Donald Trump leaves White House for final time as president in chopper

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

Donald Trump left the White House for the last time as president along with former first lady Melania as they avoided his successor Joe Biden.

The couple left the premises in the Marine One aircraft. Mr Trump said: "It's been a great honour, the honour of a lifetime."

Marine One flew to military facility Joint Base Andrew in Maryland where he addressed supporters before flying on to Florida. His presidency was given a military send-off in Maryland.

Mr Trump left Washington just hours before Mr Biden was set to be inaugurated as the USA's 46th president.

It is the first time in more than a century that a sitting president has rejected the tradition of attending his successor's inauguration, the last time being back in 1869.

Four US Army cannons performed for a 21-gun salute before Mr Trump prepared to fly to Florida, where he will stay at Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort which he is believed to be making his permanent home now he is no longer president.

Mr Trump said: "What we've done has been amazing by any standard. This has been an incredible four years.

"I hope they don't raise your taxes, but if they do – I told you so!"

  • Donald Trump's inauguration snub means four people could have US nuclear attack info

He promised the Trump family would be "back in some form".

Melania added: "Being your first lady has been an honour. God bless you all, God bless your families and God bless this beautiful nation."

Mr Trump and Melania then boarded Air Force One for the final time with YMCA by the Village People blasting out.

Air Force One will then return to Maryland where it will be at the disposal of Mr Biden.

Last year the band's lead singer Victor Willis asked the former president to stop playing the song at rallies because he does not endorse him or support him.

  • Donald Trump pardons Lil Wayne, Kodack Black and Steve Bannon – but Joe Exotic misses out

Mr Biden will be sworn in at noon local time (5pm GMT) in Washington, with the area fortified after the rioting at the Capitol two weeks ago which saw Mr Trump become the first president in history to be impeached twice.

There will be around 25,000 troops guarding the inauguration ceremony after Mr Trump was accused of inciting the riots at the Capitol.

Mr Trump's farewell speech on Tuesday night was accused of being littered with falsehoods and distortions of his record in office.

In a video posted online he claimed his administration had built "the greatest economy in the history of the world" as he lauded the way the USA has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, despite more than 400,000 people dying – the highest figure worldwide.

Mr Trump is still yet to fully accept the result of last November's election defeat to Mr Biden, and he did not reference his presidential successor by name in the speech.

  • Donald Trump
  • In the News
  • US Election

Source: Read Full Article