Over and not out! Trump promises we haven't seen the last of him as he predicts 'new administration' will do well because of his legacy before he and Melania board Air Force One and skip Biden's inauguration to flee to Mar-a-Lago

  • President Trump left the White House with the First Lady at 8.12am, boarding Marine One for the last time
  • He stopped briefly to speak to reporters, saying it had been the 'honor of a lifetime' to serve as President
  • At Joint Base Andrews, he told a crowd of reporters that he would be back 'in some form' 
  • Before flying off on Air Force One, he told everyone present: 'Have a nice life'  
  • His family is waiting for him at Joint Base Andrews, where he will give one final speech before leaving 
  • The Trumps will then watch from afar in Mar-a-Lago as Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President
  • Trump is the first president since 1869 to snub his successor's inauguration 
  • In his final act, he granted clemency to 72 people including Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne 
  • Trump's unorthodox departure has caused a security nightmare - he is taking with him what is known as the nuclear 'football' which contains the nuclear codes
  • It has to be ferried back to Washington from Florida by the military before Biden is sworn in 
  • While Trump refused to mention Biden, officials say he did leave a letter for him in the Oval Office  
The much heated political climate of the US is quickly giving way for a peaceful takeover as president Trump and wife leave White House for the last time (although promised to return somehow) and Biden poised to step into his shoes.

 Donald Trump vowed ‘we will be back - in some form’ as he left Washington D.C. for the last time Wednesday, flying off on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago to snub Joe Biden – then claiming credit in advance for the new administration’s success.

‘Have a good life,’ he told a crowd of a few hundred supporters at Joint Base Andrews, after listing his ‘achievements’ in a speech which began after a 21-gun salute.

In the front row, Ivanka Trump cried, while behind the maskless crowd chanted ‘thank you Trump,’ before the first family climbed the stairs to Air Force One for the final time.

The military ceremony had the atmosphere of a Trump rally: Gloria was played as Air Force One taxied, and then the YMCA as Trump hugged and kissed his children and finally My Way as the plan rose into the air.

‘We love you. We will be back in some form,’ he told the crowd of cheering supporters before signing off: 'Have a good life, we will see you soon.'

The farewell resembled one of Trump’s infamous campaign rallies, ending with ‘YMCA’ – the song Trump would depart to – as supporters cheered ‘USA, USA, USA.’

My Way, which Trump and Melania danced to at his 2017 inaugural ball, played as Air Force One took off. 

The president paused at times in his remarks. While he did not show tears, he appeared to feel the weight of the occasion while taking time to enjoy the final moments of his time in office. He notably did not mention the name of incoming President Joe Biden.

‘Hail to Chief’ played as Trump and Melania - who was wearing a Chanel jacket, sunglasses and carrying a $60,000 black crocodile Hermes Birkin bag - walked from Marine One to the platform where the president addressed the crowd. 

We love you,’ the supporters yelled as Trump took the stage after arriving while his children watched proudly.

‘We accomplished a lot,’ Trump said. ‘We worked hard. We left it all - as the athletes would say - we left it in the field.’

He left behind a last-minute flurry of pardons, including to Steve Bannon, the indicted one-time White House Svengali, Trump-backing rapper Lil’ Wayne and a convicted stalker friend of his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Also left on the field was a shattered Republican Party, whose top ranks are torn apart by his second impeachment. In the dying days of his presidency, Trump floated starting his own ‘Patriot Party’ from his Mar-a-Lago home.

He told his supporters, who he hopes to harness as a power force in future elections, that he will be there for them.

‘I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening and I will tell you the future of the country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular and in a position like it has never been,’ he said.
He has reportedly discussed forming another party, known as the Patriot Party, to continue his political career. 

Melania Trump, wearing black, briefly addressed the crowd. She wore a Chanel, military-style jacket and had her hair pinned up for her final appearance as first lady.

‘Being first lady was my greatest honor. Thank you for your support. You will be my thoughts and prayers, god bless you all, god bless the family and god bless this beautiful nation,’ she said.
In free-styling remarks, Trump did not use a teleprompter, he listed some of his accomplishments.

‘Our people are happy, military is thrilled. We got tax cuts, the largest tax cut and reform in the history of the country by far. Hope they don't raise your taxes. If they do I told you so,’ he said.
He mentioned the number of votes he received in the election but, notably, did not say he was the winner – an argument he made repeatedly after Joe Biden’s win was certified.

‘A lot of obstacles, we went to the obstacles and you get 75 million votes in the history of sitting presidents. It is an all-time record by a lot by many millions, really just an honor,’ he said.
And he paid a short tribute to those who died from the coronavirus, which dominated his last year in office. More than 400,000 Americans died from the disease.

