Donald Trump inauguration: View from the ground

ST VIDEO: NIRMAL GHOSH
Donald Trump supporters in rain gear gather in front of the US Capitol for the US President-elect's inauguration ceremony.
Donald Trump supporters in rain gear gather in front of the US Capitol for the US President-elect's inauguration ceremony. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - US President-elect Donald Trump's supporters, who turned up in the thousands to show their support at his inauguration, were full of hope that the business mogul's term would - in his own words - help "make America great again".

Speaking to The Straits Times, several of Mr Trump's ardent fans cited his business savvy as the key reason for their optimism.

Ms Marcie Padilla, a sign language interpreter from Bakersfield, California, last visited the capital in 2001 for former president George W. Bush's swearing-in ceremony.

"I came to support Trump - I really think he can do it (make America great again)," said Ms Padilla, 48.

"I feel we need to be respected again; I want to feel like we are the best once again, be as strong as we were back then and I hope he makes us feel safe again."

Another Trump supporter, 18-year-old Noah Gibson from Branson, Missouri, said he was confident the Republican was going to "drain the swamp".

He added: "There's alot of politics that are corrupt here and he's (Mr Trump) not corrupt.

"I also feel that his business ideas and knowledge on overseas trades will help us a lot more with our economy."

Pennsylvania native, Dr Verel Salmon, concurred, saying: "Trump's business experience will renew America and get us back on the road."

As many as 800,000 people, which included protesters, were expected to gather on the National Mall in the centre of the capital to watch the proceedings.

Real estate agent Colleen Payne, who is in her 50s, said that while Mr Trump was not her candidate, he was still her president.

"It's still a historical event and I'm here to be part of American history. I hope he can help bring about a balance between both parties and unite people regardless of their political affiliations," said Ms Payne.