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Trump to hold departure ceremony on morning of Biden inauguration

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Trump to hold departure ceremony on morning of Biden inauguration


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Due to COVID-19, and now security concerns following a pro-Trump mob breaching the Capitol, this year’s Inauguration will look different than year’s past.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will leave the White House for Florida shortly before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, two sources familiar with his plans said on the condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet announced.

Trump will hold a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, the usual jumping off point for Air Force One located in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C., before his final departure from the capital city, the sources said.

Details of that ceremony are still under consideration, according to sources, but may include a color guard and 21-gun salute. The president has previously changed his travel plans in the weeks since election.  

Trump had already announced he would skip Biden’s inauguration, breaking with more than a century of tradition. That means Trump will also ditch the traditional helicopter lift from the U.S. Capitol, a potent moment of symbolism that underscores the peaceful transfer of power between two presidents.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to attend the inauguration.

Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance less than a week before she is sworn is as his successor, according to a source familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The pair have not spoken since the election, the source said. 

More: ‘Completing the job.’ Subdued Donald Trump and aides struggle to get to the finish line

More: Politics updates: More than 2 months after election, Vice President Pence calls to congratulate Vice President-elect Harris

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Associated Press’ Darlene Superville discusses Justice Department asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit led by Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas that seeks to give Vice President Mike Pence the power to overturn the presidential election result. (Jan.1)

AP Domestic

Trump’s unusual departure follows weeks in which he falsely claimed the election was stolen from him, whipped up an angry mob that went on to storm the U.S. Capitol and faced a historic second impeachment for those words in the House of Representatives.

Trump will be the first president to skip the inauguration of his successor since 1869, when impeached President Andrew Johnson avoided the ceremony for Ulysses S. Grant. A father-and-son set of presidents – John Adams in 1801 and John Quincy Adams in 1829 – left Washington before the inaugurations of successors Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.

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