President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the South Lawn of the White House. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the South Lawn of the White House. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP

Donald Trump to depart Washington the morning of January 20 - before Joe Biden's inauguration

By The Washington Post Time of article published Jan 15, 2021

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Washington - President Donald Trump plans to leave Washington on Wednesday morning before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, according to a senior administration official. Trump had previously announced he would not attend his successor's inauguration at the US Capitol, breaking with decades of tradition.

Instead, Trump will attend a farewell event at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, where Air Force One is kept. No recent president has had his own send-off ceremony at Andrews during the swearing-in ceremony. Former president George W. Bush had a military send-off at Andrews after attending President Barack Obama's inauguration where he said goodbye to the troops.

A senior administration official confirmed Trump's plans, first reported by Reuters.

Traditionally, the leaving first couple attends the swearing-in ceremony of the new president at the US Capitol and then flies off in a military helicopter to board a government jet at the airbase to take them wherever they're going now as private citizens.

The last president to skip his successor's inauguration was Andrew Johnson in 1869. (Like Trump, Johnson was also impeached.)

Vice President Mike Pence has said he will attend Biden's ceremony.

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