Trump at White House marks a transformative shift in US leadership

Donald Trump vows to end American carnage

After swearing in as 45th American President Donald John Trump delivered a fiery nationalist manifesto that promised a populist restoration by stripping power from Washington’s elites and ending an era of “American carnage.” The oath was given using two Bibles — one from President Lincoln’s inauguration, and another that Trump’s mother gave him in 1955.

Trump pulled off a surprise victory over Clinton in the general election on Nov. 8, stunning many who expected to see Clinton deliver here victory speech below a literal glass ceiling in Midtown Manhattan. Framing his ascension as transformational and global in its impact, Trump delivered a dark inaugural address in which he pledged fealty to all Americans. But he made little overt attempt to soothe a nation still wounded from arguably the ­ugliest election season of modern times and signaled that he intends to govern as if waging a permanent political campaign. As Trump addressed hundreds of thousands of supporters from the West Front of the Capitol — a crowd plainly more sparse and subdued than the record one for Barack Obama’s historic inauguration eight years ago scores of violent protesters clashed with police in the streets of downtown Washington.

Trump reprised the central ­arguments of his candidacy and harshly condemned the condition of the country he now commands. He said communities had fallen into disrepair with rampant crime, chronic poverty, broken schools, stolen wealth and “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones.” This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump declared in his 16-minute address.

“We assembled here are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power,” he added. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first–America first.”

Trump immediately settled into the job, beginning a series of executive actions designed to systematically tear down Obama’s legacy. He signed one executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act that White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, it would ease the burden of Obamacare as we transition to repeal and replace. Separately, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus planned to issue a memorandum to all federal departments and agencies ordering an immediate freeze on regulations.

Trump signed the health-care ­order while seated at the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office, which had been redecorated with gold curtains (a change from Obama’s crimson drapes). Busts of President Theodore Roosevelt and former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were added to be displayed along with one of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

The day of pageantry and ritual orchestrated both to celebrate the installation of a new commander in chief and to symbolize a peaceful transfer of power began with a church service and included a military review, a triumphant ­parade down Pennsylvania Avenue and evening balls. A tuxedo-clad Trump and wife Melania, who wore an off-the-shoulder white gown, performed their first dance to a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” with the president mouthing the lyrics.

The proceedings showcased the paradoxes of Trump. His inaugural speech, delivered in a light rain, presented a scathing indictment of the very lawmakers and former presidents who sat behind him on the dais. The president charged the ­entrenched powers in both political parties with exploiting the forgotten men and women of our country. The time for empty talk is over, Trump said. Now arrives the hour of action.Yet moments later, retreating ­inside the Capitol for a signing ceremony of his first executive actions, the president was chummy with the congressional leaders from both parties who embody the established order he had vowed to destroy.

Trump made no mention in his address of his Democratic opponent, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who received nearly three million more votes than Trump yet lost to him in the electoral college.
But later at a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, Trump said he was “very, very honored” that Hillary Clinton had attended the inauguration with former president Bill Clinton and asked the other dignitaries in the room to applaud the couple.

In yet another paradox, Trump said his presidency would be governed by two simple rules: “Buy American and hire American.” In building his sprawling business empire, however, Trump relied heavily on imports and immigrant labor. And as Trump promised to return power to struggling families, two of his wealthiest benefactors’ casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and wife Miriam were among the day’s guests of honor, scoring prime aisle seats behind Trump on the dais.

Trump, who sees his election as part of a global movement that includes Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, wanted his speech to resonate beyond the country’s borders. He said at the outset that he was addressing “fellow Americans and people of the world.” Trump echoed the nationalist mantra of President Andrew Jackson, saying he would focus entirely on rebuilding America and promoting its interests. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said. “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.” At 70, Trump became the oldest president ever sworn into office for the first time and one of the wealthiest in history.

His far-reaching business holdings, which he said he has placed in a trust to be administered by his two adult sons, have prompted questions about how he will separate his personal financial interests from those of the country. Trump’s wife, Melania, who wore a powder-blue cashmere dress, their son Barron, 10, and the president’s four adult children from his two previous marriages looked on, as did Vice President Pence and his family.
The ceremony was much in keeping with tradition. It featured prayers from an array of religious leaders and music by the U.S. Marine Band and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But the crowd that spilled onto the Mall gave the proceedings a distinctly Trumpian flavor. There were jeers when Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was called upon to speak, and when Trump stepped forward to take the oath, people chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

The crowd, however enthusiastic, was visibly smaller than the turnout for Obama’s inauguration in 2009, when Washington was infused with a sense of hope. As President Donald Trump wrapped up the ceremony of his inauguration and shifted to governing, he signaled he intends to move quickly to make a clean break from the Obama administration. Trump spent his first night in the White House and was slated to start his first full day in office. The traditional gathering was the last piece of the transition ritual for the new president before he was clear to get to work.

Trump also cleared the way for members of his national security team to take their places. He signed legislation granting James Mattis, his pick for defense secretary, a one-time exception from federal law barring former U.S. service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top Pentagon job. The restriction is meant to preserve civilian control of the military. Mattis, 66, retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. Hours later, Mattis was confirmed by the Senate as Trump watched his inaugural parade from a stand outside the White House. The Senate later confirmed retired Gen. John Kelly to lead the Homeland Security Department. Vice President Mike Pence swore-in both men late Friday. Washington, DC. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th president of the United States today.

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