WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Donald Trump has left the White House for the final time as president.
He emerged from the building Wednesday morning and strode across the South Lawn, saying: “It’s been a great honour, the honour of a lifetime.”
Trump, 74, and First Lady Melania Trump walked a short red carpet and boarded Marine One on the White House lawn on a sunny but chilly day in Washington for the short flight to Joint Base Andrews where he will board Air Force One.
Trump will then fly to Florida, where he will stay at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump is leaving Washington just hours before Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th president.
Four years after standing on stage at his own inauguration and painting a dire picture of “American carnage,” Trump departed the office twice impeached, with millions more out of work and 400,000 dead from the coronavirus.
Republicans under his watch lost the presidency and both chambers of Congress. He will be forever remembered for the final major act of his presidency: inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and horrified the nation.
Trump will be the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s inauguration as he continues to stew about his loss and privately maintains the election that President-elect Joe Biden fairly won was stolen from him.
Republican officials in several critical states, members of his own administration and a wide swath of judges, including those appointed by Trump, have rejected those arguments.
Still, Trump has refused to participate in any of the symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions surrounding the peaceful transition of power, including inviting the Bidens over for a get-to-know-you visit.
By the time Biden is sworn in, Trump will already have landed at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, to face an uncertain future, but not before giving himself a grand sendoff — with a red carpet, a military band and even a 21-gun salute. — NNN-AGENCIES