Trump, sworn in as U.S. president, vows to end ‘American carnage’ in defiant speech

admin   •   January 21, 2017   •   6158

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

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

Donald Trump took power as the 45th president of the United States on Friday and pledged to end “American carnage” of social and economic woes in an inaugural address that was a populist and nationalist rallying cry.

Sketching a bleak vision of a country he said was ravaged by rusted-out factories, crime, gangs and drugs, Trump indirectly blamed his predecessors in the White House for policies that helped Washington at the expense of struggling families.

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” the Republican told thousands of people gathered on the grounds of the National Mall as he took over the presidency from Democrat Barack Obama.

Crowds looked much smaller than those for Obama’s two inaugurations. Scattered street protests erupted against Trump elsewhere in Washington.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.

Trump, 70, takes over a country divided after a savage election campaign.

The dark vision of America he often paints is belied by statistics showing low levels of unemployment and crime nationally, although Trump won many votes in parts of the nation where manufacturing industry has all but disappeared.

A wealthy New York businessman and former reality TV star who has never held public office, Trump will set the country on a new, uncertain path at home and abroad.

His address revisited the themes of the campaign speeches that carried him to an improbable victory on Nov. 8 over Democrat Hillary Clinton, who attended the ceremony with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Obama headed to a vacation in Palm Springs, California, after the ceremony. Before sitting down to lunch in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, Trump shook hands with both Clintons.

Under pressure to unite the country after the bitterly fought campaign, Trump said that through allegiance to the United States, “we will rediscover our loyalty to each other” and called for a “new national pride” that would help heal divisions.

Abroad, Trump signaled the possibility of a more aggressive approach to Islamic State militants.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth,” he said.

After repeating the 35-word oath of office, Trump stretched his arms wide and hugged his wife, Melania, and other members of his family. Ceremonial cannon blasts fired.

The transition from a Democratic president to a Republican took place before a crowd of former presidents, dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of people on the grounds of the National Mall. The crowd stretched westward on a cool day of occasional light rain.

Away from the Capitol, masked activists ran through the streets smashing windows with hammers at a McDonald’s restaurant, a Starbucks coffee shop and a steakhouse several blocks from the White House.

They carried black anarchist flags and signs that said, “Join the resistance, fight back now.” Police used pepper spray and chased them down a major avenue.

In another location not far from the White House, protesters also scuffled with police, at one point throwing aluminum chairs at them at outdoor café.

Former presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were present at the inauguration with their wives. Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, 92, watched the ceremony on television in Houston where he was recovering from pneumonia.

Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, began the day with a prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.

Trump took office with work to do to bolster his image.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found only 40 percent of Americans viewed him favorably, the lowest rating for an incoming president since Democrat Carter in 1977, and the same percentage approved of how he has handled the transition. (abcn.ws/2jU9w63)

During a testy transition period since his election win, Trump has repeatedly engaged in Twitter attacks against his critics, so much so that one fellow Republican, Senator John McCain, told CNN that Trump seemed to want to “engage with every windmill that he can find.”

TRUMP’S AGENDA

His ascension to the White House, while welcomed by Republicans tired of Obama’s eight years in office, raises a host of questions for the United States.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist path and has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods on imports from U.S. companies that went abroad.

His desire for warmer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and threats to cut funding for NATO nations has allies from Britain to the Baltics worried that the traditional U.S. security umbrella will be diminished.

In the Middle East, Trump has said he wants to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, at the risk of angering Arabs and stirring international concern. He has yet to sketch out how he plans to carry out a campaign pledge to “knock the hell out of” Islamic State.

More than 60 Democratic lawmakers stayed away from the proceedings to protest Trump, spurred on after he derided U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a hero of the civil rights movement, for calling him an illegitimate president.

Many demonstrators are to participate in a “Women’s March on Washington” on Saturday. Protests are also planned in other cities in the United States and abroad.

QUICK ACTION

Trump’s to-do list has given Republicans hope that, since they also control the U.S. Congress, they can quickly repeal and replace Obama’s signature healthcare law, approve sweeping tax reform and roll back many federal regulations they say are stifling the U.S. economy.

