Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2021. 11:36 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Donald Trump is saying goodbye to the White House and Washington today, but has vowed to be “back in some form,” adding that he wished “the new administration great luck and great success,” the BBC reports.
However, he will not be attending successor Joe Biden’s inauguration, the first such snub since 1869.
Trump is headed to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida by way of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where he told supporters that it had been his great honour to be president.
He told supporters as he prepared to fly to Florida that it had been “a great honour to be your president”. He further highlighted his “amazing” achievements, citing job creation, the establishment of a “Space Force”, policies for veterans and on taxation, as well as the speedy development of Covid vaccines, issued a warning to be “very, very careful” about the “horrible” pandemic and paid respects to those who had suffered.
Of the new administration he said, “I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they will have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular,” but avoided mentioning Biden by name.
The Delaware Democrat’s inauguration takes place amid heavy security. Some 25,000 troops will guard the inauguration ceremony following a deadly riot by pro-Trump supporters at the Capitol earlier this month.
In his last hours, Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, who was facing fraud charges.
In a farewell video message on Tuesday, Trump called on Americans to pray for the incoming administration. He said he was proud of what he had achieved over the past four years.
Trump has been relatively quiet since his supporters attacked Congress on 6 January, and his Twitter account was suspended. He has never congratulated Joe Biden on victory and had always disputed the result of the presidential election, citing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
But White House spokesman Judd Deere told Agence France Presse that Trump had left a traditional letter for Biden.
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