WASHINGTON - Under cloudy and rainy skies on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
After a highly contentious election campaign with slogans of "Make America Great Again" and "Drain The Swamp," the real estate mogul turned president issued another declaration during his inaugural address: "From this moment on, it's going to be America first."
Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and took the oath of office in front of all of the living presidents, with the exception of George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized earlier this week due to illness along with his wife, Barbara. Trump's election opponent, Hillary Clinton, was part of the dignitaries who attended the ceremony at Capitol Hill.
Trump becomes the oldest president to enter the White House at 70 years old and is the first commander-in-chief to not have held political office or served in the military.
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Despite an election that seemed to have left the country divided and even led to dozens of Democratic lawmakers boycotting the swearing-in ceremony, Trump said in his 16-minute inaugural speech that his vision will give control of the United States back to the citizens.
"What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people," he said. "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."
The Trumps began the day with a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church before their motorcade took them to the White House. In keeping with the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, the Trumps and the Obamas traveled together to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Trump and his wife, Melania, bid farewell to departing President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. The Obamas left in a helicopter from the U.S. Capitol to Joint Base Andrews, where they flew out of town for a vacation in Palm Springs, California. They will return and will continue to live in Washington, D.C. in the Kalorama neighborhood. Obama addressed staff members at Joint Base Andrews before leaving.
After signing presidential paperwork for the first time as president, Trump then attended the inaugural luncheon in the Capitol, which was also attended by Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
While this was happening, protests in downtown D.C. began to turn violent with police in full riot gear using pepper spray and flash bang grenades in an effort to control the crowd. Some protesters were seen throwing rocks and other objects at police, lighting trash cans, newspaper stands and vehicles on fire. D.C. police said 217 arrests were made and six officers suffered minor injuries as a result of the clashes.
After the meal, Trump along with his wife and their 10-year-old son, Barron, made their way to the presidential limousine where they were escorted along the inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue to the viewing stand near the White House to watch the event.
The Trumps attended three inaugural balls Friday night to cap the historic day.
A heavy law enforcement presence was seen in Washington D.C. beginning earlier this week with some businesses taking extra security measures ahead of anticipated crowds.On Thursday night, demonstrations turned violent when protesters gathered outside of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to protest the DeploraBall party.
Trump arrived in D.C. on Thursday with his family and incoming vice president, Mike Pence. He laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery before joining supporters for an evening concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
"It's a movement like we've never seen anywhere in the world," the president-elect declared at the celebratory concert. "You're not forgotten any more. You're not forgotten any more." he said to his supporters. The concert featured headliners including country star Toby Keith, soul's Sam Moore and rockers 3 Doors Down.
Trump joked with campaign donors Thursday night about the rainy forecast, saying, "That's OK, because people will realize it's my real hair."
"Might be a mess, but they're going to see that it's my real hair," he said.
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Information from the Associated Press used in this report.