Trump offers vision for his presidency: ‘only America first’

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US President Donald Trump takes the oath of office with his wife Melania and son Barron at his side, during his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSWIGZ

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JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s official. Donald J. Trump is the 45th president of the United States.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath at noon, as Mr. Trump assumed his first public office.

Here is how this Inauguration Day unfolded.

For Donald and Melania Trump, the first public appearance of this inaugural day came at a morning church service at St. John’s Episcopal in Washington. The president-elect had already begun his day around 4:30 a.m. with a trademark tweet.

It proclaimed: “The movement continues. The work begins.”

Meanwhile, at the White House, the outgoing president left the traditional note for his successor on his Oval Office desk.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, everybody.

MAN: Good morning, sir.

MAN: Good morning, sir.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And he took a final nostalgic stroll next to the Rose Garden.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Mr. President-Elect, how are you?

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Obamas then welcomed the Trumps for a reception of coffee and tea, before motorcading to the U.S. Capitol.

Thousands had already gathered there despite a light rain and tight security, having faced protests at several security checkpoints, as police in riot gear battled demonstrators elsewhere in the city.

Overall, the crowd on the National Mall appeared well short of the one that celebrated Mr. Obama’s first inauguration.

More than 60 congressional Democrats boycotted the ceremony. But other dignitaries filled the West Front of the Capitol, including former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, with his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost the November election to Mr. Trump.

“Hail to the Chief” played a final time for President Obama.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentleman, the president-elect of the United States, Donald John Trump.


JUDY WOODRUFF: And then the president-elect himself was announced, to cheers. Still, the political divisions laid bare in the election were on display.

Scattered jeering greeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer when he addressed the crowd.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, Minority Leader: We face threats, foreign and domestic. In such times, faith in our government, our institutions and even our country can erode.

Despite these challenges, I stand here today confident in this great country for one reason: you, the American people.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The crowd cheered again when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath of office to Vice President Pence.

JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, U.S. Supreme Court: Would you raise your right hand and repeat after me?

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “America the Beautiful.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear…

JUDY WOODRUFF: And the nation’s 45th president took the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts.


JUDY WOODRUFF: The new president was greeted by trumpets and cannon salutes and by scattered shouts of “Not my president.”

Then, as the rain resumed, Donald Trump delivered his first address as president, a message of economic populism that portrayed a nation struggling.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: For too many of our citizens, a different reality exists, mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Instead, the president declared a new vision will now guide the government, in his words, only America first.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: America will start winning again, winning like never before.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And he made clear he will hold official Washington to account for past failures, and future progress.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So, 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.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny.

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.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.


JUDY WOODRUFF: The ceremony concluded with the national anthem sung by 16-year-old Jackie Evancho.

And with the peaceful transition of power complete, the new administration bid farewell to the past.

William Brangham picks it up there.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The first task for the newly sworn president and vice president, seeing their predecessors off.

After a final hug, former Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill, hopped into a waiting motorcade, and took an Amtrak train home to Wilmington, Delaware.


WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The Obamas boarded a military helicopter for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

There, Mr. Obama addressed hundreds of staffers from his White House years.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This has been the privilege of my life, and I know I speak for Michelle as well. And we look forward to continuing this journey with all of you. And I can’t wait to see what you do next. And I promise you I will be right there with you.

All right?


WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And, with that, the former first couple flew to Palm Springs, California, for a vacation.

Back in the city, a new, more violent protest broke out, with dozens arrested.

But, at the Capitol, the business of the day went ahead without interruption. In his first official acts, President Trump signed a proclamation calling for a national day of patriotism on September 11. He also formally submitted his Cabinet nominations to the Senate, and signed a waiver that clears the way for his defense secretary pick, retired General James Mattis.

From there, the Trumps entered Statuary Hall for the traditional post-inaugural luncheon and a presidential gesture to his defeated opponent.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I was very honored, very, very honored, when I heard that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today. And I think it’s appropriate to say.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And I would like you to stand up. I would like you to stand up.


WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Then it was back outside for a ceremonial review of the troops, and the trip down Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the White House.

Protests continued, but the parade proceeded without interruption. Along the way, the president got out to greet supporters.

As the afternoon turned into the evening, the first family watched the parade from the White House viewing box.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m William Brangham.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, our John Yang was on the platform on the West Side of the Capitol for today’s ceremony.

John, you had a view most of us didn’t.

JOHN YANG: That’s right, Judy. We were right there next to it.

It was really interesting to watch. It was a fascinating day. It was full of tradition. It seemed like any other inaugural, but, at the same time, it was different, the heckling during the administering of the oath that you talked about.

And you had the former living — the living former presidents, all except George Herbert Walker Bush, who is hospitalized in Houston, all there, all there to — I think especially because of the contentious nature of this election, there to see the transfer of power.

But, at the same time, they didn’t seem very enthusiastic about the speech. George W. Bush hardly applauded at all during the speech, looked rather stoney-faced. And when a reporter asked him afterward what he thought of the speech, his reply was, “Good to see you again” — Judy.


JUDY WOODRUFF: So, John — so, John, we reported that the new president has already signed some executive orders. A lot of it is routine, but some of it significant.

What are you learning about what he plans to do in the first few days he’s in office?

JOHN YANG: There is going to be a lot of activity. You’re going to see a lot of executive orders signed in the first week, starting Monday, we’re told by Sean Spicer, the new White House press secretary.

Those will be more substantive, dealing with policy. We’re told that immigration certainly will be at the top of the list, trade issues, sort of the issues that he ran on that were the signatures of his campaign. A lot of them will be undoing what President Obama did over the past eight years with executive actions, because he faced obstacles in Congress.

A lot of it will be furthering their own agenda. But they say they have got a plan, an action plan, not just for the first 100 days, but for the first 200 days.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sounds like enough to keep you and the rest of the press following this new president really busy.

John Yang, thank you.

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