Following months of making baseless claims about election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, the day has finally come for President Donald Trump to make his final exit from the White House. As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take over his role as the 46th president of the United States, people nationwide are certainly feeling change in the air. While these photos of Donald Trump leaving the White House mark the beginning of a new chapter for the country, they also represent a break in a tradition of the outgoing president meeting with his successor.
Just hours before Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20, President Trump wrapped up his final moments in the White House, skipping out on the tradition of meeting with the incoming president. President Trump left the White House just after 8 a.m. ET on the morning of Biden's inauguration. He flew out of Washington, D.C., on Marine One for a farewell ceremony at Air Force One's military base, Joint Base Andrews, in Maryland, according to reported invites sent out for the event. After the military parade, the president will then board Air Force One and fly to his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, per earlier reports from The Palm Beach Post, and be notably absent for the inauguration.
Trump made it clear earlier in the month of January that he would not be present during the transition of power, making him the first president in 152 years to do so. On Jan. 8, prior to his lifetime ban from Twitter, Trump tweeted his plan to skip the inauguration ceremonies. "To all those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," he wrote. These photos of Trump leaving the White House with outgoing first lady Melania Trump after skipping the traditional meeting with the incoming president are a clear break from tradition.
Trump and Melania exited the White House to make their way to Marine One.
Trump boarded Marine One for the final time as he headed to Andrews Air Force Base.
On that tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base, Trump addressed a crowd of about 200 people. Per USA Today, Trump told the crowd, "We will be back in some form." He called his time in the White House "an incredible four years," and said, "What we've done would be amazing by any standard." Despite not meeting with Biden, he wished the incoming administration well.
Inauguration Day comes after months of tension in which Trump refused to concede the election, making baseless claims about election fraud on nearly every public platform he could. Tensions further mounted when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, after the president spoke at a rally near the Capitol building. The deadly riot resulted in Trump's second impeachment for inciting violence as well as many of his social media accounts being banned.
With his early exit on Jan. 20, Trump got Inauguration Day off to a different start than usual. Additionally, in light of security threats as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Biden's inauguration will certainly look different, with the inaugural committee asking supporters to stay at home to limit the spread of the virus. Instead, you can tune into the high-profile event virtually on YouTube and at bideninaugural.org, or on most major networks, including ABC, CBS, and NBC.