Bye-Bye Washington

President Donald Trump on January 20, 2021 left Washington for Florida, hours before President-elect Joe Biden was sworn in.

“It’s been a great honor. The honor of a lifetime. The greatest people in the world, the greatest home in the world. We’ve had an amazing four years. We’ve accomplished a lot. We love the American people, and, again, it’s been something very special. I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye. We’ll see each other again,” President Trump told reporters outside the White House.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump exited the White House at approximately 8 a.m. They were headed to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. – President Trump travels his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

During a stop at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Trump transferred from Marine One to Air Force One, the president told a crowd of supporters: “We love you. We will be back in some form. I will always fight for you. I will always be watching. I will be listening.”

Trump had announced previously that he would skip Biden’s inauguration. He did not give a reason why.

Marine One flies by the Washington Monument (L) on its way to the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021, for the departure of US President Donald Trump. – President Trump travels to his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by Caroline Brehman / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CAROLINE BREHMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Outgoing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump descend Marine One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20, 2021. – President Trump travels his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for Trump’s departure on January 20, 2021. – President Trump travels to his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are greeted by Ivanka Trump (2nd R), husband Jared Kushner (R), their children, Eric (C-R) and Donald Jr. (C-L), Tiffany Trump and other Trump family members on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20, 2021. – President Trump and the First Lady travel to his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump will be the first sitting president since Andrew Johnson to “skip all inaugural ceremonies” of his successor, according to the White House Historical Association. President Woodrow Wilson skipped the public ceremony for his successor but did accompany the successor, Warren Harding, to the Capitol.

Biden’s pared-down inauguration will feature few guests. Organizers say the small event is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Trump said in Washington and in Maryland that serving as president was the “honor of a lifetime.”

He reeled off what he sees as his administration’s signature achievements, including creating the Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military, bringing unemployment to lows not seen in decades prior to the pandemic, and pouring money into the military. He also noted several COVID-19 vaccines were developed in under a year, thanks to support and funding from his administration.

Trump thanked supporters, his family, friends, and staff. In Maryland, he told the crowd: “People have no idea how hard this family worked, and they worked for you. They could have had a much easier life. Have a good life. We will see you soon,” as he walked off the stage.

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