At one minute before noon on Friday, Trump placed his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible and took the oath of office to formally become president as a cheering crowd looked on from the National Mall and a divided America watched from screens large and small.
In a brief speech to the American people, Trump condemned Washington politicians and promised to hand the power back to the “forgotten” people of America and make “America first” the operating principle of his administration.
“We are transferring power from D.C. and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump said. He added that Jan. 20, 2017, would be remembered “as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump said.
“We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams,” Trump said
Trump takes power over a nation split by a bitter presidential election season between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who attended the ceremony alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
I'm here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future. #Inauguration
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 20, 2017
Across Washington and the world, protesters voiced opposition to Trump, whom many criticize as sexist, racist, and Islamaphobic. They oppose his stance on the environment and women’s rights.
During his speech, Trump addressed the division among Americans, saying we are “unstoppable” when we are united. “Whether we’re black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood as patriots,” Trump said.
Trump’s rise to the highest office in the land began on June 16, 2015, with the launch of a campaign that changed what most pundits and political experts believed was possible. Unlike candidates past, Trump seemed impervious to scandal as he defeated a crowded pack of 16 Republican presidential opponents and defied the expectations of an aghast political class.
As president-elect, Trump continued his aggressive style amid reports from the U.S. intelligence community that Russia’s government orchestrated hacks and leaks against Trump’s Democratic opponents. He questioned the reports and condemned leaks from intelligence community sources. He condemned the media as “dishonest” and as the creators of “fake news.”
Trump is expected to pursue conservative policies, particularly on the issues of immigration, policing, trade, and budgetary matters.
“You will never be ignored again,” Trump said. “Together, we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again … and yes, we will make America great again.”