‘It’s going to be only America first’
• Trump Declares As He Becomes America’s 45th President
• Scuffles Break Out During Inauguration Ceremony
Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality television star who upended American politics and energized voters angry with Washington, was officially sworn in yesterday as the 45th president of the United States, putting Republicans in control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
Ex-Presidents, prominent politicians and Trump’s family attended Trump’s 35-word swearing-in ceremony. However, the crowds gathered in Washington DC were significantly smaller than the Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Supreme Court Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, administered the oath of office to Trump, as he vowed to “faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States.” As he took the oath, Trump placed his hand on the Bible used by President Obama at both of his inauguration ceremonies.
“This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country,” Trump declared. “The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”
“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” he asserted. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”
He added: “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breathe in my body and I will never ever let you down.”
Trump started his improbable presidential bid in 2015, beating out a former secretary of state and several senators and governors during his dizzying, chaotic rise to the White House. He becomes the first U.S. president with no prior government or military experience.
Trump, 70, was sworn in using two Bibles, the one used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration and his own. Trump’s mother gave him his personal Bible shortly before his ninth birthday, according to the inaugural committee.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Vice President Mike Pence.
Wearing a red tie, Trump walked onto the dais, greeted his own family and Barack and Michelle Obama but did not acknowledge the former presidents and his former opponent, Hillary Clinton, who stood behind him to his left.
The crowd gathered for Trump’s inauguration filled out only parts of the National Mall, smaller than the overflowing audience seen at Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Trump is the most unpopular incoming president in recent memory, as only 38 percent of Americans view him positively and 48 percent view him negatively, according to NBC/Wall Street Journal polling. Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton had favorable ratings of 67 percent, 50 percent and 64 percent, respectively, as they took office.
Dozens of Democratic lawmakers said they would skip the inauguration, with some citing Trump’s divisive policies and others citing the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, violent protests erupted in downtown Washington yesterday, just a mile from the spot where Donald Trump gave his inaugural address.
Police moved in large groups to disperse mobs of demonstrators as tear gas lingered in the air and the pavement was speckled with broken glass.
Ronald Dye, 56, said he hid under tables at Starbucks as 300 to 400 protesters swept past, some stopping to hurl bricks.
“They started throwing bricks at first, then they started throwing the trash bin but that didn’t work, then they picked up metal spikes and just started smashing the windows out,” he said. “They had all that stuff in their backpacks.”
Mr Dye is the chief of police at Talladega College in Alabama, and travelled to Washington with students to watch the school’s marching band perform. He said they were terrified as the vandals wreaked havoc.
“We just got up under the tables. That’s the only thing we could do,” he said.
Police fired tear gas canisters and detained a small number of protesters before the crowd continued on through the scene of their destruction.
Left in their wake were anarchist symbols, spray painted on walls and emblazoned on an abandoned flag
Peaceful protesters milled around with signs like “not my president” and “say no to racism”, looking equally startled by the destruction. In addition to Starbucks the windows of a McDonald’s, Wells Fargo bank and several cars had been smashed.
Just a short walk to the South, protesters had blocked security gates through which Mr Trump’s supporters were to enter the inauguration.
Activists in London hung a banner reading “Build bridges not walls” on the city’s iconic Tower Bridge yesterday, in a reference to Trump’s signature campaign promise of building a wall on the US-Mexican border.
About 30 groups have obtained permits for protests they estimate will attract about 270,000 people yesterday and today, far more than have been seen in other recent presidential inaugurations.