Trump departs on final Air Force One flight
President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.
The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.
- Simultaneously, congressional leaders were en route to attend Catholic mass with Joe Biden, hours before he is sworn is as the 46th president of the United States.
- A White House spokesperson confirmed to Axios that Trump left President-elect Biden a note in the Oval Office, following longstanding presidential tradition.
Details: At 8:13 a.m., Trump exited the White House residence hand-in-hand with First Lady Melania Trump. He briefly stopped to speak to the press on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One.
- Trump told them it has been an "honor of a lifetime" to serve, and said "goodbye" to the press, adding that it will hopefully not be a long goodbye.
- He departed Marine One for the final time at 8:17 a.m., and landed at Joint Base Andrews at 8:28 a.m. The Trump family took photos on the tarmac as he arrived.
- Trump took the stage minutes later, with "Hail to Chief" blaring in the background. A 21-gun salute sounded as he reached the podium.
- Teleprompters that were set up were taken down before he went onstage.
What he's saying: The reality TV president ran through a list of his accomplishments in his farewell speech, and noted — in a line that everyone could agree on — that "we were not a regular administration." He did not once mention President-elect Joe Biden.
- He told the crowd to "remember us" when they see an improving economy, something he says he laid the foundation for.
- "I will always be fighting for you, I will be watching and I will be listening," Trump said. "I wish the new administration great luck and great success."
- "Goodbye, we love you. We'll be back in some form. ... Have a good life," he concluded.
He then boarded Air Force One with his family, and gave one last wave at the top of the stairs.
- Frank Sinatra's “My Way” played as the president took off — the words, "I did it my way," timed to the plane lifting off the tarmac at 9 a.m.