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Under dark clouds and a swollen sky, real estate tycoon and TV reality show host Donald Trump was today sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Before Trump took the oath, Mike Pence took the oath of the Vice President as the 48th person. And before he took the oath, Trump gave a thumbs up to the crowd.

US Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Trump, who has never before held public office. Trump used two bibles when he took his oath of office – Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and a childhood Bible given to him by his mother. Present at the podium were Trump’s children and his wife Melania.

As many as 900,000 people, including protesters, were gathered to witness the swearing in. Among those in attendance were former US Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W Bush. Also present was the winner of the popular vote in the November 8 U.S Presidential elections, Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s swearing-in was the culmination of a dizzying political ride that began about two years ago. From a rank outsider, Trump managed to win not just the Republican Party primary but also the November 8 elections even as opinion polls put his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton far ahead of him. Critics said his campaign was highly divisive, racist and sexist. And to be sure, he did not win the popular vote. His rival Clinton had won the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

Before heading to the White House for the swearing in, Trump attended a prayer service at St. John’s Church, where he was greeted warmly by the outgoing President Barack Obama, capping a transfer of power that has been peaceful yet rancorous. After morning tea, Trump, Obama and their wives Melania and Michelle travelled 2.5 miles (four kilometers) down the Pennsylvania Avenue to the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol.