Donald John Trump took the oath of office as the nation’s 45th president at noon Friday amid joyous roars of support, a 21-gun salute and eruptions of chaos throughout the city, including the removal of a half-dozen protesters who tried to disrupt the swearing-in ceremony.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump said in a short speech echoing the populist message that defined his campaign. “From this day forward, it’s only going to be America first, America first.”
Less than two miles from where Trump, former Presidents Obama George W. Bush and Bill Clinton joined hundreds of elected officials at the west front of the U.S. Capitol, anarchists marched through the city’s streets, toppling over news boxes, smashing bus stop windows, spray-painting buildings and, in one case, bashing in the windows of a black limousine. The acts of violence prompted helmeted police to chase the protesters with batons, hose them with pepper spray and fire flash bangs into their ranks. Three D.C. police officers were injured as the sound of explosions and sirens filled the cool air in the hour leading up to the inauguration – marking the most intense confrontations in a morning during which protesters had successfully shut down at least a few checkpoints.
Teargas, cops in riot foot and protesters breaking windows. pic.twitter.com/WiSo92Qo3L
— Patrick Madden (@Patrick_Madden) January 20, 2017
The inauguration of the Republican real estate mogul capped a campaign that galvanized millions of Americans who were eager to embrace a Washington outsider willing to say, or tweet, whatever is on his mind. Trump — who has never before held elected office — was jubilant Friday morning before attending a service at St. John’s Episcopal Church and sharing tea with the Obamas at the White House.
It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES – THE WORK BEGINS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017
And legions of his supporters were on hand to embrace their new president.
The Washington Post has more!
Attendance wasn’t quite the record-setter the new POTUS hoped it would be. Looks like Barack gets to hold on to his 2009 record … which was estimated to be about 2 million.