US President Donald Trump left the White House for the last time early on Wednesday morning.
Donald Trump is skipping the inauguration of his successor, Joe Biden, thus breaking a century-old tradition.
His term ends at 12 noon (US time).
Accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Donald Trump flew from the White House lawn on Marine One, a presidential chopper, to the Joint Base Andrews where a small farewell ceremony has been planned before he uses the presidential jet for one final time – to fly home to Florida’s Palm Beach.
He paused to speak to a small group of reporters before boarding the chopper.
Invitations have been sent to several Trump aides, present and former, to attend the farewell ceremony, with each guest allowed to bring five guests in a bid to gather a sizeable crowd. However, with the list comprising many with whom the parting had been acrimonious, it seemed not much attention had been given to vetting it.
Several people, said to be invited, had expressed their reluctance to attend the event.
Top leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence, and leaders of the Republican Party in the Congress, were also slated to give the event a miss. They are supposed to join Biden at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle for morning mass.
Donald Trump had, on January 8, announced that he will not attend his successor Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. The announcement was widely expected.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump had tweeted.
Twitter and Facebook had suspended Donald Trump over posts accused of inflaming violence in the US Capitol.
The unprecedented sanctions came after the president took to social media to repeat his numerous false claims about fraud and other impropriety in the election he lost to Joe Biden.
According to the reports pouring in from the USA, he is “very seriously” contemplating over the idea of floating Patriot Party, his own political outfit.
(With IANS inputs)