Trump vows to give power 'back to you the people' as he becomes 45th president

President Donald Trump has promised to put America first and restore the power of the people in his first address to the nation as president of the United States.

Trump took the oath of office at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, officially becoming the 45th president.

Trump then launched into an 18-minute speech in which he vowed "to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people."

The remarks expanded on the populist themes that were a hallmark of his untraditional presidential campaign, and included a promise that his presidency marked a turning point in American history in which the people became the "rulers" instead of the politicians.

SEE MORE: President Donald Trump's inauguration speech: Full text as prepared for delivery

"We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you the people," he said.

Trump was not without praise for his predecessor, thanking the Obama administration and the former president for offering "gracious aid throughout this transition."

"They have been magnificent," he added.

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Scenes from Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C.
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Scenes from Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C.
guests fill hte West Front of the US Caaptol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017, before the swearing-in ceremony of US President-elect Donald Trump. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, left, wipes the shoulder of U.S. President Barack Obama while standing outside of the White House ahead of the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Trump is the first president since the dawn of national polling in the late 1930s to enter office with the approval of fewer than half of Americans -- in his case only 40 percent. Photographer: TKTK/Pool via Bloomberg
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: (L-R) Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Vanessa Trump and Jared Kushner arrive on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: The presidential motorcade drives down Pennsylvania Ave towards the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush wave as they arrive on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Former President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter arrive on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US Chief Justice John Roberts (C-front) arrives with US justice William Rehnquist (L) on the platform of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017, before the swearing-in ceremony of US President-elect Donald Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Former U.S. Preident George W. Bush and former first landy Laura Bush arrive at the swearing in ceremony at the United States Capitol January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States today. (Photo by Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden arrive for the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. / AFP / POOL / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Elect Donald Trump arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Elect Donald Trump arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
US President elect Donald Trump (R) and Vice President elect Mike Pence seat during the swearing-in ceremony on in front of the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as his wife Karen Pence looks on, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Vice President Mike Pence on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President elect Donald Trump (C) salutes his daughter Ivanka and other family members during the swearing-in ceremony on in front of the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in as President on January 20, 2017 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Attendees listen as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States today, in a celebration of American unity for a country that is anything but unified. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees stand during the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States today, in a celebration of American unity for a country that is anything but unified. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump(L) wait with former President Barack Obama(2nd-R) and Michelle obama before their departure from the US Capitol after Trump's inauguration ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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But his speech was highly critical of politicians and government more generally, complaining that only the powerful have benefitted while everyday Americans have been left behind.

"Politicians prosper, but the jobs left and the factories closed," he said. "The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories."

SEE ALSO: Airplane flying over New York City displays stark anti-Trump message

"While they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land," he continued.

"That all changes, starting right here and right now," he added. "Because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you."

"The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

Trump promised to put America first during his presidency, on issues ranging from trade to foreign policy.

"From this day forward it's going to be only America first," he said.

He vowed to protect U.S. borders from the "ravages" of other countries and help bring about a new era of American prosperity, built by Americans. That vow also included plans to rebuild America's infrastructure by "rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor," an initiative Obama pursued during his presidency, but failed to convince Congress to pass.

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Donald Trump's Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration
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Donald Trump's Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump acknowledges supporters with his wife Melania at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Toby Keith performs at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his family take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Lee Greenwood performs with the Frontmen of Country during the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump son Donald Trump Jr. (C) looks at his daughter Kai Madison as she takes a picture with her mobile phone during the Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017, one day before Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

President-elect Donald J. Trump and wife Melania Trump arrive for the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial in January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down sings during the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump salutes next to his wife Melania (C) and daughter Ivanka as they arrive at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

The U.S. Army Band performs during the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

The Frontmen of Country perform during the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017,

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Members of the American Tap Company perform at the Voices for the People inaugural musical event on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on January 20.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrive with family members at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

People stand for the national anthem before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Members of the American Tap Company walk offstage after performing at the Voices for the People inaugural musical event on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on January 20.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, along with his wife Ivanka Trump arrive for the the Inauguration Welcome Concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Members of the Emerald Society, Washington, DC Fire Department band, walk on their way to perform at the Voices for the People inaugural musical event on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on January 20.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Lincoln Memorial January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Toby Keith performs at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump daughter Ivanka (C), her husband Jared Kushner (R) and Tiffany Trump arrive at a Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017, one day before Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

A military band performs during a welcome celebration for US President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on January 19, 2017.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend an Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial al the National Mall in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017, one day before Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president.

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend an Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial al the National Mall in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017, one day before Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president.

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

A supporter of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attends an Inaugural Concert event at the Lincoln Memorial al the National Mall in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017, one day before Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president.

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his family take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during the inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Guests cheer during the inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump looks on during the inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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After a campaign that was criticized at times for sparking racial division, Trump spoke of both geographic and racial unity, promising to work on the behalf of "a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska."

His "America-first" message also included a promise to "eradicate completely from the face of the earth" Islamic terrorism.

SEE MORE: Democratic politician posts lewd comment about Trump

He began his unlikely campaign for president in June 2015, and defied expectations throughout the election cycle and defeating Clinton 306 electoral votes to 232, while losing the popular vote by about 3 million votes.

He comes into office with relatively low expectations and approval ratings.

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