Trump is Now President; 'The Forgotten Men ... Will be Forgotten no Longer'

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, assuming the mantle of 45th president of the United States on Friday, pledged an "America first" administration that would take power from do-nothing politicians and return it to "forgotten" Americans.
Trump, a combative New York real estate mogul who harnessed a powerful populist message for a deeply divided country in his first bid for public office, took the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.


"The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer," he told the crowd as a light drizzle settled over Washington. " And I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down."
Wearing an overcoat and bright red tie and instantly recognizable by his long, swept back blond hair, Trump raised his right hand to take the oath of office, placing his left hand on two Bibles — his own, and one used by Abraham Lincoln in 1861.
He then delivered a brief, but darkly-toned address to the nation and the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in front of the Capitol.


"We citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all our people," Trump said. "Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come."
He pledged to transfer power from Washington and to (give) it back to you, the people."
He vowed to bring back jobs and to protect the border and drew loud applause from the by vowing to eradicate "radical islam."
Trump, surrounded by the elite of Washington establishment, also promised to "no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about."


"The time for empty talk is over," he said. "Now arrives the hour of action."
Less than an hour after he finished his remarks by raising a clinched fist, Trump escorted his predecessor, Barack Obama, and now former first lady Michelle Obama, to a waiting helicopter that  lifted off and circled the Capitol en route to Joint Base Andrews for a flight to the warmth of Palm Springs, Calif.
Earlier, Mike Pence, a former congressman and governor from Indiana, was sworn in as Vice President by Justice Clarence Thomas.


The 70-year-old billionaire — and self-styled "disrupter" — was joined by his wife and children. Also on hand were three of the four living former presidents, members of the Supreme Court and leaders of Congress. In addition, his Democratic rival in the election, Hillary Clinton was in attendance, tweeting that she was there "to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future."
Despite a forecast of rain, hundreds of thousands of people wound through a sea of police barriers and metal fences to pack the foreground of the National Mall to witness the handover of power from eight years of Democratic rule to a Republican president.


Minor skirmishes were reported on social media as the morning wore on, including reports of pepper spray being used against protesters According to reporters in the crowds, officers were firing loud firework-type devices at protesters as they ran through the street. A short while later, the demonstrations appeared to have quieted.
As the carefully choreographed ritual of the peaceful transfer of power unfolded Friday morning, the Trumps were greeted on the steps of the White House by the Obamas.


Trump stepped from a black limo to shake Obama's hand and embrace the first lady. He then saluted a nearby military aide. With the two wives embracing, the four turned to pose briefly for photos. With both men smiling broadly, Obama waved to the cameras then ushered the Trumps inside for tea and coffee on the South Portico.


The historic morning — marking the 58th presidential inauguration since 1789 —began with the president-elect, who spent the night at Blair House, tweeting  7:31 a.m.:  "It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!"


The Trumps, with Melania wearing a powder blue Ralph Lauren sheath-style dress with bolero-style jacket and gloves, then left to attend an hour-long prayer service at  St. John's Episcopal Church, known as the "Church of Presidents," at nearby Lafayette Square before heading to the White House.
In a sign of the new social media world that Trump has championed, Obama also took to Twitter Friday morning in likely his last use of the @POTUS Twitter handle as president, tweeting that "It's been an honor of my life to serve you."


"You made me a better leader and a better man," he wrote. "I won't stop, I'll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by our voices of truth and justice, good humor and love." He also gently guided readers over to his post-presidency website, obama.org.
Shortly afterward, Obama could be seen slipping a letter into his Oval Office desk, apparently the traditional missive to his successor, then walked out the door.
As he strode along the colonnade outside the Oval Office, Obama said "of course," when asked by reporters if he felt nostalgic. Asked for any last words to the American people, he said simply, "thank you."


At 10:52 a.m., as moving vans and decorators rushed to transform the Obama White House into the Trump White House, the two couples traveled by limo down Pennsylvania Avenue for the formal swearing-in ceremony that marks the end of an exhaustive and combative 19-month campaign.
Trump, a former reality TV star, stunned the political establishment by sweeping to victory and beating his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But he takes office with an approval rating of only about 40%.
Thousands of people began jamming into the area before dawn, maneuvering through police barriers and metal fences erected to provide tight security.


One protest march Friday, which organizers are calling a “Festival of Resistance,” will travel about 1.5 miles to McPherson Square, a park about three blocks from the White House, where a rally including filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore is planned.
At the “blue gate,” for ticket holders who reserved seating below the podium, Eleanor Goldfield, who helped organize the #DisruptJ20 protests, said the protesters want to show Trump and his supporters that they will not be silent during his presidency. She called Trump supporters “misguided, misinformed or just plain dangerous.”



In a sign of the peaceful transition, three of the four living former presidents, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, were on hand for the swearing in. Only 92-year-old former president George H.W. Bush is unable to attend, because of health reasons.
More than 60 Democratic members of Congress, led by Rep. John Lewis, of Georgia, however, boycotted the inauguration for a variety of reasons, including allegations of Russian involvement on Trump's side in the election.


The crowd in prime seats below the podium included at least one anti-Trump protester, Erika Hoel, a 23-year-old from Seattle, Wash., who sat quietly before the ceremony began , wearing a bright pink knitted hat.
Hoel, who scored a seat from her member of Congress, said she was staging a "respectful silent protest" of Trump's presidency. She said his rhetoric during the campaign was "vile" and said she is dismayed by Republican post-election efforts to cut off tax funding for Planned Parenthood and to dismantle President Obama's 2010 health-care
"Everything's that's being repealed with no plan to replace it concerns me," she said.
Trump, accompanied by his wife, arrived in the nation's capital Thursday for an overnight stay at the Blair House, where incoming presidents traditionally spend inauguration eve.
After the swearing in and the ritual drive down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, the Trumps will settle in to observe the inaugural parade that passes in front of their new residence.
The two days of ceremonies kicked off Thursday with Trump laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by a "Make America Great Again" concert and rally at the Lincoln Memorial featuring country singers Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood. Also performing: Jackie Evancho, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Missouri State University. Celebrities such as actor Jon Voight was also in attendance.
In brief remarks to the crowd, Trump pledged to unify the country, saying he aimed to “make America great for all our people, for everybody.”


Trump addressed supporters who he called "the forgotten man and the forgotten woman," saying "you're not forgotten anymore."
In another sign of the post-election strains, the Trump team was unable to attract top entertainers for the concert, while some pulled out at the last minute, citing public pressure. The transition team, however, cast the proceedings as deliberately low-key, aimed at "the people."
Although Friday marks the end of the major inaugural ceremonies, protesters plan to take the stage on Saturday with demonstrations by an expected 200,000 people, with the largest group participating in the Women's March on Washington.