WASHINGTON DC, USA (4th UPDATE) – Donald Trump – business mogul, reality TV star, and celebrity – has been sworn in as President of the United States of America on Friday, January 20 (early Saturday, January 21 in Manila).
The 70-year-old Republican placed his hand on two Bibles – his own and one used by Abraham Lincoln – to take the solemn oath, ushering in a new political era that has been met with delight and dread in equal measure.
“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God,” he declared, before pumping his fist in the air several times.
Trump succeeds Barack Obama, becoming the 45th President of the world’s most powerful nation.
He was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, at the steps of the United States Capitol, in front of dozens of top officials and thousands of supporters.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” Trump said, pronouncing an end to business as usual in Washington.
“Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC. And giving it back to you, the people.”
“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.”
“Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And, yes, together, we will make America great again,” Trump said.
“January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” Trump said striking a populist and overtly political tone that is unusual for inaugural speeches.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.”
Trump’s inauguration caps the improbable rise to power of the Manhattan real estate mogul, who had never before held elected office, served in the government or the armed forces.
A crowd of hundreds of thousands looked on, including outgoing president Barack Obama and Trump’s defeated election opponent Hillary Clinton – who narrowly missed out on becoming America’s first female president.
Obama and his wife Michelle departed the Capitol by helicopter moments after the swearing-in ceremony, turning a page on eight years of Democratic leadership in the White House.
Rolling back Obama’s agenda
At 70 years of age, Trump is the oldest man ever to begin work in the Oval Office.
He has vowed to tear up Obama’s policies and re-examine decades-old alliances with Europe and in Asia.
“For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military,” he said.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
Earlier in the day, Trump had traced the steps of many presidents past, attending a prayer service at St. John’s Church before heading to the White House, where he was greeted warmly by Obama.
Beginning Friday, his team plans a rolling series of daily executive orders to roll back Obama’s agenda.
But he enters office with a 37% approval rating, the lowest on record, according to a CBS News poll.
His inauguration was notably more sparsely attended than that of Obama in 2009 and 2013. – With Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com