President Donald Trump walked out of the White House this morning on a red carpet, boarding Marine One at Joint Base Andrews where he took Air Force One to its Mar-a-Lago complex in Florida, his end use of the presidential plane being allowed only because it resisted tradition in leaving the city before the inauguration of the new president.
After a 21-gun salute and a booming “Hail To the Chief” over the speakers at Joint Base Andrews, Trump greeted a small crowd of guests including his children, their spouses, staff members Mark Meadows and Stephen. Miller, among others, then gave a brief speech in which he listed what he considered to be the accomplishments of his administration.
He ended his speech with: “So good life, we’ll see you soon.”
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Although he wished the new administration “great success”, he did not mention Joe Biden by name.
“We’ve accomplished so much together,” Trump said, before thanking his family, including Ivanka, Don Jr. and Erik. “People had no idea how hard this family works. They could have had a much easier life. He called his wife Melania “a woman of great grace, great beauty and great dignity and so popular with the people.”
After the First Lady made a few brief farewell remarks, Trump returned to the podium and said, “What else is there to say, right? He then enumerated the accomplishments of his administration, a list familiar to his rally supporters: he claimed to have “rebuilt the US military”, created the US Space Force, “cared for our handsome veterans”, developed two Covid-19. vaccines, appointed 300 federal justices and three Supreme Court justices, and delivered “by far the biggest tax cuts and reforms in history.”
“I hope they don’t raise your taxes,” he said, “but if they do, I told you.
He also touted the pre-pandemic employment figures and stock market performance, and paid “our respects and love” to those who have suffered from the “Chinese virus,” adding his usual capper: “We all know of where it comes from. ” And again, he mistakenly referred to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic as having taken place in 1917.
He also told the crowd and the cameras: “I will always fight for you, I will watch, I will listen and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. He added: “We love you, we love you, we will come back in one form or another.”
Before arriving at Andrews, the Trumps had stopped briefly in front of a flock of reporters on the South Lawn. The president’s final words to South Lawn reporters were not combative, according to CNN’s Jeremy Diamond. “He said thank you, it was a great honor to be president, goodbye and he was hoping it wouldn’t be a long goodbye.
The couple were preceded and followed at Marine One by staff members carrying bags and boxes.
Like “Gloria!” From Laura Branigan played on speakers, a soundtrack frequenting Trump rallies, a small cheering crowd greeted Marine One, including Ivanka and Jared Kushner, staff members Mark Meadows and Stephen Miller.
Vice President Mike Pence did not arrive at the White House or Joint Base Andrews to see his former boss. The two have gone their separate ways since Pence refused Trump’s push to somehow overturn the election results, after the president used vulgarity to taunt the vice president.
Unsurprisingly, Trump’s departure gave some of his critics in the media some sort of last word. CNN’s Jim Acosta and John King – correspondents and a network that Trump has repeatedly insulted over the past four years – have described Trump’s last hours of grace as president in harsh terms. “He almost leaves town like an autocrat,” Acosta said of Trump’s escape before Biden’s inauguration, while King rejected anchor Wolf Blitzer’s use of the word “clumsy” to describe the decision. of Trump not to speak to the new president. “It’s more than embarrassing,” King said. “It is reprehensible.”
As Air Force One took off, the speakers of what might be considered his last presidential rally rang the inevitable “My Way” sung by Frank Sinatra.