Donald Trump left the White House shortly after 8 a.m. ET Wednesday on his way to Joint Base Andrews – taking his final flight as president on Marine One.
Trump emerged onto the South Lawn with first lady Melania Trump at 8:12 a.m. ET.
Speaking briefly with reporters, Trump said it was the “honor of a lifetime” to serve as president. Marine One lifted off the South Lawn at 8:18 a.m. ET and toured over the National Mall before heading toward Maryland.
Trump, who is skipping the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, is heading to Joint Base Andrews, where he’ll take part in a ceremony, and then on to Florida. Trump is expected to make remarks at the suburban Maryland military base.
Biden to be sworn in at noon
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is hours away from being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States during a ceremony on the U.S. Capitol steps embodying the peaceful transition of power that stands as a hallmark of American democracy.
But this will be a presidential inauguration like no other.
Instead of the throngs of supporters hailing from all corners of the country to celebrate Biden’s ascension, the new president will raise his right hand in front of a sparse audience of well-wishers that will not include Donald Trump – the first time since 1869 that an outgoing president has refused to attend his successor’s inauguration.