Outgoing US President, Donald Trump, is planning to depart the White House on the morning of 20 January and participate in a ceremonial send-off just outside Washington DC, the country’s capital, hours before Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, US media report.
According to a White House official, who asked not to be named, on Friday, Trump plans to leave the White House by helicopter to the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is headquartered, where he attend a ceremonial farewell.
The farewell could include a 21-gun salute, the official said.
Trump will then fly one last time as US President on Air Force One to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club. He is likely to be in Florida by the time Biden is inaugurated at midday on Wednesday, the official added.
Trump has refused all courtesies to Biden, to whom he has not technically conceded in a formal way. He resisted inviting Biden to the White House for a traditional post-election meeting, has not phoned him and is not expected to welcome him to the White House on Inauguration Day.
Trump will be the first president in a century and a half to snub the inauguration of his successor.
The outgoing president made record on Wednesday as he became the first president to be impeached twice in US history. He was impeached for the second time after his supporters violently stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to force lawmakers to overturn the certification of Biden’s victory in the November 3, 2020 presidential election.
In contrast, vice president Mike Pence spoke with his incoming successor, Kamala Harris, for the first time, the highest-level contact to date between the outgoing and incoming administrations.
Their conversation was described as cordial, with Pence offering his congratulations and assistance, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Pence, unlike his principal, had during the week announced that he will attend the inauguration.