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Trump Inauguration. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 21, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Thank you so much for joining us tonight. It has been a pleasure to be with you. For our international viewers, CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier live from Atlanta.
And the U.S. has a new president, Donald John Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we did it. We did it.
VANIER (voice-over): He and Melania Trump have been attending several inaugural balls in Washington. They swayed to their first official dance as president and first lady. The song, one of Mr. Trump's favorites, Frank Sinatra's hit, "My Way."
The new president didn't waste any time getting down to business. He signed several executive orders shortly after his inauguration speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next is an executive order minimizing the economic burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act pending repeal.
VANIER (voice-over): Repealing the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare as it's commonly known was a key part of his campaign. President Trump also signed papers to confirm James "mad dog" Mattis as Defense secretary and John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.
TRUMP: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that I will faithfully execute...
TRUMP: -- that I will faithfully execute...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the office of President of the United States...
TRUMP: -- the office of President of the United States...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and will, to the best of my ability...
TRUMP: -- and will, to the best of my ability...
VANIER (voice-over): And after that swear-in-in came the much-awaited inaugural address. Well, the address was reminiscent of Mr. Trump's campaign rhetoric. By inaugural standards, the speech was short, just over 16 minutes, and it struck a populist tone, vowing that the, quote, "American carnage stops right here and stops right now."
TRUMP: For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
TRUMP: That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.
VANIER (voice-over): Also as a signal of the peaceful changing of the guard in the U.S., Donald Trump accompanied now former president Barack Obama out of the White House. The Obamas taking a vacation in Palm Springs, California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And while all of that was unfolding, protests against the new U.S. president turned violent. Washington authorities say more than 200 protesters were arrested after smashing windows and damaging cars. At least six police officers were injured.
It should be noted that thousands of protesters also remained peaceful, despite the clashes. That's from Washington' interim police chief.
Anti-Trump protests also breaking out in other cities. In Seattle, Washington, across the country, people through bricks at the University of Washington. Emergency workers say they transported one man with a gunshot wound to the hospital. And that wound may well be life threatening.
If we look ahead, Washington has a full calendar of events this week for the president's inauguration.
On Saturday the Trumps, along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will attend the 58th presidential inaugural national prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral. At the same time, a women's march is expected to begin to protest some of President Trump's policies. We'll talk more about that in the show.
A little later, the new Secretary of Defense, Mr. Mattis, will hold a press event at the Pentagon. So it's going to be interesting to follow that, see what his views are. May be interesting especially on foreign policy issues.
Joining me now from Washington is CNN contributor and columnist for "The New York Post," Salena Zito, and CNN Politics reporter Eugene Scott.
Eugene, first to you.
Do you feel that on Saturday -- on Friday -- I beg your pardon -- the new president tried to heal divisions, especially --
VANIER: -- with his speech, his inaugural speech?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: I certainly believe he made an effort to. This was one of the most divisive campaigns we have seen in recent history, perhaps period across the country when you look at our history.
But there is a lot more that he would need to do to win so many of the people who found so much of not just what he said but what he is proposing problematic. And time will tell if he is able to do that.
VANIER: Bear in mind, this is somebody who lost the popular vote. So there are more people who voted for his rival. It didn't sound -- there was nothing indicative in his speech that he was trying to reach out to that more than half the voting population that didn't choose him.
SCOTT: I think he did speak to people of being different races, of being Americans first, of being of one shared blood. And he spoke to patriotism. And he wanted to clearly communicate that he was for all of the people.
I think he said that phrase repeatedly. But I think what many of the people who voted against him -- and voted against him unapologetically -- would have like to see is him specify, I will do this for black Americans, for immigrants, for women, for Latinos, for people with disabilities and LGBT Americans as well.
All of these are demographics that found many of his policy proposals during the campaign problematic.
Salena Zito, let's bring you in. You covered the campaign. In fact, during the campaign, you had one of the most useful insights, I think, when you wrote that Trump reporters took him seriously but not literally. How do you think that Mr. Trump's speech will play out across the
SALENA ZITO, "THE NEW YORK POST": Well, I talked to a lot of people first of all that attended the inauguration, who were out there, who were standing there, either at the parade or were there for the speech. And they loved the speech. They found it to be powerful. They -- it was everything that he said to them during the campaign and just repeated and probably the best speech he has ever given.
