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

AOL.com Editors

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.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

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."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

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.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

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.