Donald Trump spoke to a sparse crowd of supporters at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning, minutes after leaving the White House and hours earlier than Joe Biden will likely be sworn in as his successor. Even in his last moments in energy, Trump appeared to depart the door open to a different run for the presidency, pledging, “We will likely be again in some type.”
Trump’s departure caps a chaotic and controversial one-term presidency, however one which he sought to place as a interval of unmitigated success.
“This has been an unbelievable 4 years,” Trump stated. “We’ve completed a lot collectively.”
“What we’ve finished has been wonderful by any normal,” he added, ticking off an inventory of accomplishments that included his work to bolster the navy and the creation of Area Pressure. “We’ve left all of it, because the athletes would say, we’ve left all of it on the sector. In a month after we’re sitting in Florida — we is not going to be one another saying ‘If we’d solely labored tougher.’ You may’t work tougher.”
He closed by stating, “have life. We’ll see you quickly.”
The president obtained a 21-gun salute shortly earlier than making his remarks. Most of his supporters didn’t look like sporting masks regardless of the threats the COVID-19 pandemic nonetheless poses.
Trump is flying to Mar-a-Lago, the personal membership he owns in Palm Seaside, Fla. Members of the family, equivalent to his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, have been in attendance at Joint Base Andrews, and seemed on because the president ready to board Air Pressure One, whereas songs like Journey’s “Don’t Cease Believin’” and Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” blared over the loudspeakers. Because the aircraft took off, Frank Sinatra’s model of “My Means” performed.
It was one of many last acts of Trump’s tumultuous tenure, one marked by fixed tweeting and wall-to-wall media protection, in addition to racial pressure, recession and a world pandemic that has upended each day life. That was all earlier than Trump’s heated rhetoric about election fraud helped incite an rebel try. Supporters of the president credit score Trump with a booming pre-pandemic financial system, in addition to tax cuts and the appointment of conservative judges that has helped push the Supreme Court docket to the proper.
At roughly 8:15 a.m. ET, Trump left the White House and boarded Marine One along with his spouse, Melania Trump. Trump paused briefly in entrance of the media scrum and hinted on plans for a busy post-presidency, telling reporters he “hoped it will not be an extended goodbye,” in accordance with CNN.
Trump turns into the primary president since President Richard Nixon to not attend his successor’s swearing in.
Trump has refused to acknowledge the incoming president by title. As late as Jan. 6, he was nonetheless denying the end result of the election and insisting that he would by no means concede. However after his supporters rioted on the Capitol constructing, attacking law enforcement officials and ransacking workplaces, leading to 5 deaths, Trump grudgingly conceded that his time was up with out totally abandoning his claims of voter fraud.
At Joint Base Andrews, Trump did provide some heat phrases to the incoming administration, with out mentioning Biden immediately. He additionally used that olive department of types as a possibility to play up his personal file.
“I want the brand new administration nice luck and nice success,” Trump stated. “I believe they’ll have nice success. They’ve the muse to do one thing actually spectacular. And once more we put it ready prefer it’s by no means been earlier than, regardless of the worst plague to hit, since I suppose you’d say, 1917, over 100 years in the past.”
Trump predicted that the faltering financial system was poised to rebound. “Keep in mind us once you see these items taking place,” he stated “I’m parts of our financial system which can be set to be a rocket ship up.”
Melania Trump briefly addressed the gang, saying that being first girl was “the best honor.” After his spouse spoke, Trump turned again to her and stated “That’s good, honey, nice job.” He went on to assert she was “so standard” as first girl regardless of her low profile and low ballot numbers.
The president has been more and more remoted in his last days in workplace, with former supporters equivalent to Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell distancing themselves from Trump. He leaves workplace with the coronavirus raging, and dealing with fierce criticism of his dealing with of a pandemic that’s left greater than 400,000 People lifeless. He additionally exits the stage at a time of intense political polarization and with an unprecedented quantity of navy presence in D.C. because of the risk of additional violence.
In a recorded video launched on Tuesday, the president stated he would pray for the success of the brand new administration. He additionally touted his administration’s achievements and warned of the lack of America’s frequent heritage.
He additionally stated he was deeply moved to see 1000’s of individuals come out to cheer for him on motorcade routes.
“I would like you to know that the motion we began is barely simply starting,” he stated.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.