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Crowds Eager To Pass Through Security To Witness Trump Inauguration


It is Inauguration Day here in Washington, D.C., and already thousands of Donald Trump supporters are gathering at checkpoints along the Mall as they make their way to the scene of the swearing in of the 45th president of the United States. NPR's Jennifer Ludden is out there somewhere on or near the Mall talking to people. Jennifer, where are you and who are you with?

JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Hey, David. I am on Constitution Avenue around 7th Street in a line that is moving, finally, to let people through the checkpoint onto the Mall. And I'm here with Whitney Ruiz (ph) who is from San Angelo, Texas.

GREENE: Oh, great.

WHITNEY RUIZ: Hey there.

LUDDEN: So tell me - you're here with your son. What brought you guys up to D.C. for this inauguration?

RUIZ: Well, my son was invited to the Envision Presidential Inauguration Youth Summit, and we felt like that was a grand opportunity for him to witness part of history. And it was an honor for him to be invited to the summit as well. So that...

LUDDEN: And you guys are both wearing Trump headgear here.

RUIZ: Yes.

LUDDEN: So you're excited that it was Trump who won.

RUIZ: Yes.

LUDDEN: You would've come anyway...

RUIZ: Yes.

LUDDEN: ...But you're happy about this.

RUIZ: We're excited to be here, yes.

LUDDEN: Now, you told me you were a Ted Cruz supporter first...

RUIZ: Yes.

LUDDEN: ...From Texas. So how - what made you come around to Trump?

RUIZ: Simply his nomination. He would not have been my first choice or second choice along the way, but when we got down to the end, I typically support more conservative and the Republican Party for - in all races.

LUDDEN: Are you feeling excited about the next - him taking office?

RUIZ: Yes, I am.

LUDDEN: What are you looking forward to most in the next few weeks?

RUIZ: Well, just it's going to be an entertaining show and...


LUDDEN: Not boring.

RUIZ: Not boring. That's correct. And I really don't know what he's going to get to first exactly. The things that I'm most excited about are our Supreme Court nominations, border security, military emphasis. My husband is retired military, and my son is in the Army now.

LUDDEN: All right. Great. All right. Well, thank you so much. You guys have a wonderful day out here and enjoy.

RUIZ: All right. Thank you.

LUDDEN: All right. Hey, David.

GREENE: All right. Hey, Jennifer. So it sounds like people are really gathering and moving in. It's going orderly so far, no huge lines, people getting these massive security checks. I mean, it's so far...

LUDDEN: There are lines, but we're finally moving. There's multiple security checks. There are lots and lots of security officers, dozens and dozens along the parade route and everything - very thorough checks here.


LUDDEN: So it's taken a while, but people are slowly making their way onto the Mall. And you know what? The rain hasn't happened yet. It's actually a lovely morning.

GREENE: Well, there you go. We'll hope that that stays that way. NPR's Jennifer Ludden. We'll talk to you later on. Thanks, Jennifer.

LUDDEN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.
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