Trump to Depart Washington Wednesday, Ahead of Inauguration

January 15, 2021 by Dan McCue
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is planning to depart Washington, D.C., next Wednesday morning, rejecting a last-minute push by White House advisers for him to host incoming President Joe Biden before the inauguration.

Trump had previously announced he did not plan to attend Biden’s inauguration, but has kept his actual plans close to his vest.

According to a report first published by Reuters, the president and first lady will leave the White House early and head to Joint Base Andrews for a farewell event.

He will then fly to Palm Beach, Fla., aboard Air Force One and begin his post-presidency at Mar-a-Lago, the private golf club at which he lives.

Unspecified members of his White House staff are expected to work for him there.

The timing of Trump’s departure appears to be carefully considered. By leaving before Biden is sworn in, Trump will be able to leave town aboard Air Force One, enjoying a perk of the presidency one last time.

If he had attended the inauguration or simply delayed his departure, he would have had to request permission from Biden to use Air Force One, or flown out on a Trump Organization jet.

Trump will end his presidency with a considerable cloud hanging over his head. He still faces an impeachment trial in the Senate for inciting a mob of his supporters to lay siege to the U.S. Capitol building. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer were killed in the attack.

Earlier this week, he was impeached by the House, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to vote in favor of the article charging the president with inciting violence against the government.

Since Jan. 6, the day of the riot at the Capitol, except for a brief trip to Texas in which he sought to highlight his crackdown on illegal immigration, the president has stayed largely out of sight. What public statements  he has made have come in the form of pre-recorded videos.

Trump’s departure will also occur in the wake of a new poll that found a majority of Americans believe Trump bears responsibility for the riot, and that he should be removed from office and disqualified from serving again.

The poll was released Friday morning by The Washington Post and ABC News.

It found that over half of U.S. adults (54%) said the president should be criminally charged for his role in the mayhem. That includes one  in eight who identify as Republicans, the poll said.

The poll found that 56% of all adults — 89% of those who are “Democrat/Lean Democrat” and 12% of those who are “Republican/Lean Republican” — think Congress should remove Trump from office and disqualify him from holding elected office in the future.

Two-thirds of respondents — 66% — said Trump has “acted irresponsibly” since his November election loss to President-elect Joe Biden. When asked if they believed there was “solid evidence” behind Trump’s baseless, repeated claims of widespread voter fraud, 62% said there wasn’t.

The Washington Post-ABC News phone poll was conducted between Jan. 10 and Jan. 13, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, according to the newspaper. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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