Pauline Hanson turns down Donald Trump inauguration invite
One Nation senator Brian Burston will attend Donald Trump’s inauguration instead of Senator Hanson. Hanson tweeted he would do a great job of representing the party.
It comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won’t be among the hundreds of thousands expected at the inauguration in Washington DC.
The prime minister confirmed that, unlike One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, he hasn’t received an invitation to the presidential swearing-in. “I am very busy here as you can see as prime minister of this country looking after the interests of hard working Australian families,” he told reporters in Toowoomba.
Senator Hanson won’t be attending the inauguration either despite being “gifted tickets”.
After she drank champagne on the steps of Parliament House the day Trump elected, she won’t be able to make it due to work commitments either.
Senator Hanson posted on social media this morning that it was an honour to be invited.
“Would you believe it? I have been gifted tickets to the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of @realDonaldTrump - what an honour,” she said on Twitter.
The senator quickly followed with a tweet saying she was still deciding whether she could attend because of her duties to the people of Queensland and Australia.
Australian Ambassador to the US Joe Hockey will officially represent Australia at the 45th President of the US’s inauguration on January 20.
She later confirmed she would not be able to attend due to work commitments.
“My duties to the people of Queensland & Australia come first,” Senator Hanson tweeted.
The Senator’s invitation is a break from tradition as previously foreign delegations, barring the official representatives, have not been invited.
“The US State Department has advised that as in the past, foreign delegations will not be invited to Washington for the President-elect Trump’s 2017 inauguration and that heads of state and governments will be represented by chiefs of diplomatic missions in Washington,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman told News Corp last week.
“Ambassador Joe Hockey will attend this event.”
Mr Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be sworn in at an official ceremony in front of the US Capitol building on Friday.
A Mormon choir and former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho will perform at the event.
Hillary Clinton will attend the event with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush will attend, along with former President Jimmy Carter.
George Bush Senior won’t attend due to his health.
An inauguration parade will follow the swearing in.
The President and new first lady Melania Trump will then attend the main inaugural balls at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the National Building Museum.
CIA BOSS RIPS INTO TRUMP OVER RUSSIA
THE outgoing CIA director ripped into Donald Trump, saying he lacks a full understanding of the threat Moscow poses to the US.
John Brennan’s pointed message on national television came just five days before Trump becomes the nation’s 45th president amid lingering questions about Russia’s role in the 2016 election even as the focus shifts to the challenges of governing.
“Now that he’s going to have an opportunity to do something for our national security as opposed to talking and tweeting, he’s going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that US and national security interests are protected,” Brennan said on Fox News Sunday, warning that the president-elect’s impulsivity could be dangerous.
“Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests,” Brennan declared.
Trump, who has unleashed a series of aggressive tweets against the U.S. intelligence community and his political rivals in recent weeks, did not respond to Brennan’s criticism.
The president-elect remained behind closed doors in his Manhattan high rise Sunday as his team worked to answer questions about his plans at home and abroad once he’s sworn into office on Friday. Among Trump’s immediate challenges: the United States’ complicated relationship with Russia, crafting an affordable health care alternative that doesn’t strip coverage from millions of Americans, and growing questions about the legitimacy of his presidency.
Trump’s lieutenants pushed back hard Sunday in a round of television interviews. “I think it’s incredibly disappointing and I think it’s irresponsible for people like himself to question the legitimacy of the next United States president,” incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said This Week.
Trump has repeatedly called for a better relationship between the US and Putin’s government. He suggested in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday that he’d consider easing the latest sanctions on Russia. “I think he has to be mindful that he does not have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road,” Brennan said.
The CIA chief roundly denounced Trump’s approach to Russia and other national security threats, suggesting the president-elect has much to understand before he can make informed decisions on such matters.
“The world is watching now what Trump says and listening very carefully. If he doesn’t have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies as well as our adversaries?” Brennan said. “It’s more than just about Mr Trump,” he said.
TRUMP ATTACKS INTO CIVIL RIGHTS ICON
DONALD Trump ripped into civil rights icon John Lewis, and singer Andrea Bocelli has reportedly backed out of singing at the inauguration ceremony after receiving death threats.
The Republican billionaire slammed the Democratic congressman and his Atlanta-area district on Saturday, a day after 76-year-old Lewis described Trump as an illegitimate president.
