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Donald Trump prepares for inauguration ceremony

After all the pomp and ceremony, Trump plans to sign off on many binding executive orders in his first days as president. They will mirror his election promises and potentially roll back many of Obama's initiatives.

US President-elect Donald Trump flew into Washington in a military jet Thursday afternoon, as he prepared to be sworn in as the country's 45th president.

As he descended the steps of the Boeing 757 to the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base with his wife Melania, he waved to crowds and saluted the Air Force officer who greeted him.

"The journey begins and I will be working and fighting very hard to make it a great journey for the American people," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump's motorcade then drove straight to a lunch with inaugural officials, top Republican lawmakers, cabinet members and senior staff in the ballroom of his Trump International Hotel, near the White House.

At the same time Senate confirmation hearings for his cabinet appointees were underway with panels publicly interviewing treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and energy secretary nominee Rick Perry.

His arrival in Washington kicked off a weekend of inaugural festivities and ceremonies.

On Thursday Trump attended a formal wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of fallen soldiers.

Later on Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial he will speak at a concert dubbed the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.", featuring country singer Toby Keith, actor Jon Voight and rock band 3 Doors Down, among other performers.

Trump was then expected to spend Thursday night at Blair House, the presidential guest residence next to the White House.

The U.S. Capitol is seen during a rehearsal for the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington (Reuters/C. Barria)

Trump's inaugural speech will be more philosophical than agenda-based

Saturday - Trump becomes President

Following an early church service, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were expected to share morning tea with Trump and Melania at the White House. The two couples will then travel together to the Capitol by motorcade.

The inauguration ceremony begins at 9.30am with musical and dance performances, attended by members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, diplomats and the public.

Religious leaders will offer the invocation and readings, after which Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

At midday Trump will recite the oath of office, administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, using president Abraham Lincoln's inauguration Bible, as well as the Bible that Trump's mother gave him at his Sunday school graduation in 1955.

Following this Trump will deliver his inaugural address, which spokesman Sean Spicer said would be "less of an agenda and more of a philosophical document on where he sees the country."

For the rest of the day Trump and Pence will attend the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol, followed by an inaugural parade where the two amble 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, trailed by 8,000 parade participants.

On Saturday evening the Trump, Pence and their wives will appear at three official inaugural balls.

Executive orders

Trump was expected to spend his first days in office signing off on several executive orders on issues such as health care, terrorism and immigration, according to incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

"He is committed to not just day 1, but day 2, day 3 of enacting an agenda of real change, and I think that you're going to see that in the days and weeks to come," Spicer said.

Executive actions can be implemented without the input of Congress.

Spicer said he would act on curbing immigration and creating jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

Trump's advisers reportedly vetted more than 200 potential executive actions on healthcare, climate policy, immigration, energy and numerous other matters.

He was also expected to impose a federal hiring freeze, reverse some environmental protections.

aw/kl (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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