WASHINGTON — Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new era that he vowed would shatter the established order and reverse a national decline that he called “this American carnage.”
In a ceremony that capped a remarkable rise to power, Mr. Trump presented himself as the leader of a populist uprising to restore lost greatness. He outlined a dark vision of an America afflicted by “the ravages” of economic dislocation and foreign exploitation, requiring his can-do approach to turn around.
“I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down,” Mr. Trump told hundreds of thousands of rain-soaked admirers and onlookers in a forceful 16-minute Inaugural Address from the West Front of the Capitol. “America will start winning again, winning like never before. 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.”
Mr. Trump assumed the presidency of a country still unsettled after a polarizing election and entered office with less support in polls than any other president in recent history. It was clear from the day that there would be no grace period either for or by the new president. The Senate confirmed two cabinet nominations — James N. Mattis as defense secretary and John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security — but Democrats temporarily held up Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as C.I.A. director.
Throughout the day, there were mostly peaceful protests against the new president. Sporadic violence broke out as demonstrators smashed shop windows and burned a limousine, while police officers in riot helmets responded with tear gas. More than 200 people were arrested. Liberal groups prepared for a women’s march on Saturday that they said could draw hundreds of thousands.