What did Trump say at his 2017 inauguration speech? A look back

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts (R) administers the oath of office to U.S. President Donald Trump (L) as his wife Melania Trump holds the Bible on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla). (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced previously that he wouldn’t attend the inauguration of Joe Biden, turning down a chance to be at Biden’s first official speech as president and hearing what he’ll outline for the country over the next four years.

But what issues did Trump address in his inauguration speech nearly four years ago?

Below are some highlights of his inauguration speech to the nation after being sworn in as the 45th president on Jan. 20, 2017.

For a full transcript of the speech, click or tap here.


On the peaceful transfer of power:

“Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.”

On the role of government:

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

On defending the U.S. border:

“We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.”

On providing for the middle class:

“The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.”

On relations with other countries:

“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. 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.”

On Americans being loyal to one another:

“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, ‘how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”

On the role of politicians:

“We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.”

On his message to Americans:

“So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again.”


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