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Trump plans to leave Washington, DC, before the inauguration because he doesn't want to fly out as an ex-president or ask to borrow Air Force One from Biden, report says

Bill Bostock,Grace Panetta
·4 min read
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  • President Donald Trump wants to leave Washington, DC, before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Wednesday, CNN reported.

  • His aim is to avoid leaving the White House as an ex-president, CNN said. A source suggested Trump didn't want to ask Biden if he could borrow Air Force One.

  • Outgoing presidents usually take a military helicopter like Marine One from the White House to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, then fly off in a government jet.

  • Biden is due to be sworn in at about midday on Wednesday amid a heightened security presence prompted by the riot at the US Capitol.

  • Trump intends to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to start his post-presidential life, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump wants to leave Washington, DC, before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration because he doesn't want to go out as an ex-president or ask to borrow the plane he usually used as Air Force One, CNN reported on Friday.

Biden is due to be inaugurated on the steps of the US Capitol on Wednesday amid a heightened security presence prompted by the January 6 attack on the complex by Trump supporters.

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Donald Trump on Air Force One in 2017. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Trump said on January 8 that he wouldn't attend the inauguration, making him the first departing president to refuse to attend his successor's ceremony since 1869.

Instead, CNN said, Trump plans to leave the White House before the midday swearing-in ceremony. His team is working on gathering a large crowd to see him off, the network said.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the president's plans.

According to CNN, Trump plans to depart from the White House for the final time as president in Marine One from the South Lawn. He's hoping for a military-style send-off, the network reported, citing an unnamed source who had spoken about the plan with Trump.

Traditionally, outgoing presidents finalize the transition to the new administration by meeting with their successor and attending their inauguration.

After the ceremony, the outgoing president traditionally takes a military helicopter like Marine One from the Capitol to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Then they board a government jet to wherever they choose to start their post-presidential civilian life.

In 2017, for example, the Obamas set off to Palm Springs, California, in the afternoon after Trump's inauguration, but their plane was diverted to an air base in Riverside because of bad weather, CNN reported at the time.

trump biden
Joe Biden and Trump. Getty

Trump has not officially confirmed his destination. At one point he was rumored to be headed to Scotland, where he owns a golf course. However, the Scottish government made clear he would not be welcome, citing its strict coronavirus lockdown.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Trump would be traveling to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

According to CNN, Trump ruled out attending Biden's inauguration even though allies had told him it would be a good idea to go. Trump refused on the grounds that he did not want to leave Washington, DC, as a former president, the network said.

Trump also indicated he'd be reluctant to ask Biden if he could borrow Air Force One, the official plane of the president, CNN said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Though Trump will leave Washington, DC, and the presidency on Wednesday, he still has to travel with the "nuclear football," a briefcase that presidents take everywhere, until Biden is sworn in.

To account for this, the White House Military Office will have a second briefcase that will stay in Washington, DC, for Biden's use, a source told CNN. During the switchover, Trump's codes will be deactivated.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here's how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

Since losing the election in November, Trump has focused on challenging the result with no success.

trump baseless
Trump in Washington, DC, in December. Getty

In his final days in office, Trump is said to be concerned with his legacy and the fallout after the House of Representatives impeached him on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the Capitol riot.

Trump is also worried about the legal issues he may face when he is no longer protected by presidential immunity, according to multiple reports.

Prosecutors in New York and Washington, DC, are investigating Trump and his organization.

New York's attorney general, Letitia James, is conducting an investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings, and the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., is investigating Trump and the Trump Organization on suspicion of bank and insurance fraud.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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