Now, you know, people across the country who supported him probably felt the same way. I did talk to several Democrats back in Pennsylvania and Ohio, two Rust Belt states that went for Trump that went for Obama. Democrats that I talked to said, you know, this -- that's a good speech. He is speaking to the people that we lost and he's speaking to them in an effective way. He's telling them, you know those problems you see in the community -- I think he used the word "carnage," where you see --
VANIER: Yes, the American carnage, yes.
ZITO: Yes. You do see that. You see, especially in old manufacturing towns and old river towns and also in urban areas. And that was part of what his appeal was. He offered a tangible benefit to voters when he said make America great again.
And that's where Hillary fell short. And he was saying that in his speech and they responded to it. And Democrats, if they are being honest and they're running campaigns outside of Washington, they know that they will have a hard time getting those voters back for the midterm elections.
VANIER: But what you're telling us is very interesting because, by every measure, the campaign was very divisive. And you're telling me that the speech today actually spoke to people, resonated with people on both sides of the aisle.
Am I getting this right?
ZITO: Well, if you voted for Hillary, you probably didn't like it. But, you know, I think a lot of that has to do with there are still some wounds that haven't healed. And a lot of the reason why they haven't healed is because this campaign still continues to be a campaign. It still continues to be litigated.
There is still, you know, sort of -- you see Representative Lewis, saying that he is not going; he's not a legitimate president. So until the Democrats that lost let go, that's still going to be out there.
But there were Democrats that look at that, that want to run, and say, that still appeals to our voters, you know, that went for Trump. And we got to get them back and we have to answer that equally. VANIER: One question for you, Eugene. I was wondering when I was listening to the speech, it seems to me Donald Trump has done something politically dangerous, at least potentially, that he set an extremely high bar for himself, promising jobs, security.
And those things in particular are areas that are measurable, where his success can be measured. He said in his speech, I will never, ever let you down.
Do you think that's something that could come back to haunt him?
SCOTT: Absolutely. People have already been let down by Donald Trump, people who have voted for him. His approval ratings for the transition are at 40 percent. I have seen people write --
SCOTT: -- Facebook posts who were on the Trump train, wishing they weren't on. But there's still time. He has only been in the White House for less than 24 hours.
And perhaps not only can he win some of the people that voted against him, he can actually win some of the people who voted for him but who are already experiencing buyer's remorse.
But with strong lines like, "I will never let you down," he is setting himself up because every president lets the American people down at some point.
VANIER: What about the protests -- and this is for both of you. Let's start with you, Salena.
What about the protests that happened today -- I beg your pardon -- on Friday, protests planned for Saturday as well.
Does that matter to his presidency?
Does it weaken him, undermine him?
Or is it just part and parcel of the Trump presidency, given that he was such a unique candidate and was a candidate, now a president?
ZITO: Presidents are a very American thing. You know, Nixon was famously pelted with smoke bombs and rocks in his first inauguration. And George W. Bush, (INAUDIBLE) modern history, there were protests because of the closeness of his race and he didn't win the popular vote.
The protests today were not really anti -- they were not Democrats out there that were unhappy with Trump. What you mainly saw were anarchists, people who just wanted to disrupt things and cause problems. They really didn't have a political ideology.
Now the protest that happens today, where more people that are of a Democratic ideology and they believe they don't have a voice that is being heard; it's called the Women's March. This is an opposition protest and it's very much a part of the fabric of America.
And it's important. And, you know, don't look for Trump to address it or come out and wave or anything like that. But you know, presidents, they absorb these things. And they reflect on them.
Trump might tweet about it, I don't know. That remains to be seen. But, you know, that all becomes part of who they are and how they sort of manage going forward.
VANIER: Eugene, just briefly, do you share that view?
SCOTT: What I think needs to happen is that the Trump administration needs to pay attention to theses protesters. Very often we have seen people on the Trump team say that they have been give a mandate from the American people.
What these protests show that just aren't in D.C. but nationally and internationally is that a lot of people are not pleased with Donald Trump's proposal and vision. And if he really does want to unify them, he cannot afford to ignore them.
VANIER: Eugene Scott, thank you very much.
Salena Zito, thank you very much.
To both of you for joining us and you mentioned those international protests. Let's just run you through these protests in other countries.
In London, activists hung a banner from Tower Bridge. It read, "Build bridges, not walls." Similar signs displayed on other bridges in the British capital, as a matter of fact.
In Mexico City, protesters used boxes to build a makeshift wall outside the U.S. embassy. They denounced Mr. Trump's plans to build a border wall, and, as he has put it, "make Mexico pay for it." They also said the Mexican government has not stood up to Mr. Trump.
