President Donald Trump reportedly invited some of his supporters to see him off as he departed Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The president, who had already announced he would not be attending the inauguration of his successor, Democrat Joe Biden, on Wednesday, had a sendoff ceremony instead, at Joint Base Andrews and invited some supporters to attend, according to Axios which reportedly obtained a copy of the invitation.
Supporters who received the invitation and planned to attend had to show up by 7:15 a.m. and were allowed to bring “up to five guests.” Trump’s plan to leave before Biden is inaugurated means he will still be president as he takes off for his Florida resort home in Palm Beach.
Trump’s decision not to attend the inauguration marks the first time in over 150 years that this has happened in a transfer of power, as President Andrew Johnson skipped the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant in 1869.
Trump supporters rush to find a spot to hear the president’s remarks at Joint Base Andrews ahead of his departure to Florida. pic.twitter.com/LbRLPJ9dIR
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) January 20, 2021
The president reportedly wanted a military-style sendoff from Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning, with “a military band and a red-carpet walk flanked by troops as he boards Air Force One for the last time, and even possibly a flyover by Air Force fighter jets,” ABC News reported.
President Trump concludes the final speech of his presidency:
“We will be back in some form … Have a good life, we will see you soon.” pic.twitter.com/Bgo05fkkCY
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 20, 2021
While the president would have some supporters on hand in Maryland to bid him farewell, noticeably absent were prominent Republicans who are snubbing Trump to show “unity” with the incoming Biden administration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy planned to skip Trump’s departure ceremony to attend church with Biden.
And while Vice President Mike Pence was not scheduled to go to church with the incoming president, he will be attending the inauguration and did not see Trump off in the farewell ceremony.
VP Pence is not expected to attend President Trump’s sendoff at Joint Air Force Base Andrews tomorrow morning, per White House officials. He is attending the inauguration later in the day, and aides say it would be logistically challenging for the vice president to do both.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 19, 2021
In his final address to the nation as president, Trump promised that “the movement we started” will continue.
“My fellow Americans. Four years ago we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again for all Americans,” the president said in a farewell video message released by the White House.
“As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we achieved together. We did what we came here to do and so much more,” Trump said. “Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that in America, the government answers to the people…We restored the idea that in America, no one is forgotten – because everyone matters and everyone has a voice.”
(Source: White House/YouTube)
“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices – because that’s what you elected me to do,” he continued.
He once again condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol, called for unity, and offered thanks to his wife, first lady Melania Trump, his family, and others.
“The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves – a loss of confidence in our national greatness…No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history, and heroes – for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality,” he said. “America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree…We are—and must always be—a land of hope, of light, and of glory to all the world.”
He offered hope to his millions of his supporters, promising that “the movement we started is only just beginning.”
Trump will be welcomed home to Palm Beach, Florida later Wednesday morning, where he is expected to arrive before Biden’s inauguration ceremony begins at noon.
Trump’s final flight on AF1 announced…
From the WH Press office, marked ‘NOT REPORTABLE’
Palm Beach, Florida – Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:00am pic.twitter.com/bXkZqiMrIx
— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) January 17, 2021
Supporters are expected to line the streets from the airport to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, welcoming Trump to his adopted home state.
LIVE!!! Awaiting President Trump Arriving at West Palm Beach Florida! https://t.co/w1zAlCJXEV
— Evangelist Alveda King (@AlvedaCKing) January 20, 2021
Rallies are reportedly being planned for Saturday across the state to show Trump support, more than he was afforded by so-called Republicans in Washington, D.C.
Trump’s Supporters: We need to show our appreciation for President Trump. The President is a resident of Florida. I suggest a “We love our President Rally” in Florida. I want to display the best and the brightest of Trump’s Supporters. I am ready! Are you? #GodBlessAmerica
— TheLeoTerrell (@TheLeoTerrell) January 17, 2021
“This is President Trump’s ground zero, his home base,” Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach Republican Party, told Washington Examiner.
“He’s getting ready to move back to Mar-a-Lago,” he continued. “We’re ready to welcome him back as our president, as our good friend, our hero, and great servant of our country who got shafted by the establishment.”
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