President Donald Trump has departed the White House by helicopter, on his way to a ceremonial send-off at Joint Base Andrews for his final day in office.
Trump told gathered reporters it had been a great honor and an amazing four years. Breaking with decades of tradition, Trump will not participate in the peaceful transition of power and is skipping the inauguration.
The outgoing president typically departs shortly after the incoming president is sworn in. But Trump, who fought bitterly to overturn the results of the 2020 election, is skipping President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, instead opting to orchestrate his own fanfare-filled exit while he is still commander-in-chief.
President Donald Trump departs the White House.
— Laila Ijeoma | Lailasnews.com (@LailaIjeoma) January 20, 2021
Donald Trump also left a note for his successor before he left the Oval Office for the last time, a White House spokesperson for the Trump administration confirmed to the Guardian.
The note to incoming president Joe Biden continues a longstanding tradition between successive presidents, even of the opposing parties. The letters are meant to stay private but oftentimes eventually get leaked out to the public.
When Barack Obama left office in 2015, he wrote a note for Trump. George W Bush too left a note for Obama in 2009.