn't hear, we haven't heard a lot of Donald Trump showing that level of humility, acting as if this was a communal decision or movement opposed to just him himself. I think he's going to be more selfless and more service-based because this is what this event often calls for.

ROMANS: I got to say we listen to that clip from JFK, just as we listen to FDR. I mean, history here is very big. It's heavy. This is a heavy day, a heavy moment.

BERMAN: I got goose bumps.

ROMANS: I know, there's a lot to live up to. I mean, there's got be pressure for even Donald Trump. Someone who is very confident in his abilities. There's got to be a lot of pressure on today.

VALLIERE: Absolutely. In my parochial world of the financial markets, that's crucial as well. I think the markets want him to talk about growth and jobs, tax reform, things that can get the economy stronger. So, I think every word, as Tim was saying earlier, every single word he utters is going to be parsed and perhaps overanalyzed.

BERMAN: We don't remember every inaugural address, though. I mean, if you look back on history, there are a handful of really history- changing moments. But there are more speeches that just sort of...


VALLIERE: Totally forgettable.

BERMAN: Exactly.

VALLIERE: Totally forgettable.

NAFTALI: Yes, yes. For people who don't remember Richard Nixon's second inaugural address. People don't -- no, look. I'm interested in what his objective is. And a lot of presidents, when they -- for president-elect -- for presidents-elect, when they prepare for this moment, they ask their speechwriters to go back and look at famous earlier presidential addresses.

I don't know how Mr. Trump has prepared for today. If indeed he's writing it himself, which every presidential address is the president's speech. How much they put into it depends on the president. Most of them allow somebody else to write the first draft.

But what I'm interested in today is how he describes our country. The last time he gave an important scripted address was his acceptance speech in Cleveland. And if you remember that speech, that was a speech that described the state of our country in rather dire terms.

ROMANS: It sounded hopeless, not hopeful. Will he be hopeful today?

VALLIERE: And then he said, but I can fix it. Remember that moment? He said, but I can fix it. But today is the day he gets to start fixing it according to his view, world view. How does he talk about our country now? What is the greatness when he defines it? What is it that he wants to return us to? How is he going to do it? This is his opportunity to give us a little road map. So, I suspect we will see a very Trumpian speech.

ROMANS: Will it rain? That's my question.

BERMAN: That's a big question.

ROMANS: Will it rain? John brought his rain gear. He's got his fishing gear out there. We'll have to see. All right. Everyone stick with us here for a second. A lot to get to today.

[03:50:06] BERMAN: All right. Actually Donald Trump was talking about.


ROMANS: Let's listen to him. OK.

BERMAN: Donald Trump was talking about what happens if it rains. Let's play that.


TRUMP: We have a cabinet, I believe, the likes of which -- tomorrow we have a speech, probably around 12 o'clock. 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.


ROMANS: We saw the -- we did see the weather report, and we are reporting that there could be rain right around -- right around then. It could happen.

BERMAN: Salena, you've been coming to inaugurations for a long, long time. And the weather matters. I mean, usually the issue is, it's just freezing cold. ZITO: Yes.

BERMAN: That's not going to be the issue today. But rain could get in the way.

ZITO: Why don't we go back to doing it in March, especially in Washington?

SCOTT: Cherry blossom.

ZITO: It's a little warm, with cherry blossoms. Everything is joyful. You know, the two that strike my -- strike me right now is George W. Bush's, it rained, but you could have umbrellas in those, in 2000, early 2001.

BERMAN: Right.


ZITO: And Barack Obama's first inaugural, while it was festive and large and huge, it was, I think, my feet are still cold from standing out there. I mean, it was freezing. But the people that attend these things honestly, it means so much to them.


ZITO: That they block that out. They are so focused on being in the moment of history. And you have to love that history means that much to them.

ROMANS: Just in the side about what it's like to be here, you know, I ran into Corey Lewandowski, one of, you know, someone who is very close to the president-elect for a very long time, I ran to him yesterday, and I said do you think it's going to rain? He said, what do you talk -- don't talk about that. Here you're going to talk, it's going to rain and hear what he did. But he was euphoric and it won't matter if it rains. They're very happy.


BERMAN: We have the best people (Inaudible)

VALLIERE: I'm more interested when it comes to his hair and whether it's windy.

