Trump inauguration 2017: Latest news, rumors, performers and more
As Donald Trump meets with Anna Wintour, appoints Omarosa Manigault to his transition team and tells a "thank you" tour crowd in Pennsylvania to cheer African Americans who didn't turn out to vote, his presidential inaugural team is trying — with little success — to put together a star-studded event for his swearing-in extravaganza. The team is reportedly keeping things close to the chest, but details and rumors are slowly leaking out. Here's what we know so far.
Jackie Evancho is singing the national anthem – and getting bullied for it.
Jackie Evancho, who won America's heart in 2009 as the tiny 9-year-old singer with a huge voice on America's Got Talent, will sing the national anthem. Evancho, now 16, has no known political affiliations but said she and her family have been cyber-bullied following the announcement.
"My family is kind of a big target. I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us," Evancho told People. "I also get a lot of love. We pay most attention to that," she added.
Idina Menzel referred to Donald Trump's inauguration-planning woes as "karma, baby."
"I mean, look: All the artists in the world got up and tried to get our girl [Hillary Clinton] elected, and it still didn't happen, so we're all still trying to recover from that."
Menzel's icy response would explain the silence from a majority of the music industry, save for Garth Brooks, who says he'd perform if asked (though as of this writing, he hasn't been) and Elton John, whose publicist firmly tamped out rumors he would perform in a statement to the New York Times: "Incorrect. He will NOT be performing."
"Maybe he'll just have to sing something himself," said Menzel. "He probably thinks he has a great voice; he thinks he does everything great."
Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the inaugural committee, told ABC the team hasn't had any issues finding performers. "No struggle, whatsoever," he said. "We have world-class talent, world-class entertainers reaching out to us offering their help, offering their services so no struggle, whatsoever."
Melania Trump will have a "full part" in the celebrations.
Tom Barrack, inaugural committee chairman, noted Melania Trump is expected to be fully involved in the inauguration:
"She's a full part in the victory celebration for the president-elect and she's an essential part of not only his marriage, but as his wife and his platform. So she will be visible and prominent and very dominant in things she is going to take responsibility for. And I'm going to let that be a surprise."
Ice-T trolled the internet with a rumor he was asked to perform.
Playing off the ongoing news that Donald Trump's inaugural team is having a hard time booking performers, rapper and Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T took to Twitter on Thursday to joke about the situation.
Not everyone picked up on the wisecrack.
The Wrap covered Ice-T's tweet in earnest, writing that Donald Trump seems to be "pulling out all the stops to try and get familiar faces to perform." The story was picked up by Yahoo! as well as local news sites across the country, including in Texas and Illinois.
Because people still didn't catch the joke, Ice-T drove home the point with a series of serious — then absurdist — tweets:
While Donald Trump's team may be having trouble booking performers — even as it allegedly offers ambassadorships to talent bookers in exchange for performers, as reported by New York Magazine — Ice-T's involvement was just a joke-turned-headline. Ice-T used the opportunity to highlight 2016's ongoing problem with fake news: