Trump Leaves D.C. Hours Before Biden Inauguration After One More Rally
In his last official hours as President of the United States, Donald Trump boarded the presidential helicopter Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, and later, to his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago.
Trump met reporters on the South Lawn of the White House for his last meeting with the press. He took no questions, but gave a prepared statement saying being president was a “great honor.” He soon boarded the Marine One with a handful of staffers and left the White House for the final time.
At the base, the outgoing president received a military sendoff and gave an address in front of several American flags. Unlike the Biden Inauguration, which did not allow spectators due to COVID-19 and security concerns, Trump spoke before a crowd of people who were not socially distanced. “We’ve accomplished a lot,” Trump said before letting outgoing First Lady Melania Trump give a short farewell.
Stepping back on Marine One, Trump walked by his family variously shaking hands and kissing cheeks of his son’s wives. In the case of his son Eric Trump, he received an unexpected floating cheek kiss.
Trump will be the first sitting president in over 150 years not to attend the inauguration of his successor. Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, however, did attend the ceremony.
The outgoing president regularly attends several inauguration events in the days surrounding the ceremony, but Trump has declined all festivities that were not already canceled due to COVID-19 or security concerns.