Trump plans to depart Washington the morning of Biden's Inauguration Day, says source

Trump will reportedly fly to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club.
Trump will reportedly fly to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – President Donald Trump now plans to leave Washington on the morning of Inauguration Day next Wednesday after considering a departure on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday (Jan 15).

Trump, who had already said he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, is planning a ceremonial farewell at Joint Base Andrews, the base outside Washington where Air Force One is headquartered, the sources said.

The sources stressed that the plan could change. It was unclear whether Trump would speak on Wednesday.

Trump will then fly on to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club, the sources told Reuters.

He is likely to be in Florida by the time Biden is inaugurated at midday on Wednesday.

A handful of White House aides plan to work for Trump in Palm Beach as the former real estate tycoon works on retaining his clout in the Republican Party.

Some advisers have been urging the president to host Biden for a White House meeting ahead of Inauguration Day, but there has been no sign Trump is willing to do that, an administration official said.

Trump, the only president in US history to be impeached twice, is planning to issue more pardons before leaving, according to sources who added that he has been considering the unprecedented option of pardoning himself.

Trump has been trying to head off a conviction in the Senate on articles of impeachment that are based on the Jan 6 storming of the US Capitol by his supporters.

A poll by the Pew Research Centre said Trump is leaving the White House with the lowest job approval of his presidency (29 per cent) and increasingly negative ratings for his post-election conduct.