Donald J Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
Today, at 5pm GMT, on a platform outside the US Capitol shared with, among others, Barack and Michelle Obama, along with now Vice President Mike Pence, Trump took the presidential oath.
The swearing in comes after one of the most controversial transition periods in presidential history, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of interfering in the election—in Trump’s favour. Luke Harding explains the controversy in full in our new issue.
His speech, given immediately after the oath, has been interpreted by commentators as doubling down on the populist rhetoric used during his presidential campaign. “People of the world, thank you,” Trump began. “We are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people… The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
In a nod to those watching from Trump’s post-industrial political heartlands, he talked of “factories scattered like tombstones” across the country. The promise to restore US manufacturing was a core plank of his campaign—the disenchantment experienced by jobless whites was written about in our November issue by Diane Roberts.
Trump continued: “The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and redistributed all across the world… From this day forward it’s going to be only America first, America first!”
Another key issue during Trump’s campaign was terrorism—on which he promised to take a hard line, famously proposing to ban all Muslims from the country. Whether the constitution will stop him doing such things has been another topic of conversation in Prospect. Today, Trump said: “We will unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
That said, there were outlying phrases, such as: “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” Trump has taken this more conciliatory approach on several occasions since his victory, also stating in his victory speech: “It is time for us to come together.”
“Yes we did!” Obama said as he left the site of the Capitol, in a reference to his 2008 campaign slogan “Yes we can!”
In our December issue, Sam Tanenhaus wrote that “a strange isolating loneliness…