Speed Reads

biden inauguration

Trump leaves the White House for the last time as president

With only a few hours left in his term, President Trump has departed the White House.

Trump on Wednesday morning boarded Marine One to leave the White House for the last time as president and head to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where he has a farewell ceremony planned and is expected to deliver remarks. He will subsequently be headed to Florida.

Traditionally, the outgoing president would welcome the incoming commander-in-chief at the White House on the day of the inauguration. But Trump, who falsely claimed he won the election, won't do so and will refuse to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony. This, according to The Associated Press, will make him the "first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson not to attend his successor's inauguration."

Trump on Tuesday released a pre-taped farewell address, in which he offered "best wishes" and prayers for the "new administration" and for its "success in keeping America safe and prosperous," though he did not name Biden. While Trump isn't attending Biden's inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence is set to be there and will be skipping Trump's farewell event at Joint Base Andrews.

As Trump left the White House for the last time, CNN's Kaitlan Collins noted there was "no sign of" Pence, while NBC's Geoff Bennett pointed to a "striking image": as Trump departed, he wrote, the area on the South Lawn "typically reserved for staffers and supporters" was "completely empty." Brendan Morrow