Hundreds of people now rallied in Tokyo, carrying signs, chanting and singing. Many of them were American expats but not only. There were also Japanese citizens.
People also protesting outside the U.S. embassy in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires. They carried signs saying, "No Trump." One marcher accused President Trump of, quote, "declaring war on the entire world."
A wary China watched one of its toughest critics assume the U.S. presidency. We have been talking about that over the last few weeks. There's also a lot of interest in Russia, which has made to secret of its adversarial relationship with the Obama administration, now over.
Joining me to discuss this is Jill Dougherty in Moscow; Matt Rivers in Beijing, both of you, we have spoken so many times over the last few weeks about what a Trump administration might or might not look like. What I would like to ask you today is with this inauguration now
behind us, what was the level of interest, not from the government -- you've told us about that before -- but from the man on the street?
How did they perceive Mr. Trump and the inauguration ceremony if you were able to gauge that sentiment -- Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I think, you know, among the Russian people, who really have been watching with a great demand of interest, there was a lot of coverage on TV. I'm not too sure that Russians get into the nitty-gritty of what Trump was proposing, especially domestically. By what they do believe and they hope is that this will lead to a better relationship with Russia.
Now when you back public and you --
DOUGHERTY: -- look at people who create public opinion here, I think the hope is Donald Trump, yes, says he wants to make America great and maybe this will make Russia great, by allowing the two countries to work together to solve all of the problems of the world.
I'll give you an example. Alexei Pushkov (ph), who is a member of parliament, tweets quite a bit, said, "This is a bright politician of a new type. They will try to obstruct him. And good luck, Mr. Trump."
And he also said that this -- what they hope -- will be an upcoming meeting with President Putin and Mr. Trump -- will be the most important event in world politics and a defining moment in history.
So I think that's the way they're looking at it, that Russia will no longer be considered a regional power as President Obama referred to it, but a real world power and will have a lot of influence.
VANIER: Matt, were you able to get the sense from Beijing?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think the interesting thing about here in China is that people have a lot less options in terms of how they want to express their public opinion, given the tight level of central and the tight level of censorship enacted by the Communist Party here in China.
But in our conversations with people on the street -- and I hesitate to say that having conversations with a few dozen people in Beijing really reflects the opinion of over 1 billion Chinese, but I think what's interesting is that in almost every conversation that we've had with an average Chinese person on the street, the kind of sentiment you hear is, well, we know he said a lot of negative stuff about China. We know he has been disparaging at times in his remarks about China.
But we still think that he is a businessman and that we respect him and that in the end ,when he comes into office, now that he is in office, he will treat the Chinese with a bit more respect because the way the Chinese see it, the U.S. and Chinese and China need each other. Their economic relationship is incredibly intertwined.
And despite the negative rhetoric that you've heard from Mr. Trump over the last 18 months really, most Chinese I think will be cautiously optimistic but very wary as we enter into this new era of China-U.S. relations.
VANIER: Matt Rivers, in Beijing, thank you very much.
Jill Dougherty in Moscow, of course, Beijing, Moscow, two capitals that are keeping a very close eye indeed on what Mr. Trump's policy will turn out to be. And so are you both. We'll talk about this again, I'm sure. Thanks a lot.
We'll have more on the inauguration of President Donald Trump straight ahead and what he envisions for the U.S.
And a dramatic rescue at the site of that Italian hotel hit by an avalanche on Wednesday. Coming up, why more survivors could be pulled from the destruction soon.
VANIER: Let's recap that top story.
VANIER: Now to Central Italy: rescuers there have been working frantically to pull survivors out of the ruins of that hotel that was hit by an avalanche.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER (voice-over): And that was the scene on Friday as four children and a woman were pulled out alive. The avalanche hit the hotel on Wednesday. It followed a series of earthquakes in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Joining me now for more on that is Barbie Nadeau from Penne (ph) in Italy.
Barbie, where do we stand on the rescue efforts right now and what are the particular challenges that rescuers are facing there?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They say they've pulled out all the known survivors at this point, working through the night, trying to extract the victims who were buried essentially under 5 meters of snow as this avalanche came down the mountainside, about 100 kph, smashing into this hotel. The people in the hotel were under a state of evacuation because of
blizzard conditions. So they were huddled in one area. That is giving the rescue workers hope that they found this pocket of people, these two pockets of people. They will be able to find more survivors.