ROMANS: There you go. There you go. All right. Great. All right, 51 minutes past the hour. A check on CNN money stream next.


BERMAN: We have some good news to report this morning on former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. Both of whom are now at a Houston hospital. A family spokesman says the two are on the upswing.

President Bush remains in intensive care but he is alert, we're told, and in stable condition. The former first lady is being treated for bronchitis and is said she is feeling, quote, a 1,000 percent." Their son, former President George W. Bush he will be here in Washington for the inauguration today.

ROMANS: And someone else might be in Washington today. Rain. Rain is set to dampen the inauguration ceremony and the parade.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the latest forecast for us.

VAN DAM: Good morning, John and Christine. Just under a million people expected to line the national mall right outside the capitol building to watch the inauguration of 45th American President. And guess what? Wouldn't you know it, there's some interesting weather headed that way.

Take a look at our future radar. And you can see a band of showers expected to move across the region. It's all associated with an area of low pressure and a frontal boundary. And this will certainly bring the possibility of rainfall for inauguration and potentially into the parade, which takes place at 3 p.m.

Timing things out for you. Low clouds perhaps impacting visibility, perhaps some light drizzle associated with that moving through this moving. Then the showery activity picks up midday, just about the same time as the swearing in ceremony.

And then by 3 p.m. and into the early evening hours, we do anticipate the heaviest of rainfall to move eastward. But, again, still low cloud expected, fog, and perhaps some light drizzle in and around the nation's capital.

Climatologically speaking, we should be about 43 degrees this time of year with about a 33 percent chance of rain or perhaps 10 percent chance of snow. The good news is that our temperatures will actually be warmer than the climatological average.

However, the bad news is that we'll certainly need the raincoats and umbrellas heading out the door to check this out if you're in the nation's capital because a good chance of rain expected again just in time for the ceremony at 12:00. And dwindling chances of precipitation as we head through the course of the afternoon. Back to you.

ROMANS: All right, Derek. Thank you. Let's get a check on CNN money stream, inauguration edition. U.S. stock futures are mixed ahead of the inauguration. Dow futures are slipping. The S&P is set for a slim gain. Stock markets in Europe are moving lower in the first hour of trading there. Shares in Asia closed now. They were mostly higher on their day.

The Trump rally, there's a pause on it at the moment, but just hours left until the president-elect takes office. Here's where the major averages stand since Election Day. The Dow is the big winner, up more than 8 percent. S&P 500 up 6.2 percent. The NASDAQ up about 7 percent since Donald J. Trump's victory.

But over the last few weeks, those gains have slowed. Investors now want to see what Trump does, and they don't want to hear, you know -- they want to see what he does. They don't want to hear about it.

BERMAN: Deliver it.

ROMANS: They want delivery. I'm calling it the show me the money phase of Trumponomics. The transition team claims that many first priorities, renegotiating NAFTA, cutting taxes, repealing Obamacare -- here is the list investors want to see. A lower corporate tax rate, less regulation, stimulus, and trade.

BERMAN: How about a pony?

ROMANS: John Berman wants a pony. Will Trump continue to bash companies on Twitter. Will he impose tariffs or some other kind of tax to try to keep workers here in the U.S.? Investors will be looking for clues during the inauguration speech. But what they really want now is action on pro-growth policy.

BERMAN: Now, it's very interesting because Trump has taken an enormous amount of credit for what's happened since November 8th.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Well, what happens over the next three weeks if the market doesn't go up then? You know, will he take credit for that as well. We will have to watch and see.

Early Start continues right now.

In just a few hours, the sun rises on history. Look at the he beautiful U.S. Capitol all lit up just waiting for the moment when Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Early Start. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, January 20th. It is 4 a.m. in the east. We welcome all of our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. Good morning, everyone. This is it. It's here, the historic day has arrived for a hallmark of American democracy.

The peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. At noon today, right behind us on the capitol steps, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

[03:59:59] Inauguration day has a jam-packed schedule of events. It will be conducted under tight security, very tight security. Behind the scenes the Trump team is still scrambling to fill some vital roles.

So, what's at store now as citizen Trump becomes President Trump.

Let's bring in CNN's Athena Jones.