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Michael Flatley dances out of retirement to perform for Trump as 45th US President is sworn in

By Adrian Rutherford

Michael Flatley will perform ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th President of the United States this afternoon.

Watched by a global audience of millions, Mr Trump will be sworn into office on the steps of the US Capitol.

It comes 10 weeks after the billionaire-turned-politician stunned America and the world by winning the White House.

Prior to Mr Trump's address there will be musical performances.

A spokesman for the Irish dancing star told RTE: "Michael Flatley is on his way to Washington where his dance troupe will perform at the inauguration ceremony for US President-elect Donald Trump."

It is thought Flatley will set the scene for his troupe prior to their performance.

Born in Chicago, the Irish-American retired from dancing last March, citing the toll it had taken on his body.

A series of stars including Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Church, Elton John and Garth Brooks all turned down invites to perform before the swearing-in.

Earlier this week Mr Trump told a pre-inauguration dinner that the event will attract record crowds.

Mr Trump travelled to the US capital on Tuesday evening to attend the black-tie Chairman's Global Dinner, which drew nearly 150 diplomats and ambassadors. He told them: "We have great respect for your countries. We have great respect for our world."

The dinner was attended by well-heeled donors and people who will soon be members of his White House staff. Mr Trump has tweeted that his inauguration will bring record numbers of people to Washington - and he is doing his utmost to make that happen.

The Trump team is posting ads on Facebook and Twitter encouraging people to come to Washington for the inaugural festivities.

The ads say Mr Trump "wants to personally invite" people to the swearing-in ceremony.

They include a video from Mr Trump promising the concert will be "really fantastic".

Christopher Geldart, Washington DC director of Homeland Security, said officials were planning for an inaugural turnout of 800,000 to 900,000 people.

That would be a sizeable number, but nowhere near the 1.8 million who attended Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

Meanwhile, Mr Obama issued a farewell warning to his successor, saying he would jump off the political sidelines if Mr Trump went against certain "core values".

At his last news conference, Mr Obama said if there was "systemic discrimination", efforts to "silence dissent" or to "roll back voting rights" he would be "speaking out".

Belfast Telegraph


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