Right now, they are in a search mission, looking for places where they might be able to find more people to bring out alive. They've pulled out four bodies so far. There are still about 20 people missing.
One of the particular challenges, of course, is the continuing weather. They are expecting the weather to break and for things to warm up a little bit. That of course will increase the chances of further avalanches. So they have got to be very careful and aware of that. It is about 9 kilometers of --
NADEAU: -- narrow road that's barely opened up for these rescuers to get in and out with their heavy equipment. But they can't put any heavy equipment on top of that hotel yet because it's just too vulnerable underneath. But the search goes on and they are very, very sure that they are hopeful that they will be able to find more survivors under that wreckage. They'll be working until they do -- Cyril.
VANIER: All right, Barbie Nadeau reporting live from Penne (ph), Italy, thank you very much for the update.
The drug kingpin known as El Chapo has pleaded innocent in a New York federal courtroom. Joaquin Guzman was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico. on Thursday. He is accused of trafficking billions of dollars' worth of drugs, money, laundering and conspiracy to murder.
One U.S. official told CNN that Mexican authorities wanted to turn Guzman over before the inauguration of President Trump. However, a Mexican official says that there is no truth to that.
After weeks of defiance, Gambia's long-time leader has finally agreed to step down and hand over the presidency to his elected successor. Yahya Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow in December. Initially he conceded but soon after changed his mind and refused to leave the presidential palace.
Troops from several neighboring countries, with the approval of the U.N. Security Council, were set to go into the capital to force Jammeh out of power if necessary. On Thursday, Barrow was sworn in as president at the Gambian embassy in neighboring Senegal. He was immediately recognized by numerous world governments as Gambia's rightful leader.
It is not clear however, when he will actually take office.
And when we come back, more from the U.S. presidential inauguration. What Donald Trump had to say about his former campaign rival, Hillary Clinton. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Cyril Vanier.
This Saturday will be Donald Trump's first full day as the 45th President of the United States. Friday night was a time for celebration for Mr. Trump, his family and, of course, his supporters. He and first lady Melania Trump attended three of the inaugural balls in the nation's capital.
They danced, as is the custom; at one of the balls, Mr. Trump also got a good reaction from the crowd when he promised that he would be keeping his Twitter account. Kristen Holmes has more now on the transfer of power in Washington.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Donald John Trump...
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Becoming the 45th President of the United States and delivering an inaugural address, reminiscent of the outsider theme speeches that gained him popularity during the campaign, taking aim at the political system.
TRUMP: Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth.
HOLMES (voice-over): Promising once again to restore the American dream.
TRUMP: From this day forward, it's going to be only America first.
HOLMES (voice-over): A freshly sworn-in President Trump and first lady waving to thousands of onlookers while marching in his inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Earlier in the day, the first couple following tradition, the new president striking a positive zone, attending a lunch with congressional leaders, where he expressed kind words for his former rival.
TRUMP: I was very, very honored when I heard that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today. And I think it's appropriate to say -- and I would like you to stand up.
HOLMES (voice-over): And was all smiles while visiting the Obamas at the White House. The former president leaving his successor a letter in the Oval Office before saying a final farewell to his staff.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has never been about us. It has always been about you.
HOLMES (voice-over): Four years ago, then President Obama attended 10 inaugural balls. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended just three.
In Washington, I'm Kristen Holmes.
VANIER: One of the first actions Mr. Trump took as president will raise the cost of homeownership for many low-income Americans. He suspended a cut in mortgage insurance premiums that would save borrowers an average of $500 a year.
Home buyers who can't come up with the traditional 20 percent down payment for a home typically have to get that insurance. The Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Trump to reverse the action, saying it was a, quote, "terrible thing to do to American homeowners."
That was on Friday. Now let's talk about Saturday. In a matter of hours, tens of thousands will gather for the Women's March on Washington to protest newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump. Marches have already begun elsewhere around the world to demonstrate for women's and other human rights issues.
Thousands of people, including expat Americans, took to the streets; that's Australia, New Zealand, the largest event of course will be in the U.S. Capitol itself. But marches are planned in cities in all U.S. states and more than 50 countries around the world.
CNN's Ivan Watson is watching marches as they unfold. He joins me now from Hong Kong.
Ivan, is there a precedent for this, a worldwide display of -- not sure whether it is anger or concern -- greeting an incoming U.S. president?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I have to say, Cyril, I've been a reporter based overseas outside of the U.S. for nearly 20 years. And I have never seen a phenomenon like this, peaceful protests against a newly inaugurated president in so many cities across the world.
