The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, left the White House on Wednesday morning, at the end of his tumultuous four-year term, even before the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, Joe Biden.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania left their residence for the past four years at around 8:15 a.m. to board the Presidential Marine One helicopter, which transported them to Andrews Army Base.
Welcomed on site by a sparse crowd, President Trump went there with a relatively sober ten-minute final speech, essentially aimed at recalling what he has accomplished since taking office.
I wish the new administration good luck and much success., launched the one who has made unprecedented efforts since the presidential election to prevent being forced to pass the torch.
Mr Trump did not go so far as to congratulate Joe Biden on his victory, but also did not repeat that the presidential election was stolen from him, a false claim he has never substantiated with evidence.
Goodbye. We love you. We will be back in one form or another.
Mr. Trump did not specify what
return was referring. American media claim that he is juggling the idea of creating a new political party or launching a new medium.
The ceremony took place in the absence of Vice President Mike Pence, who is due to attend the swearing-in ceremony for Joe Biden, who will officially become the 46th President of the United States around noon.
After the brief ceremony, which contrasts with the usual decorum of the transition of power, Mr. Trump flew to West Palm Beach, Florida, from where he will earn his residence in Mar-a-Lago.
Mr. Trump is the first modern-day president not to attend the swearing-in of his successor. The last to do so was Andrew Johnson 152 years ago.
Trump praises his record
During his speech, the president notably underlined his support for veterans, the increase in the budget of the American army, a strong deregulation and the significant tax cuts he passed.
I hope they don't increase them, he launched in a rare political attack on the Democrats.
If they do, I will have warned you.
It has been four incredible years. We have accomplished so much. (…) We have worked hard. We left everything on the ground.
Donald Trump also congratulated himself on the good performance of the American economy, which he says he has rebuilt for the first time before the COVID-19 epidemic hits the United States, and then a second time after.
He assured that he thus left the United States on a solid foundation for the new administration.
Mr Trump also credited himself with the speed with which vaccines were developed to counter what he called the
chinese virus, in a last spade launched in Beijing.
Despite the good performance of the stock markets, Donald Trump is leaving the White House when millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to an epidemic whose impact he has striven to minimize.
More than 24 million Americans have contracted the disease, and 400,000 of them have died from it.
The president's tenure was also marked by a series of electoral defeats: under his rule, the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, then the presidency.
He is also stepping down from his post in the shame of having become the only US president to be subject to two impeachment proceedings.
He will soon undergo a trial in the Senate for
incitement to insurgency after inviting his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, the seat of Congress, on January 6.
Congress was then convened to certify the results of the presidential election, which Mr. Biden won by 306 votes against 232 in the Electoral College.
The Democrat garnered 81.2 million votes in the presidential election, compared to 74.2 million for Mr. Trump.
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