WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump leaves the presidency on Wednesday under a dark cloud of his own making, ending his single four-year term stained by two impeachments, deep political divisions and his handling of a pandemic that has caused 400,000 U.S. deaths.
Trump, 74, will bid farewell to the White House hours before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. That will make him the first outgoing president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 to skip the Inauguration Day ceremony marking the formal transfer of power, in a final display of pique at his failure to win re-election.
Trump and his wife, Melania, will depart the South Lawn on the Marine One helicopter for Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland, where he will preside over a military-style sendoff before boarding Air Force One one last time to fly to Florida.
His arrival at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach is being timed to get him behind the wall of the resort before Trump’s term as president expires at noon.
Banned from Twitter after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump used an old-school method – an emailed press release – to distribute a farewell video on Tuesday in which he veered from his…