I have certainly covered many anti-American protests, protests against specific U.S. policies but never anything quite like this, where most of these seem to have been united in their kind of linkages to this expected demonstration, this Women's March on Washington, that is scheduled to take place on Saturday.
And most of them are very critical of Donald Trump, with signs like "Love Trump's hate" or "Build bridges, not walls" -- Cyril.
VANIER: Now to the point you were just making, what are these protests actually about?
They are called women's marches, women's protests but it's probably not going to be just that.
WATSON: The protests that we've seen over here in the Asia Pacific region, where in at least a half-dozen cities in New Zealand and in Australia, which are of course mutual defense treaty allies of the U.S., there we saw thousands of women gather again with these signs, criticizing Trump and supporting women's rights as well.
I do have to point out there were a very small, several dozen people, Aussies supporting Trump that gathered --
WATSON: -- in Sydney, in the Australian city of Sydney. We saw protests in Berlin, in Madrid. Many of these appear to be linked to the women's march on Saturday, which has -- on the website page it has at least 673 sister marches around the world. So it seems to be urging people to come out to criticize this American president.
VANIER: OK. Thank you, Ivan Watson, live for us in Beijing, a global perspective. We'll be covering those throughout today.
Coming up on CNN, Donald Trump could make a change to Palestinian policy.
Donald Trump vowed to build a wall between the two countries. We'll take you to Mexico now that Trump is officially the U.S. president.
VANIER: Welcome back. The new U.S. president is signaling he will move from (INAUDIBLE). Thousands of Palestinians protested across the West Bank, holding up signs protesting Mr. Trump, waving flags. Our Oren Liebermann joins us live from Jerusalem.
If the new White House press --
VANIER: -- secretary is to be believed, there might be an announcement soon regarding the U.S. embassy potentially being relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
What's the feeling on that, both on the Israeli side and on the Palestinian side?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you just saw there the concerns from the Palestinians about what an embassy relocation would mean. Palestinian leadership, the PLO secretary general has said it would be a provocation.
He's called it a violation of international law and said if the U.S. does move the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the PLO would consider revoking their recognition of Israel and cancelling all agreements.
That would lead or could lead, I should say, to a wave of unrest, a wave of perhaps even violence because that's how sensitive the embassy is and the recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel if that were to happen.
Meanwhile, the Israeli leadership is very much calling for it to happen as soon as soon as possible. The Jerusalem mayor has even started a campaign, launched in the couple of days before the inauguration, calling on Trump to move the embassy. It looks like he is starting a petition.
And it's just an idea of how much the Israeli leadership, the mayor of Jerusalem included, is looking forward to Trump's presidency. The beginning of a video that they mayor put starts with, "After eight difficult years under Obama..."
So the Israeli government, the leadership ready to move on to Trump. One of the big questions is, is the embassy really moving?
There has been some suggestion that instead of moving the embassy, they could move the ambassador such that the U.S. ambassador to Israel were to work out of Jerusalem but the embassy itself still stays in Tel Aviv. And that gives you an idea about just how sensitive moving this embassy is from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
We haven't gotten any definite signals on when that might happen, if it would happen soon, if it would happen in a few months. But it is one of the central issues and one thing everyone will be watching, now that Trump has taken office.
VANIER: And it is definitely worth reminding our viewers, Oren, that many not just candidates but presidents have promised -- U.S. presidents have promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv Jerusalem in the past and then, when they came to power, didn't follow through on that promise.
Oren Liebermann, reporting live from Jerusalem, thank you very much.
Now in this show we are continuing to watch how both people and governments around the world are reacting to the 45th President of the United States. South Korea is one of those countries watching very closely. The country's semi-official news agency is calling Mr. Trump's speech "strongly negative" when it comes to honoring the United States' security commitments. Alexandra Field is live in Seoul. Let's get the reaction there.
Alexandra, of course, Seoul is one of those capitals directly impacted by U.S. foreign policy.
What's the feeling?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a very close and a long standing alliance between the U.S. and South Korea of course. But South Koreans who were listening to that inaugural address certain had reason to raise questions. You did see those questions reflect in Yonhap news, as you point out.
Parts of that speech frankly raising alarm. The message was clear, America first. It's one thing to send that kind of message to your enemies but allies around the world are now asking what it means for them. And here in Seoul the question is what does it mean for shared security commitments, shared security interests.
