Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of America on Friday, while pledging to get down to work and rebuild the country using “American hands” during a speech marked by tempestuous rain and salted by anti-immigration hints, the well known theme song of his electoral campaign. “American carnage stops right here and right now,” Trump stated on the steps of the Capitol after taking the Oath of Office.
He vowed he would take power away from Washington and give it “back to the people”. “We must think big and dream even bigger. America will start winning again, winning like never before. 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. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation(…) I will never let you down.”
Barack Obama, the former president and his wife Michelle, the former first lady, watched on as they handed power to the Trumps. Trump and his wife Melanie had earlier had tea at the White House with the Obamas. An awkward moment the Obamas met the Trumps before the inauguration has been captured by many cameras. Michelle Obama grimaced as Melania Trump handed her a blue Tiffany box. The contents of the gift are as yet unknown. Moreover, Donald Trump interrupted the gift-giving, bouldering through the two women to go and shake hands with Barack Obama.
Hillary and Bill Clinton, as well as other former presidents, George W Bush and Jimmy Carter, and their first ladies, attended the swearing-in ceremony. George H W Bush and his wife Barbara remained in hospital in Houston.
“I’m here today to honour our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future“, Hillary Clinton, who lost elections to Trump, failing to be America’s first female president, tweeted just before Trump was sworn in.
It was the first time that Hillary Clinton had come face-to-face with Mr Trump since her election defeat to the Republican in November.
Missile defence system against Iran, N. Korea
Trump also announced plans to develop a missile defence system to protect the US against attacks from Iran and North Korea, but no further detail was provided.
The Trump administration posted a series of statements under the ‘issues’ section of the WhiteHouse.gov website – including a pledge that Barack Obama’s climate change policies would be abolished.
The former president Obama and former first lady were bidding farewell to staff at Andrews Air Force Base, heading to Palm Springs, California, for a holiday. “I’ve said before and I’ll say again that when we started on this journey we did so with an abiding faith in the American people to join together to change the country in a way that would make life better for our kids and our grandkids (…) Michelle and I have just been your frontmen. We have been the face, sometimes the voice… but this has never been about us, it has always been about you,” was Obama’s farewell speech.
After the swearing-in ceremony, demonstrators near 12th and K streets smashed windows, damaged cars and threw rocks and bottles at police, who were clad in riot gear and attempting to disperse the crowd. A large number of police were on scene and used smoke and flash-bang devices to try to scatter the protesters.
A pair of police officers were injured and 95 protesters arrested following incidents.