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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.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Trump's impeachment trial: "I think it has to happen"

President Biden told CNN Monday that he believes the impeachment trial of former President Trump "has to happen," but he does not think 17 Republicans will join Democrats to vote to convict.

Why it matters: Biden's comments are most concrete he has made about his views on Trump's second impeachment.

14 mins ago - Health

WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A medical worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Nanjing, China, on May 7, 2021. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The World Health Organization authorized China’s Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the sixth vaccine to receive clearance from the global health agency.

Why it matters: The authorization will allow COVAX, the WHO's initiative to equitably develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, to purchase Sinopharm's vaccine and bolster its supply, according to the New York Times.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: Amazon postpones Prime Day sales in India and Canada over coronavirus surge — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell — True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.