President Trump has officially declared the day of his inauguration a national day of patriotism.

Trump's inaugural address on Saturday frequently referred to patriotism as the salve that would heal the country's divisions.

"When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice," Trump said from the steps of the Capitol after being sworn in as President.

Later that day, Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, said that naming a national day of patriotism was among the executive actions that Trump took in his first few hours as President.

Advertisement

Yesterday, the paperwork was filed with the federal Government declaring officially that January 20, 2017 - the day of Trump's inauguration - would officially be known as the "National Day of Patriotic Devotion". "Now, therefore, I, Donald J Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion, in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country - and to renew the duties of Government to the people," the order says.

"Our Constitution is written on parchment, but it lives in the hearts of the American people," the order continues.

"There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it."

Pompeo new CIA boss

The Senate confirmed Representative Mike Pompeo as Trump's CIA director yesterday, after a delay tied to some lawmakers' worries he might expand surveillance or allow the use of certain interrogation techniques widely considered torture.

Sixty-six senators backed Pompeo and 32 voted against.

All the opposition was from Democrats, except for Senator Rand Paul, a leading Republican advocate for strict control of surveillance.

Shortly afterward, Pompeo was sworn in by Vice-President Mike Pence.

Tight for Tillerson

Trump's choice for Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil Corp chairman Rex Tillerson, narrowly won approval from a Senate committee yesterday, but is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-10 to approve Tillerson, with every Republican backing the former oil executive and every Democrat opposing him.

His approval by the panel, a victory for Trump, had been in doubt until yesterday, when Senator Marco Rubio, a committee member who had been Tillerson's most vocal Republican critic, said he would back the nominee.

Gag rule reinstated

Trump reinstated a global gag rule that bans US-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion, a move that was widely expected but nonetheless dismayed women's rights advocates. The rule, which affects American non-governmental organisations working abroad, is one that incoming presidents have used to signal their positions on abortion rights. It was created under President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

- Agencies