President Donald Trump will leave Washington — and tradition — behind this week.
Trump will depart the capital Wednesday morning, according to The Associated Press.
Although Trump arrived in Washington as a legal resident of New York City, where his home was atop Trump Tower, in 2019 he changed his legal residency to West Palm Beach, Florida, where his Mar-a-Lago resort is located.
According to NBC, Trump will leave in time to arrive in Florida by noon, the time at which President-elect Joe Biden will take the oath of office.
NBC quoted sources it did not name as saying that Trump wanted the flight to be aboard Air Force One, and that the plane would no longer have that call sign after Biden took the oath.
Trump is not attending Biden’s inauguration, making him the fourth president in history to boycott the inauguration of the president who follows him, according to the AP.
Neither has Trump invited Biden and his wife to the White House for any type of traditional ceremonial event, the AP reported, nor has Trump spoken to Biden by phone.
Vice President Mike Pence has said he will attend Biden’s inauguration, the AP reported.
The Trump White House is currently in exit mode, with staff who have worked there moving their belongings out while the Trump family packs up its belongings, according to the AP.
Although most who served in the Trump administration will move on, some aides will join Trump in Florida.
Trump will likely find Florida more hospitable than either Washington or New York, said one commentator.
“When you take into account that Trump did better in 2020 than he did in 2016, you have to realize that Florida Republicans walk in lock step with the president,” said Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist, according to The Hill.
“The [Republican] primary voter loves Trump,” he said. “Him being here is only going to strengthen that resolve among Florida voters.”
According to The Washington Post, the three previous presidents who skipped their successors’ inaugurations were John Adams, who didn’t wait to see Thomas Jefferson sworn in in 1801; Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams, who left before Andrew Jackson’s inauguration; and Andrew Johnson, whose successor was Ulysses S. Grant.
Trump’s post-White House plans are unclear.
At one point there was discussion that Trump could run for president in 2024, but that has cooled after Trump’s impeachment last week by the House and the Capitol incursion with which Trump has been strongly linked.
Some reports have suggested Trump might launch a communications network, while in an angry tweet-storm before he was silenced by Twitter, Trump suggested he could start his own social media platform, according to The Hill.
When Trump changed his residency, he blamed New York politics for the move.
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.
“Few have been treated worse. I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned,” he tweeted when he announced the change.
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