Tom Barrack, chairman of President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, spoke briefly to reporters today. The pool reporter assigned today to watch what goes on at Trump Tower, where Mr. Trump is carrying out the transition, issued this report.
Yep, his last name is Barrack.
Mr. Barrack confirmed President Barack Obama has invited Mr. Trump to the White House for coffee before the actual swearing-in. The two men and their wives will ride together to the Capitol.
Here’s the transcript:
Mr. Barrack: “The inauguration’s gonna be amazing. What we’re doing is trying to orient it toward the greatest tribute to America. The only peacetime transition of partisan power that ever happens this way. The focus for this president, since he is a celebrity, is really on the place, on the people. Martin Luther King Day is Monday, which is going to be a great epic start…There will be a series of events leading up to Thursday.
Each of the venues is really oriented to just allow people to breath the place, rather than the actors on the stage…
Q: Talking about actors … how concerned are you that you have enough performers, people to do readings, songs, all of that? Are you satisfied that you have what you need to fill the day, as it were, a typical inauguration day?
A: Overwhelmed. We’re fortunate in that we have the greatest celebrity in the world, which is the president-elect, side by side is the current president … So what we’ve done instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place. It’s a much more poetic cadence than having a circus-like celebration that’s a coronation. That’s the way this president-elect wanted it. I think it will be contributive. It will be beautiful. The cadence of it is going to be ‘let me get back to work.’
Q: Tell us what he has told you he wants? What are some specific he wants to be part of the day?
A: He really wanted it to be about the people, not about him. So his instructions to me — by the way, which is the worst job in America. He gave the best job in America to all the bright people, he gave the party to me — was to figure out how to relate 200 years of history … and a couple hundred billion dollars in investments in a moment where we have to build bridges. He knows what his constituency is and he knows you need to reach out to constituencies who have questions, who have doubts. His instruction to me was the campaign is over, I am not president for all the people. I want you to build a bridge and tie them back in. I was to heal the wounds and I want to get back to work on Saturday morning.
Q: Any new traditions?
A: It’s a delicate balance between abiding by tradition and the President-elect … having his own fingerprint on a fresh canvas. Mostly he’s abiding by tradition especially in the swearing-in ceremony. In the moment, when you look up that west capitol entrance and that shift of power in a moment goes from a very strong powerful man of one party to another very strong powerful man of another, that cadence and tradition of America allowing the power to change like that it’s sacred. So he’s kept that pretty much the way it is. Of course he has his fingerprint on what Bible, what versions
Q: Announcer who won’t be announcing this year
A: I don’t think there are any hard feelings anywhere. Everyone would like to close to the president and president-elect. I think there’s a spot for everybody. He needs to be his own signature on things that are important.
Q: Will there time for PEOTUS and the past presidents to socialize?
A: They’re all sitting across from each other. the timing and sequence is all very tight. But they’ll be within shouting distance of each other.
Q: You asked about the traditions before the swearing-in, will Trump meet with Obama in the White House and go to the swearing-in from there.
A: Sure, they’ve been very gracious in sending an invitation for coffee or tea in the morning.
Q: So it’s the tradition. So-President elect Trump and the family comes over there? And then they ride together?
A: Not the family… I think it’d probably be the president-elect and the first lady-elect?
Q: And then the four of them ride together?
A: Yeah, so, most probably. They’ll go to the White House, invited for coffee or tea, they’ll spend an half an hour there or so, and then they’ll go together … That’s a great moment, that’s a great moment.