- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States (all times EST):

9:25 p.m.

Members of the military, veterans and first responders are awaiting President Donald Trump’s arrival at the “Salute to Our Armed Services” ball.

The invitation-only event is being held in Washington’s National Building Museum, which has hosted such events since the days of Grover Cleveland.

The evening began with a solemn prayer and a moment of silence in honor of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

The evening’s entertainment is being provided by singer Tony Orlando, who was introduced as “America’s most loved and enduring entertainer,” and Texas musician Josh Weathers.

Weathers at one point told the crowd, “I know that nobody in this room knows who I am.” He has been playing popular covers for guests gathered around a sprawling stage.

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8:30 p.m.

The White House is putting a freeze on any new regulations and halting ones that former President Barack Obama’s administration had started.

A memo from White House chief of staff Reince Priebus says federal agencies shouldn’t submit any completed regulations to be published in the Federal Register until President Donald Trump’s administration can review them.

The memo also freezes any regulations that were in the pipeline to be published. Regulations that have already been published but haven’t kicked in are to be postponed for 60 days to allow for a review.

Priebus says the White House budget director can grant exceptions to allow critical regulations to move forward.

The memo is similar to one that Obama’s chief of staff issued the same day Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

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8:15 p.m.

Protesters and an Associated Press photographer say police fired rubber projectiles at them during demonstrations against President Donald Trump in downtown Washington.

An AP photographer says he was hit three times by projectiles - once on his left shin and twice on his right - while covering demonstrations Friday.

A photo of a spent canister appears to show the bottom part of a “rubber sponge.” The foam-nosed projectile is launched at high-speed by police as a form of less lethal force.

District of Columbia police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says police did not use rubber bullets but would not comment on whether they used rubber sponges. He says he will “gladly provide” a comprehensive after-action report once the demonstrations wrap up.

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8:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is already making some changes to the Oval Office.

A bust of Winston Churchill was visible as reporters were allowed in to watch Trump sign an executive order.

Former President Barack Obama had been criticized for removing the bust. But Obama had said the Churchill bust remained in a prominent White House location outside his private office where he could see it every day.

A rug Obama had in the Oval Office that had quotations along its border has been removed.

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7:50 p.m.

Defense Secretary James Mattis is telling military personnel and their families that his actions are aimed at making sure “our military is ready to fight today and in the future.”

Mattis said in a statement Friday evening that he recognizes that “no nation is secure without friends” and is pledging to “work with the State Department to strengthen” the nation’s alliances.

He says the Pentagon is “devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.”

The statement was released just moments after Mattis was sworn in to the Cabinet post overseeing the Pentagon.

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7:35 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has sworn in President Donald Trump’s nominees to run the Pentagon and the Homeland Security Department.

Retired Gen. James Mattis took the oath of office to be defense secretary. Retired Gen. John Kelly took the oath to be homeland security secretary.

They were sworn in Friday during a hastily arranged ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the vice president’s suite of offices is located. The building is part of the White House campus.

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7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has signed commissions for retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as defense secretary and retired Gen. John Kelly to serve as secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

Trump signed the commissions in the Oval Office on his first day in office as reporters watched.

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer says Vice President Mike Pence will soon deliver the oath of office to the two retired generals. The Senate confirmed their nominations earlier Friday.

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7:25 p.m.

Police are clashing with protesters as a fire burns on K Street in Northwest Washington.

Authorities in riot gear standing side-by-side pushed protesters away from the fire, which was set in overturned newspaper bins in the middle of the street known for high-powered lobbying firms. Police hit at least 10 people with pepper spray as they advanced.

Several people ran from the scene yelling for medical attention while holding their eyes. Other protesters came to their aid and used bottled water to rinse their eyes.

With many people pushed into a nearby park, firefighters moved in and extinguished the fire.

_

7:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump has signed his first executive order as president, ordering federal agencies to ease the burden of President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care law.

Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer refused to offer details on the order.

Trump was joined in the Oval Office by Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and other top advisers as he signed the executive order on the so-called “Obamacare” law that he opposed throughout his campaign.

Trump also formally signed the commissions of incoming Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The White House says Priebus was also sending a memorandum to agencies and departments instituting an immediate freeze on regulations. No additional details were immediately available.

Asked about his first day as president, Trump says, “It was busy but good - a beautiful day.”

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7:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is using his first written statement as president to call on the Senate to confirm the rest of his nominees.

Trump says he is pleased that the Senate on Friday confirmed John Kelly to lead the Homeland Security Department and James Mattis at the head of the Defense Department. Trump is calling them “uniquely qualified leaders” who will start immediately to rebuild the military, defend the U.S. and secure its borders.

Trump says the Senate should fulfill its constitutional duty by swiftly confirming the rest of his nominees. He says they’re highly qualified. Trump says he needs them confirmed so “we can get to work on behalf of the American people.”

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6:50 p.m.

The parade for newly sworn-in President Donald Trump is over, shifting the celebration to its third act - a trio of balls. Trump and first lady Melania are expected at all three.

