Donald Trump was sworn in Friday as 45th president of the United States, becoming the oldest and richest incoming commander in chief ever and the first from New York in 72 years.
The inauguration of the 70-year-old billionaire real estate mogul and former reality TV star marked the return of Republican power to the White House and the end of Democrat Barack Obama’s two terms in the highest office in the land—a transition cheered by Trump supporters and protested by the incoming administration’s critics.
“We are literally transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump said as rain began to fall in nation’s capital. “January 20th will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation once again.”
Trump beat Republican Ronald Reagan’s record as oldest incoming president by a year. Reagan was 69 years old when he took office in 1981. And Trump, who claims his empire is worth $10 billion but Forbes magazine estimates to be $3.7 billion, is by far the wealthiest incoming president.
The Queens native and Manhattan resident is the first New Yorker to move into the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat who served from 1933 to ’45—the only American president in history to serve three terms.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Vice President Michael Pence, the former governor of Indiana, shortly before noon on the steps of the Capitol Building moments before Chief Justice John Roberts led the swearing-in ceremony for Trump.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the Democratic minority leader, called for national unity during brief opening remarks before the ceremony while some protesters clashed with law enforcement in the capital.
“We Americans have always been a forward-looking, problem-solving, optimistic, patriotic and decent people,” Schumer said. “Whether we are immigrants or native born…we are all exceptional in our commonly held, yet fierce devotion to our country.”
Trump, who rehashed much of his nomination acceptance speech in his remarks, at times echoed Schumer’s sentiment, although only time will tell how long until Trump returns to the usual combative style that has defined his career and campaign.
“From this day forward a new vision will govern our land, from this day forward its going to be only America first,” Trump said.
–With Rashed Mian