President Donald Trump on Jan. 20 left Washington for Florida, hours before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump exited the White House at approximately 8 a.m. They’re headed to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
Trump had announced previously that he would skip Biden’s inauguration. He did not give a reason why.
Trump will be the first sitting president since Andrew Johnson to skip all inaugural ceremonies of his successor, according to the White House Historical Association. President Woodrow Wilson skipped the public ceremony for his successor but did accompany the successor, Warren Harding, to the Capitol.
Biden’s pared-down inauguration will feature few guests. Organizers say the small event is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump told reporters at the White House that serving as president was the “honor of a lifetime.”
In a farewell speech released Tuesday, Trump said “the movement we started is only just beginning.”
“Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning,” Trump said.