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Inauguration White House

Donald Trump delivers short, populist inaugural address

Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday at the Capitol. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday at the Capitol. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

President Donald Trump delivered one of the most nationalistic, populist and brief inaugural addresses on record Friday, painting a bleak picture of a country marked by "rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones" coupled with his promise to deliver Washington to the forgotten Americans.

“Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or one party to another," he told thousands of red-cap waving supporters, scattered across Washington's Mall.

"But we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”

The 16-minute speech — the shortest since President Carter's inaugural in 1977 — was a truncated version of Trump's campaign rally addresses, absent specific policy and big on a sense of anger at what he defined as a ruling class that has raided America for its own benefit. He talked of crime, gangs, drugs, poverty, jobs lost to foreign countries and a way of life destroyed by globalism.

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he promised.

“We are one nation, and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams and their success is our success.”

Trump's address departed sharply from the soaring rhetoric of his predecessor, President Obama. He used blunt language and short sentences, blaming the entire political class for empty talk instead of the action he pledged to deliver.

Trump rarely mentioned himself while calling on America  to put its own interests ahead of its global presence, serving as a model to other countries rather than a hands-on actor.

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