Trump tweeted that Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King, “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
The incoming president added: “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”
It comes as Trump cancelled a scheduled visit to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture on Martin Luther King Day.
Trump continued to jab Lewis on Saturday night, charging that the congressman “should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the US.”
Lewis is among the most revered leaders of the civil rights movement and devoted his life to promoting equal rights for African-Americans. He suffered a fractured skull while leading the march in Selma, Alabama more than a half century ago.
“The tweet is unnecessary, it’s unfortunate,” former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who is African-American, said.
“John Lewis has a walk that very few people in this country — least of all Donald Trump — have ever walked. So you have to respect that and pay attention to that in a real sense.”
One of Lewis’ Democratic colleagues, Ted Lieu, also declared he would skip Trump’s inauguration, in part to defend Lewis.
“Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements. In addition, he attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis,” Lieu said.
“For me, the personal decision not to attend the Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”
HOLLYWOOD STARS SING ‘I WILL SURVIVE’
Hollywood’s biggest stars have joined forces to sing a cover of I Will Survive ahead of Trump’s January 20 inauguration.
In a video released by W magazine, Joel Edgerton, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Amy Adams, Matthew McConaughey and more performed Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 hit.
The mag called the mashup “the antidote for a still-grieving Hollywood, many members of which were outspoken Hillary Clinton supporters over the past year — and a few of whom have found themselves on the unfriendly end of Donald Trump’s Twitter account.”
Opera singer Andrea Bocelli is reportedly the latest star to back out of Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Daily Mail reports the blind tenor pulled out of the performance on the advice of his security team after receiving death threats.
“Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk,” a source said.
The report comes after Broadway star Jennifer Holliday also pulled out following protests from her gay and black fans.
Holliday, best known for her Tony-winning role in Broadway’s Dreamgirls, said in an interview she hadn’t considered that singing at a Thursday concert by Washington’s Lincoln Memorial would be judged a statement of support for Trump.
She decided to withdraw at 3am after reading commentary about how her participation was being seen. She apologised for a lack of judgment.
“It just really hit home for me,” she said. “The gay community has been a big part of my life and my career. I feel there really wouldn’t be a Jennifer Holliday or a Dreamgirls in the 21st Century without them. I needed to at least hear them out and learn why it would be such a great disappointment for them.”
Several prominent entertainers declined to perform at Trump inaugural festivities. Country star Toby Keith, the rock band 3 Doors Down and actor Jon Voight are in the line-up. Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem at the inauguration on Friday.
TRUMP MAY EVICT THE PRESS FROM WHITE HOUSE
The Trump Administration is seriously considering booting the press corps out of the White House, three senior officials on the transition team told .
Members of the press will reportedly be relocated to the White House Conference Centre or the Old Executive Office Building, next to the White House.
Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, said “there has been no decision” on the plan but added: “There’s been so much interest in covering a President Donald Trump. A question is: Is a room that has forty-nine seats adequate?
“When we had that press conference the other day, we had thousands of requests, and we capped it at four hundred. Is there an opportunity to potentially allow more members of the media to be part of this? That’s something we’re discussing.”
However a source told Esquire the possible move reflects a view in Trump’s transition team that the media has been hostile and partisan.
“They are the opposition party,” a senior official said. “I want ‘em out of the building. We are taking back the press room.”
ZOE SALDANA: HOLLYWOOD ‘BULLIED’ TRUMP
Actress Zoe Saldana has spoken out against the acting community for bullying abrasive Trump.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star — who is not a supporter of the Republican president-elect — believes insults flung at him during the race for the White House turned off much of middle America.
“We got cocky and became arrogant and we also became bullies,” the 38-year-old actress said of Trump, who has been frequently berated himself for bullying tactics, including seemingly mocking a reporter with disabilities.
“We were trying to single out a man for all these things he was doing wrong ... and that created empathy in a big group of people in America that felt bad for him and that are believing in his promises.”
She continued: “I’m learning from (Trump’s victory) with a lot of humility. If we have people continue to be strong and educate ourselves and stand by equal rights and treat everyone with respect, we won’t go back to those times.”
“I just say he’s now elected and we as a country need to support whoever’s the president because that’s what the country’s based on. However that happened, he’s there, and let’s go,” Kidman said.