Trump to write 'short' inaugural address himself

President-elect Donald Trump has gotten involved in penning his inaugural address, planning to craft a speech himself that he will keep short so supporters traveling to Washington for the ceremony won't have to stand out in the cold.

"He wants to write the inaugural himself," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who met with Trump on Wednesday to discuss the speech, told CNN.

"He doesn't want it to be long," Brinkley said on CNN. "He would like it to be a shorter one. He doesn't want people standing out in the cold."

RELATED: What happens on Inauguration Day

What happens on Inauguration Day
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What happens on Inauguration Day

Morning worship service

The Inauguration Day's morning worship service is a tradition that started in 1933 with Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, when they attended a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Since Roosevelt, all president-elects have attended morning worship services.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Procession to the Capitol

After the service, members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies will escort the president-elect, the vice-president elect and their respective spouses to the White House. The president-elect and the outgoing president will hold a brief meeting prior to the swearing-in ceremonies.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The swearing-in ceremony

The president's swearing-in has taken place at the west front of the Capitol since President Ronald Reagan in 1981. From here, President-elect Donald Trump will "solemnly swear" to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States."

(Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)

Inaugural address

Since George Washington, all presidents have been expected to deliver a speech. Some of the most memorable speeches are still quoted today, such as F.D.R.'s "nothing to fear but fear itself" and, in 1961, John F. Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

 REUTERS/Rick Wilking 

Departure of the outgoing president

Following the inaugural ceremony on the Capitol, the outgoing president and first lady will leave the Capitol. The president's departure begins with a little ceremony. The Obamas will continue their immediate post-presidential lives in Washington, D.C.

 REUTERS/Tannen Maury/Pool 

Inaugural luncheon

Once the newly elected president has taken the oath of office and delivered his speech, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies hosts a luncheon in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. The event typically features the cuisine of the president and vice president's places of origin.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas 

Inaugural parade

Following the conclusion of the luncheon, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will lead a procession of marching bands, citizen's groups, and military regiments down Pennsylvania Ave. The parade is organized by the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee select the parade's participants.

 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 

Inaugural ball

The tradition of an inaugural ball starts with George Washington in 1789. In the days since, the ball has become a highlight of the D.C. society, as tickets to get into the inaugural ball are highly coveted. There have been a certain number of balls in recent years: Bill Clinton hit a record of 14 balls during his second inauguration in 1997, while Obama attended 10 official balls for his first inaugural in 2009. Trump will reportedly attend two.

 (Photo by Diana Walker/Liaison)


Trump writing the speech largely on his own would be a shift from the way the presidential transition team described the process earlier this week, when it announced Stephen Miller, who wrote some of Trump's major campaign addresses, would shoulder the bulk of the work.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on a transition update conference call on Thursday morning that Miller and other top aides tapped to join Trump's White House staff – senior advisers Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway as well as chief of staff Reince Priebus – will be involved in crafting the speech.

Brinkley said Trump is "starting to get into the zone" as Inauguration Day draws closer and that he is inspired by the high television ratings expected for the swearing-in to "put a lot of effort into it."

On Tuesday, transition spokesman Boris Epshteyn said the speech would focus on broadly optimistic themes, unlike his Republican National Convention address – crafted by Miller – that was seen by some as dark and pessimistic.

"They will be talking about uniting America, bringing American together. We are now in the post-politics, post-campaign season and that's the messaging around this inaugural," he told CNN. "I'm expecting a great address ... that talks to Americans about dreaming big, about making sure that we are a city on a hill one more time."

While most incoming presidents rely on full-time speechwriters for major addresses, Trump has eschewed – to the delight of his supporters – the filters that politicians' messages typically go through before reaching the public.

RELATED: Trump's official picks for cabinet and administration positions

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

​Spicer, speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, acknowledged that the president-elect is due to hold a press conference but that otherwise the media should recognize "business as usual is over."

The daily press briefings that have become the norm at the White House are likely to continue, Spicer said, but he expected the Trump administration to rely on social media to speak directly to the public.

"When he talks about Americans first, he means 'I don't care what a bunch of elites tell me or people at a dinner party,'" Spicer said. "He wants to know what American workers care about, what American families care about, what's going to help American businesses grow. And so, yes, if we have to maintain some traditions, we'll maintain them."

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