‘We have to do is pay our respects and our love to the incredible people and families who suffered so gravely from the China virus. It is a horrible thing, we all know where it came from but it is a horrible horrible thing so be very careful, be very very careful. We want to pay great love, great love to all the people that have suffered including families who have suffered so greatly,’ he said.

After the ceremony, Trump hugged his children and grand children, who stood the side of stage. He waved to the crowd, walking through an honor guard hand in hand with Melania, taking it all in.

The first couple climbed the stairs of Air Force One and waved goodbye. The Trump children followed them up the stairs.
It’s unclear what’s next for the outgoing president, who timed his departure so he could land in Florida while the plane carried the call sign ‘Air Force One’ – which can only be sued when the current president is on board.

Trump faces a second impeachment trial in the Senate, which could result in him never being able to run for office again if he’s found guilty. 

But he’s likely to use his supporters to be a force in the party, particularly primary elections where he has vowed vengeance against those Republicans he felt did not support him.

In a glaring split-screen moment defining the end of the Trump years, Joe Biden was about to leave Blair House, the White House’s official guest house, to go to mass with his wife Jill and Congressional leaders.

Trump was flying to Joint Base Andrews to speak in front of Air Force One to a small crowd of supporters. His adult children waited for him there. 

Trump's early departure for Florida has caused a logistical and security nightmare since he is taking with him the nuclear codes. They will then be flown back to DC to be handed over to Biden this afternoon. 

On Tuesday night, Trump made one of his final acts in office granting pardons to dozens of rappers, millionaires and strategists, including his old friend Steve Bannon.   

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic and fears of a security threat, the mall - where thousands normally line up to greet the new President and First Lady - will be closed to the public.
A smaller-than-usual crowd of guests including former Presidents and lawmakers will attend the inauguration ceremony in a socially-distanced manner instead.  

The inaugural theme for this year's ceremony, 'America United', aims to restore the 'soul of America', bring the nation together and create a 'path to a brighter future', according to the incoming administration. 

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) has announced a series of events to be broadcast throughout Inauguration Day that Americans can watch live from home as people have been ordered to refrain from attending in person.

In lieu of the usual crowds, approximately 191,500 flags will cover the National Mall in honor of those unable to travel to Washington due to the pandemic.

Three hours before Biden will be sworn in as the 46th U.S. President, he will be attending mass at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral with members of the House and Senate at 8:45am. 
Guests will then begin arriving on the steps of the Capitol at around 11am. 

Because of the ongoing pandemic, organizers have slashed attendance from 200,000 down to just 1,000 people.
Most members of Congress are expected to be in attendance (and have all been permitted plus-ones), as are three of the four living former presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. 

Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton, will also be present.

 He confirmed his absence in a tweet earlier this month shortly before he was permanently suspended from the social media platform.

Instead, Trump will leave DC on Air Force One at around 8am, with his destination set for his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. 
He is set to become the first president in more than a century to not attend his successor's inauguration. Only three presidents have previously abstained, with the last, Andrew Johnson, coming in 1869.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, has confirmed he will be attending, along with his wife, Karen.   

President Trump will not be attending. He confirmed his absence in a tweet earlier this month shortly before he was permanently suspended f

The inauguration ceremony will commence with remarks from Father Leo J. O'Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family and former president of Georgetown University.

Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captain of the Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia, will then recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
A number of live performances are also scheduled to take place throughout the ceremony.

The first on the bill is Lady Gaga, who will sing the national anthem. The singer previously teamed with Biden on domestic violence issues during his two terms as Vice President and also campaigned for him in the 2020 election.

Amanda Gorman, who became the U.S.'s first Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, will then recite a poem she has written for the occasion, titled: 'The Hill We Climb.'

Much like the incoming president, Gorman also once had a speech impediment that she has worked hard to overcome. 
She has also recently announced plans to run for president in 2036 – the first year in which she will be eligible.

Jennifer Lopez will then follow Gorman's reading with a song, as will singer-songwriter Garth Brooks.

The performances with then conclude with a benediction from longtime Biden family friend, Rev. Silvester Beaman, of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Biden shortly after the clock strikes noon.

Biden will take the oath with his hand on top of his 127-year-old, five-inch-thick family Bible, which will be held by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first black and the first South Asian American vice president, will then take the oath immediately after.

Harris is due to be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the bench of the Supreme Court.
Like Harris, Sotomayor is a former prosecutor. She previously administered the oath to Biden when he was sworn in for his second term as Vice President in 2013.

Harris will be sworn in on two Bibles — one that belonged to a close family friend named Regina Shelton and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the country's first African American Supreme Court Justice. 

Trump on Tuesday night granted sweeping pardons to his friends, rapper and millionaires, who have been charged for an array of crimes. 

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