“He’s going to inject a shock to the system here almost immediately,” Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News.

Democrats, in search of firm political footing after the unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton, are planning to fight him at every turn. They deeply oppose Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric from the campaign trail and plans to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump’s critics have been emboldened to attack his legitimacy because his win came in the Electoral College, which gives smaller states more clout in the outcome. He lost the popular vote to Clinton by about 2.9 million.

Trump’s critics also point to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia used hacking and other methods during the campaign to try to tilt the election in the Republican’s favor. Trump has acknowledged the finding – denied by Moscow – that Russia was behind the hacking but said it did not affect the outcome of the election.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Richard Cowan, Ian Simpson, David Alexander, Susan Heavey, Roberta Rampton, Phil Stewart, Emily Stephenson and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell)

Trump takes a limousine lap before Daytona 500 auto race

UNTV News   •   February 17, 2020

President Donald Trump took a loop around the Daytona 500 racetrack on Sunday (February 16) in the presidential limousine known as “The Beast,” drawing cheers from fans at NASCAR’S most prestigious race.

Ramping up his nationwide re-election effort after his acquittal in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial, Trump served as the grand marshal at the annual National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing event, which takes place in the electoral swing state of Florida.

After his motorcade made its way around part of the track, Trump took a break to take pictures with supporters.

After being driven a full lap in the limo before the race began, Trump delivered the opening line: “Gentlemen, start your engines” at the Daytona International Speedway before a crowd of 100,000.

Previous presidents who attended NASCAR events at the speedway include Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

Florida is one of a handful of U.S. states that swing between Democrats and Republicans in presidential elections.

Trump won the state, where he has golf courses and a home that is now considered his primary residence, in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. (Reuters)

(Production: Pavithra George)

Trump celebrates impeachment acquittal, lashes out at political foes

UNTV News   •   February 7, 2020

US President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump, facing a bruising re-election campaign and possible further investigations in Congress, celebrated his acquittal on impeachment charges on Thursday (February 6) in a speech that drew on White House pomp to underscore the fact that he remained in office.

After walking down a red carpet to a standing ovation from scores of Republican lawmakers, administration officials and conservative media figures in the White House, Trump re-aired old grievances and accused Democrats of staging a “corrupt” effort to undermine his presidency.

“We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely. But I’ve done things wrong. But this is what the end result is,” he said as he held up a morning newspaper, with a headline reading “Trump acquitted.”

“And there’s nothing from a legal standpoint, this is a political thing. And every time I’d say ‘this is unfair, let’s go to court’, they say ‘sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics’. And we were treated unbelievably unfairly. And you have to understand, we first went through ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’. It was all bullshit. We then went through the Mueller report,” he added.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday voted to acquit Trump on charges bought by the Democratic-led House of Representatives, only the third time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached.

The acquittal was Trump’s biggest victory yet over his Democratic foes in Congress, who attacked Senate Republicans for refusing to call witnesses or seek new evidence at the trial. (Reuters)

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

US Senate acquits Donald Trump of Impeachment charges

UNTV News   •   February 6, 2020

US President Donald Trump

REUTERS — President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday (February 5) in his U.S. Senate impeachment trial, saved by fellow Republicans who rallied to protect him nine months before he asks voters in a deeply divided America to give him a second White House term.

The businessman-turned-politician, 73, survived only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history – just like the two other impeached presidents – in his turbulent presidency’s darkest chapter. Trump now plunges into an election season that promises to further polarize the country.

Trump was acquitted largely along party lines on two articles of impeachment approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Dec. 18, with the votes falling far short of the two-thirds majority required in the 100-seat Senate to remove him under the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of power stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden, a contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election. Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined the Democrats in voting to convict. No Democrat voted to acquit.

The Senate then voted 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress by blocking witnesses and documents sought by the House. A conviction on either count would have elevated Vice President Mike Pence, another Republican, into the presidency. Romney joined the rest of the Republican senators in voting to acquit on the obstruction charge. No Democrat voted to acquit.

On each of the two charges, the senators voted one by one on the Senate floor with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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