Trump vows to unite country amid protests against his presidency
KONFRONTASI - Incoming US President Donald Trump has vowed to unify the country as thousands of people took to the streets of New York and Washington on the eve of his inauguration to express their displeasure with the president-elect.
“We're gonna unify our country and our phrase - you all know it, half of you are wearing the hat: 'we're gonna make America great again, Trump told a large crowd of his supporters on Thursday in the nation’s capital.
Trump plans to use his first speech as president to try to ease tensions, according to his aides.
"He wants to continue to talk about issues and areas where he can unite the country — bring it together," said Trump’s transition spokesman and incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
Despite the call for national unity, over 40 congressional Democrats have said they plan to boycott Trump’s inauguration.
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks on the eve of his inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The night before the swearing-in ceremony, thousands of people turned out in New York for a protest and marched to the Trump Tower where the billionaire mogul lives.
A large number of anti-Trump protesters have also staged rallies in Washington to denounce his proposed controversial policies, and have vowed to disrupt his inauguration.
Hundreds protesters and supporters of Trump clashed outside a pro-Trump event the National Press Club. One man waving a pro-Trump flag had debris thrown at him and was chased to the nearby Warner Theater.
Some one million people, both supporters and opponents, are expected to flood the streets for the inauguration.
Trump sparked widespread anger during his campaign with derogatory comments against about women, immigrants, Muslims and minority groups.
Trump will begin his term in office on Friday with an approval rating of just 40 percent, the lowest of any recent president, according to a CNN/ORC Poll released on Tuesday.
"Trump's wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the president-elect will be able to handle the job," CNN wrote.[ptv]