WASHINGTON – It was a big day in Washington, D.C. as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
President Trump, former President Barack Obama and their families are at the Capitol as the inauguration ceremony is underway.
The traditions of the day began unfolding early Friday morning. Trump and his family attended a private worship service at St. John’s Church, known as the church of presidents. The Obamas greeted Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the North Portico of the White House before hosting them for tea.
Obama left the White House for the final time as president, riding alongside Trump to Capitol Hill.
Earlier in the morning, Obama wrote a letter to Trump and left it on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, as outgoing presidents typically do for their successors. As Obama left the Oval Office for the final time, he was asked if he had any words for the American people. “Thank you,” Obama said.
Just before noon, Trump took the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol, swearing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are attending the ceremonies. Hillary Clinton, who Trump defeated in the November election, is also at the Capitol in a show of support for national unity and the peaceful transfer of presidential authority.
The customs and symbolism that are playing out — from Trump’s ride to the Capitol with Obama to the First Couple’s dance at an inaugural ball — are familiar. But the circumstances of this inauguration — the 58th in the nation’s history — could hardly be more unconventional.
President Trump is the oldest president sworn in for a first term and the first president with no previous diplomatic, political or military executive experience.
But his populist campaign deeply resonated with Americans who were fed up with Washington’s political class and felt left behind in the globalizing economy. On Friday morning, Trump heralded his inauguration in typical style — with an early morning tweet after he waking up in Blair House, the official government residence across Pennsylvania Avenue from 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!” Trump tweeted.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford is also at the inauguration, and has been sharing photos from his view of the event.
“Today is a truly historic event for our nation as we celebrate the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. I look forward to working with the new Administration to address the problems that Oklahoma and the American people sent us here to solve. Today affirms to the world that after a divisive election, the nation can move forward in an orderly, resilient and powerful way. Americans have our differences, but we should always strive to be a more compassionate and unified nation,” Lankford said.