President Trump: 'We Are Transferring Power From Washington, D.C., and Giving It Back to You, the People'

By Susan Jones | January 20, 2017 | 12:32pm EST
President Donald Trump gives his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( - "People of the world, thank you." So began Donald Trump's inaugural speech, in which he promised to return power to the people -- putting politicians on the spot, even as they surrounded him.

"We the citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people," he said. "Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many years to come."

Trump noted that every four years, Americans gather at the U.S. Capitol to carry out the peaceful transfer of power.

"Today's ceremony has very special meaning," he said. "Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you -- the people."

The crowd cheered as they reached for their ponchos and the rain began to fall.

Trump continued: "For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth.

"Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our great country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs, and while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

"That all changes, starting right here and right now," Trump said. "Because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching, all across America.

"This is your day, this is your celebration, and this -- the United States of America -- is your country!"

Despite his blunt talk about politicians, Trump did thank Barack and Michelle Obama for their "gracious aid" throughout the transition. "They have been magnificent," he said.

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