Yonhap writing this about President Donald Trump, he's unconventional, unorthodox approach to long undisputed values such as alliances and security commitments have put the rest of the world on edge."
Those comments coming while Japan, the U.S. and South Korea conduct joint naval training exercises aimed at countering the potential of a North Korean nuclear threat. That's certainly an issue that's been very much talked about in recent days here.
You have got at least two U.S. officials who have come forward and saying that satellite intelligence has shown some signs of activity at a missile factory outside of Pyongyang and those U.S. officials believe that that could indicate the possibility of a nuclear test within even the first few weeks of the Trump administration.
We do know that just a few weeks ago on the 1st of the year, North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, came out and announced his intention to do a nuclear test and the fact that the country was preparing to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.
So all eyes on the North Korean dictator right now and when he could decide to do that test. It's worth nothing of course that there were nuclear tests at the beginning of the Obama administration for his first term and again for his second term. So South Korea certainly counting on the U.S. to continue this history of very close cooperation and this alliance with one another.
VANIER: Alexandra Field reporting live from Seoul, South Korea. Thank you very much.
And Pope Francis also had a message for President Trump upon his inauguration.
In a letter to the 45th U.S. president, the pope said this, "I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.
"At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation's commitment to the advancement of human dignity --
VANIER: "-- and freedom worldwide." South of the U.S. border, meanwhile, many Mexicans marked the inauguration of Donald Trump with a large protest march. Trump disparaged Mexicans during his campaign and promised mass deportations of people in the U.S. illegally. CNN's Leyla Santiago has more from Mexico City.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Protesters surrounded the Angel of Independence here in Mexico City and then marched in unity for miles. In my conversations with protesters, they brought up what they believe is a lack of respect from Trump.
And they believe his inauguration speech really didn't do much to improve his relationship with Mexico. They had signs that read, "Make American human again," and some with a bit of more colorful language.
One protester specifically told me he is asking Trump to change his tone on NAFTA. Another said he doesn't like Trump's arrogance, saying, "He is not better than us."
And nearly two hours after the inauguration, Mexico's president congratulated President Trump on Twitter and expressed interest in strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
Now former Mexican president Vicente Fox took a very different tone on Twitter, saying, quote "Today we turn into an era of uncertainty."
And it wasn't just Mexicans protesting here in Mexico City. We met two men from Wisconsin, who came here to let Mexicans know that there is opposition to President Trump's approach to Mexico -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Mexico City.
VANIER: Still ahead on CNN, Barack Obama's last day as president and his final heartfelt farewell.
VANIER: All right. Let's go for one more look this hour at the sights, the sounds, the highlights of Inauguration Day in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Ladies and gentlemen, the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter and Ms. Rosalynn Carter; the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton and the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton; the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush and Ms. Laura Bush. The first lady, Ms. Michelle Obama; Ms. Melania Trump and Ms. Karen
Pence. The President of the United States, the Honorable Barack H. Obama and the vice president, Joseph R. Biden.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President-Elect of the United States, Donald John Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another but we are transferring --
January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
TRUMP: Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.
TRUMP: Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.
TRUMP: Thank you.
TRUMP: God bless America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And, of course, for Barack Obama it was a day of final acts of presidential tradition and one last bittersweet farewell. The former president, wife, Michelle, and their daughters landed several hours ago in California. They are vacationing in Palm Springs.
Earlier on Friday the Obamas had welcomed Donald and Melania Trump to the White House for tea and coffee before his successor's inauguration. The Trumps later saw the Obamas off on their return to private citizenship. They boarded a military helicopter from Joint Base Andrews and it was there that Mr. Obama said goodbye to members of his staff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You proved the power of hope. And throughout this process, Michelle and I, we have just been your front men and women. We have been the face, sometimes the voice, out front, on the TV --
OBAMA: -- screen or in front of the microphone.
But this has never been about us. It has always been about you. And all the amazing things that have happened over these last 10 years are really just a testament to you.
I could not be prouder. This has been the privilege of my life and I know I speak for Michelle as well. And we look forward to continuing this journey with all of you. And I can't wait to see what you do next.
And I promise you, I will be right there with you, all right?
God bless you.
OBAMA: Thank you, everybody. Yes, we did. Yes, we can. God bless America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And when they return from vacation, the Obamas will be living in Washington, not very far from the White House, in fact. And Mr. Obama is expected to begin writing a book.
That wraps up this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. More coverage on the inauguration of Donald Trump is just ahead on "EARLY START." Stay with us here on CNN.