People stand on the National Mall to listen to the 58th Presidential Inauguration for President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (The Associated Press)

People stand on the National Mall to listen to the 58th Presidential Inauguration for President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (The Associated Press)

America First: Trump sworn in as 45th president

By Julie Pace

AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States today, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington.

His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.

Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting “American carnage,” shuttered factories and depleted U.S. leadership. President Barack Obama, the man he replaced, sat behind him stoically.

Trump’s first words as commander in chief were an unapologetic reprisal of the economic populism and nationalism that fueled his improbable campaign. He vowed to stir “new national pride,” bring jobs back to the United States, and “eradicate completely” Islamic terrorism.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only, ‘America First,” Trump said in a 16-minute address.

In a remarkable scene, Trump ripped into Washington’s longtime leaders as he stood among them at the U.S. Capitol. For too long, he said, “a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

For Republicans eager to be back in the White House, there was little mention of the party’s bedrock principles: small government, social conservativism and robust American leadership around the world.

Trump, who is taking office as one of the most unpopular incoming presidents in modern history, made only oblique references to those who may be infuriated and fearful of his presidency.

“To all Americans in every city near and far, small and large from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again,” he said.

Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, reciting the 35-word oath with his hand placed upon two Bibles, one used by his family and another during President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.

Trump and wife, Melania, bid Obama and outgoing first lady Michelle Obama farewell as they departed the Capitol grounds in a government helicopter.

Trump and Obama’s political paths have been linked in remarkable ways. Before running for the White House, the billionaire businessman led efforts to promote falsehoods about the 44th president’s citizenship and claim on the office.

Trump’s journey to the inauguration was as unlikely as any in recent American history.

He defied his party’s establishment, befuddled the media and toppled two political dynasties on his way to victory.

His message, calling for a resurgence of white, working-class corners of America, was packaged in defiant stump speeches railing against political correctness.

He used social media to dominate the national conversation and challenge conventions about political discourse.

After years of Democratic control of the White House and deadlock in Washington, his was a blast of fresh air for millions.

But Trump’s call for restrictive immigration measures and his caustic campaign rhetoric about women and minorities angered millions.

And Trump’s swearing-in was shadowed by questions about his ties to Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have determined worked to tip the 2016 election in his favor.

Trump’s inauguration drew crowds to the nation’s capital to witness the history, though the crowds appeared smaller than past celebrations. Demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police in riot gear helped ticket-holders get through to the ceremony.

More than 60 House Democrats refused to attend his swearing in ceremony in the shadow of the Capitol dome. One Democrat who did sit among the dignitaries was Hillary Clinton, Trump’s vanquished campaign rival who was widely expected by both parties to be the one taking the oath of office.

At 70, Trump is the oldest person to be sworn in as president, marking a generational step backward after two terms for Obama, one of the youngest presidents to serve as commander in chief.

Trump takes charge of an economy that has recovered from the Great Recession but has nonetheless left millions of Americans feeling left behind.

The nation’s longest war is still being waged in Afghanistan and U.S. troops are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The American health care system was expanded to reach millions more Americans during Obama’s tenure, but at considerable financial costs. Trump has vowed to dismantle and rebuild it.

Trump faces challenges as the first president to take office without ever having held a political position or served in the military.

He has stacked his Cabinet with established Washington figures and wealthy business leaders. Though his team’s conservative bent has been cheered by many Republicans, the overwhelmingly white and male Cabinet has been criticized for a lack of diversity.

In a show of solidarity, all of the living American presidents attended the swearing-in ceremony, except for 92-year-old George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized this week with pneumonia. His wife, Barbara, was also admitted to the hospital after falling ill.

________

AP writers Vivian Salama and Nancy Benac contributed to this report.

President Donald Trump waves after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (The Associated Press)

President Donald Trump waves after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (The Associated Press)

More in News

Hurricane Ridge Lodge to get $10.8 million upgrade

Facility to be closed during rehabilitation

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Brent Schmadeke, commanding officer of USCG Air Station Port Angeles, spoke to a meeting of the Port Angeles Noon Rotary on Wednesday about his command and what goes on out on Ediz Hook. (Peter Segall / Peninsula Daily News)
Aging assets and retention issues for Coast Guard

Systemwide issues felt locally, Air Station Port Angeles commander says

Surfer death ruled accidental

After an autopsy on a Sequim man who drowned… Continue reading

Seagull cause of brief power outage

About 2,000 people lost electricity in Port Angeles

Official: Pool, golf course projects could complement each other

Input sessions in progress with next one Dec. 20

Hurricane Ridge Road expected to be open this weekend

Snow plow fire charred hopes for last week

Erin Kluck of Port Townsend watches as her son Kaspar, 4, gives Santa Claus a high five during Saturday’s Uptown Port Townsend Farmers Market. Santa, aka Bryan Hood, said he’ll be manning the Crusty Crumb bakery table again, as the last two farmers markets of the year happen this Saturday and on Dec. 17. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)
Give me five

Erin Kluck of Port Townsend watches as her son Kaspar, 4, gives… Continue reading

Santa, Christopher Thomsen, holds Lizzie on Sunday at Airport Garden and Nursery in Port Angeles as part of a fundraiser for the Peninsula Friends of Animals. More than a dozen dogs, some more wiggly than others, sat in Santa’s lap for a photo. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Furry fundraiser

Santa, Christopher Thomsen, holds Lizzie on Sunday at Airport Garden and Nursery… Continue reading

Woman files suit against Olympic Medical Center

She cites behavior of former physician

Most Read