Two balls will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The third, the “Salute to Our Armed Services Ball,” will take place at the National Building Museum.

The celebrations come after Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president and the Senate confirmed his picks to lead the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

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6:30 p.m.

The District of Columbia police chief says 217 people have been arrested and charged with rioting and six officers suffered minor injuries during demonstrations against President Donald Trump.

Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham provided the update at a news conference Friday.

Meanwhile, protesters in downtown Washington linked arms, facing off from the police line and chanting, “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”

Metropolitan police have deployed streams of pepper spray against demonstrators marching along the streets of the nation’s capital - a disgruntled parallel to the ongoing inaugural parade.

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6:25 p.m.

Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington is tweeting a photo of flag-waving staffers welcoming the new president, and that’s not sitting well with a prominent government ethics lawyer.

The tweet reads: “We are waiting for you Mr. President! Thank you!”

Former chief White House ethics lawyer Norm Eisen says the tweet “puts the lie” to Trump’s vow that his company would avoid even the appearance of using the presidency to promote his business.

Trump made the pledge in a six-page “White Paper” released last week to avoid conflicts of interest. He promised his company would not take “any actions that actually exploit, or even could be perceived as exploiting, the Office of the Presidency.”

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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6:15 p.m.

The Senate has voted convincingly to put a tough-talking retired Marine general in charge of overseeing President Donald Trump’s pledge to crack down on illegal immigration.

Senators confirmed John Kelly’s nomination to lead the Homeland Security Department, 88-11.

Among Kelly’s likely first assignments will be executing Trump’s plans for the fate of a program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation.

If Trump keeps his campaign promises, Kelly’s agency will be responsible for strengthening the screening of immigrants permitted to enter the U.S. His department also will be charged with finding additional resources to locate and deport people living here illegally.

Kelly says he’s in favor of a wall at the Mexican border, but he says a physical barrier alone isn’t enough to secure the 2,000-mile frontier.

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5:40 p.m.

A video on social media shows District of Columbia police pepper-spraying a group of protesters - including an elderly woman and a man on crutches, as well as those trying to help them to move out of the way.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department declined to immediately provide comment. It was unclear what happened just before the video began.

The video shows a woman screaming “my child” as she runs with her crying son in her arms. Others are hunched over or coughing as plumes of pink spray waft over hundreds of people in the street. Toward the end of the video, protesters appear to be breaking up cement blocks and some people are seen throwing objects toward police.

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5:35 p.m.

The Republican-led Senate has voted to confirm James Mattis to be President Donald Trump’s defense secretary.

Senators cleared the retired Marine general’s nomination Friday.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who challenged the idea of a former military leader in a civilian job, voted “no.” Republicans pushed for fast approval to ensure the post wouldn’t be empty even for a brief amount of time after Trump’s swearing-in.

Mattis will replace Ash Carter, who has been former President Barack Obama’s defense secretary since February 2015.

Congress had to pave the way for Mattis to serve. Lawmakers last week passed legislation that Trump signed granting Mattis an exception from the law barring former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the job.

Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

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5:30 p.m.

A group of protesters in downtown Washington jumped on the hood of a limousine, smashed its windows and then set it on fire, while hundreds of others waved signs and chanted slogans voicing their displeasure of their new president.

The protests came as President Donald Trump’s inaugural parade continued blocks away.

Pockets of demonstrators broke out into screaming matches with Trump supporters. Police deployed flash bang grenades. Helicopters circled above, taking in the scene.

A line of police officers wearing riot gear watched demonstrators marching. The officers moved in once the limo was set afire to allow fire officials to extinguish the blaze. A pile of overturned newspaper boxes, trash cans and a tire were also set alight.

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5:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their wives are arriving at the reviewing stand near the White House to watch the inaugural parade.

Trump said the day was “unbelievable,” as he and wife Melania made their way along the North Lawn to the stand on Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump also flashed a thumbs-up.

The first couple are surrounded in the enclosed stand by their family members.

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5:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump twice got out of their vehicles to walk and wave to the crowd during their escorted trip from the Capitol to the White House.

They first walked for about a block before reaching the Trump International Hotel, where the crowds on both sides of the street were at their loudest. As the Trumps neared the hotel, agents urged the couple to get back into their sedan.

A large crowd of protesters had gathered on the opposite side of the street, while supporters and employees of the hotel cheered on the hotel side of the street.

Later, the Trumps exited their sedan with their children and grandchildren in tow. An announcer roared, “Welcome home, Mr. President.”

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5:05 p.m.

A watchdog group is asking the General Services Administration to determine whether President Donald Trump has violated his lease for the government-owned building that houses his luxury hotel a few blocks from the White House.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington issued the letter Friday shortly after Trump took the oath of office.

The 2013 lease Trump signed for the Old Post Office building specifically bars any “elected official of the Government of the United States” from benefiting. Trump announced earlier this month that he would hand over day-to-day control of his multibillion-dollar business empire to two of his sons, but there is no indication he has relinquished his ownership stake in the $200 million project.

A spokeswoman for the GSA declined to comment.

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