The outgoing US president will be leaving town on the morning of inauguration day after considering leaving the day before.
US President Donald Trump now plans to leave Washington on the morning of inauguration day next Wednesday after considering leaving on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, Reuters news agency reported.
He will be deported with a departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, said a person familiar with the planning who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity as Trump’s plans have not been officially announced. Officials envision an elaborate event that would feel like a state visit, with a red carpet, colored guard, military band and a 21 gun salute all being discussed.
Trump, who had previously announced his intention not to attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, will then fly to Palm Beach, Florida to begin his post-presidency at his club Mar-a-Lago, said the source to Reuters.
Trump will be the first president to skip the inauguration of his successor since President Andrew Johnson refused to attend Ulysses S Grant’s swearing-in ceremony in 1869. Vice President Mike Pence will attend instead of Trump.
Trump will leave Washington after spending months making unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud in an attempt to delegitimize Biden’s presidency and two weeks after inciting a violent insurgency with his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol building in the aim to stop the peaceful transition of power.
Trump is expected to stay in Florida with a small group of helpers as he reflects on his future.
Some White House advisers have urged the Republican president to host Biden for a White House meeting ahead of inauguration day, but there is no indication Trump is willing to do so, an administration official said .
Trump, the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, plans to issue more pardons before he leaves. Sources say he considered the unprecedented option of forgiving himself.