Donald Trump, Melania attend 3 inaugural balls

Washington, Jan 21 (IANS) Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, attended three official inaugural balls on Friday night following his swearing-in as the 45th President of the US.

The first was the Liberty Ball held at the was attended by supporters who donated to the inauguration or purchased tickets, the New York Times reported.

The First Couple made their entry amid applause. Melania was dressed in an ivory evening gown by designer Herve Pierre with a white ruffle cascading down the front while Trump was in a tuxedo and bow-tie.

On stage, Trump said they had managed to win despite widespread doubt.

“We did it,” he said, exchanging a smile with his wife.

“We began this journey and they said we didn’t have a chance but I knew we would win,” Efe news reported citing the President as saying.

The couple then shared their first dance as the White House’s new tenants to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, as well as the couples’ children joined them on the stage. Nine pairs in all swayed about by the song’s end, the Washington Post reported.

Minutes later, they repeated the ritual at the Freedom Ball. There, Trump addressed the crowd, declaring “We will not be taken advantage of anymore” and even asking the audience “should I keep the Twitter going? It’s a way of bypassing dishonest media.”

After the dance, Trump pumped his fist to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA!”

Liberty Ball was followed by the Freedom Ball also held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre.

The last was the Armed Services Ball, at the National Building Museum, had a restricted audience of only active duty and reserve military members, wounded veterans, emergency medical workers and Medal of Honour recipients.

The President addressed the crowd, saying, “you’re amazing people, and I like you for a lot of reasons.”

“And I also like the fact you all voted for me, right? You all voted for me,” he said.

Here, Trump had a video call with US troops located in Afghanistan’s Bagram Airbase.

The airbase personnel took turns congratulating Trump on his victory.

Melania Trump also addressed the crowd. “Thank you all for your service,” she said. “I’m honoured to be our First Lady. We will win. And we will make America great again.”

The First Couple danced to a rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Then, per tradition, they danced with service members.

Since 1809, inaugurations of US presidents have been accompanied by these traditional dances, becoming one of the biggest social galas for political leaders across the country.

–IANS

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