RELIGION

The Latest: Trump backers from NC up early for trip to DC

  • The crowd starts to fill in along the National Mall before the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the Untied States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    The crowd starts to fill in along the National Mall before the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the Untied States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rev. Luis Leon greets Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen as they arrive for a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, on Donald Trump's inauguration day. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Rev. Luis Leon greets Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen as they arrive for a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, on Donald Trump's inauguration day. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Spectators wait in line to pass through security checkpoints of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Spectators wait in line to pass through security checkpoints of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)  (The Associated Press)

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

8:50 a.m.

It was still dark when Jeff McNeely and Rob Wyatt woke up and caught an early train to Washington for Donald Trump's inauguration.

The political activists from North Carolina say they supported Trump from early on and wanted to witness the historic day in person.

McNeely calls Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton "the greatest political upset of all time."

Wyatt wants Americans to give Trump "the opportunity to learn." Wyatt says Trump's "going to make mistakes," but he also says, "so has every president we've had."

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8:45 a.m.

Actor Matthew McConaughey says the American people need to "embrace" the fact that Donald Trump won the election and make the best of the next four years.

The movie star says Americans need to "shake hands with the fact that this is happening and it's going down."

McConaughey is in London promoting two new movies and says he's planning to watch the swearing-in live.

He's predicting that "it's going to be a dynamic four years."

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8:40 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has emerged from Blair House to start the Inauguration Day festivities.

Trump and his wife, Melania, stepped out of the government guest house next to the White House just after 8:30 a.m. and took a motorcade for the short drive to St. John's Episcopal Church. A light rain is falling.

After the service, they'll head to the White House to be greeted by President Barack Obama.

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8:35 a.m.

Members of President-elect Donald Trump's team are starting to arrive as Inauguration Day festivities get underway.

Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus arrived shortly after 8 a.m. at Blair House — the government guest house across from the White House. It's where Trump stayed on his final night before becoming president.

Also seen arriving are senior adviser and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and communications aide Hope Hicks.

Trump's motorcade is waiting for him outside Blair House. He'll soon go to a nearby church, St. John's Episcopal Church, for a prayer service.

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7:30 a.m.

Why should Inauguration Day be any different for Donald Trump?

He's up and tweeting early again.

Here's what he says: "It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!"

Trump and his wife, Melania, are set to begin their day at St. John's Episcopal Church, across from the White House.

Later in the morning, they'll meet with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Then comes the trip to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.

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7:25 a.m.

Protesters who said they'd try to keep guests with tickets from watching Donald Trump take the oath of office aren't having much luck so far.

Dozens of protesters are lined up at the entrance to a seating area on the West Front of the Capitol, and they're holding signs that say "Free Palestine" and "Let Freedom ring."

Some protesters are wearing orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces — showing their disapproval of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

But police are out in force, and they're allowing ticketholders to make their way through the gate. On the other side of the Capitol, things are quiet and orderly at a second gate.

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7:15 a.m.

Kevin Puchalski is a 24-year-old construction worker who drove to Washington from Philadelphia with two friends to see Donald Trump's inauguration.

He says: "I'm here for history. This is the first president that I voted for that won."

Trump's victory in Pennsylvania was critical to defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton. The state had voted for the Democratic nominee in the previous six presidential elections.

Puchalski says his main hope for Trump is that he fulfills his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

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7 a.m.

Nigel Farage — the leader behind the effort to pull Britain from the European Union — has toasted Donald Trump at a reception on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the White House.

Farage notes that in 2016, British voters chose to leave the EU and that American voters picked Trump. He calls it a year that will be remembered as a pivot point in history.

Farage jokes that Trump is "the only person I've ever met in my life who makes me feel like an introvert."

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6:45 a.m.

Before dawn on Inauguration Day, only a few lights are on at the White House residence, where President Barack Obama and his family have lived for the past eight years.

Klieg lights brightened the viewing stand from which Donald Trump will view the parade route later in the day.

Trump and his family were spending the night at Blair House, just across from the White House.

Lafayette Square outside the White House was fenced off with large metal barriers and security lines moved briskly to let outgoing White House staff and members of the media into the White House complex early in the morning.

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6:35 a.m.

Americans eager to see the Donald Trump take the oath of office as the nation's next president are starting to make their way through downtown Washington and onto the National Mall.

Dump trucks, police cars and National Guard soldiers and city police are on street corners and are blocking vehicle access for blocks around the Mall.

But there's plenty of room on the sidewalks for those clutching engraved tickets for a seat to Trump's inauguration, as well as those without who plan to watch from spots between the Capitol and the Washington monument.