Donald Trump has left the White House for the last time after holding power for the last four years.
This morning, the outgoing President and First Lady Melania Trump left the White House on Air Force One. The pair is flying to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where they’re set to arrive before Joe Biden’s inauguration. Skipping today’s event means that Trump, who became the first US President to ever be impeached twice just a week ago, is now also the first President to skip his successor’s inauguration in 150 years.
Surprisingly, Trump did not give a primetime goodbye speech, instead opting to speak briefly with reporters at a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews before his plane took off. Greeted by a 21-gun salute, Trump addressed supporters, press, and his family members in a short speech about everything from his accomplishments to the “China virus” — a racist term for the coronavirus — which he blamed for affecting his administration’s unemployment rate.
Trump called his position “an honor of a lifetime” and refused to acknowledge incoming-President Biden by name before taking one last lap around Washington, D.C. on Marine Force One.
“We were not a regular administration,” Trump told reporters. “I wish the new administration great luck and great success. … They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”
The outgoing politician spent his last night at the White House issuing pardons to a number of people, including former White House advisor Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne. He was allegedly convinced by advisors not to issue pardons for himself, his children, and lawyer Rudy Guiliani, for fear that doing so could render him vulnerable heading into his second impeachment trial.
The last year of Trump’s term has been defined by his widely-criticized handing of the Covid pandemic, racial inequality, and recently, the January 6th Capitol insurrection.
Even in is final words as President, it seemed Trump was more focused on convincing the public he’s not going anywhere, saying that he and his supporters “will be back in some form.”
“I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better,” Trump said at the end of his speech. “Have a good life.”