Schatz calls Trump's inaugural speech 'divisive'

Schatz calls Trump's inaugural speech 'divisive'

WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday in front of crowds at the U.S. Capitol, but not all of Hawaii's Congressional delegation seemed particularly eager about the historic moment.

Half of Hawaii's Congressional delegation – U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz – attended Friday's inauguration ceremony. Both attended out of respect for tradition and the peaceful transition of power, but did not hear what they were hoping for.

"This was sort of an alarmingly divisive speech," said Schatz, D-Hawaii. "The America that he described is an America that frankly I don't recognize. He used words like 'carnage' to describe what's happening in the United States."

Schatz also sent out a tweet that said simply, "OK, let's get back to work. Gonna need lots of help."

Hirono said Trump's speech left her disappointed.

"I was particularly listening for a very strong commitment on the part of President-elect Trump to bring our country together and I didn't hear those strong commitments," Hirono said. "He has nominated to his cabinet people who are billionaires and have evidenced no commitment to public service and to helping middle class families."

Neither of Hawaii's two members of the U.S. House – U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa – attended the inauguration, but not because they were protesting. Gabbard is on what she called a "fact-finding" trip to Syria and the Middle East and was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, Hanabusa is in Hawaii because she says she is ill and unable to fly. She watched Trump's speech from her home in Honolulu.

"It sounded a lot like the campaign, an extension of the campaign. It was more of a political speech," she said. "When you think about who he was speaking to, then it makes a lot of sense. With President Trump the one thing that we have to remember is he knows his audience and that's his skill."

Hanabusa also said that after a tough election season, it was heartening to see those on both sides of the aisle come together for the inauguration.

"I'm just amazed because this is one of the most contentious campaigns that I can remember, but to see them all be civil and to a certain extent to be able to laugh and joke as President Obama was at some point, that amazes me," she said.

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