President Trump says goodbye (for now) at Joint Base Andrews, vows, 'We will be back'
"Goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form," Trump said in final departure from Washington as the 45th U.S. president.
Accompanied by family and supporters, President Trump spoke briefly to supporters Wednesday morning before he and first lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One for their home in Florida, telling them: "You are amazing people. This is a great, great country."
The first family arrived for their flight from Joint Base Andrews after arriving on Marine One from the White House.
"We have worked hard," Trump said before leaving. "We have left it all on the field. Have a good life. We will see you soon. We will be back."
Among those in attendance were the president's children, their spouses, and administration staffers — including White House advisers daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Trump and the first lady departed the White House at about 8:15 a.m. They left the Maryland military air base for Florida shortly before 9 a.m.
"It's been a great honor, the honor of a lifetime," Trump said as he exited the White House for the South Lawn.
The helicopter took them on a roughly 10-minute ride to Andrews for the final send-off from supporters and allies.
He will land in Florida at about noon, shortly before Democrat Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the next U.S. president.
"Thank you," the president said as he turned back to look at the White House and boarded the helicopter.
With family standing just off the small stage, with U.S. flags flapping in the background, Trump told the gathering at Andrews, "Goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form."
He also thanked Vice President Mike Pence and Congress and wished the new administration good luck.
The president also invited the first lady to speak.
"Thank you for your love and your support," she said. "You will be in my thoughts and my prayers. God bless you all, God bless your families, and God bless this beautiful nation."
"Good job, honey," responded the president warmly.
Trump also touted several of his top accomplishments as president — including keeping a strong economy, reforming the way the country treats its military veterans, appointing over 300 federal judges and three Supreme Court justices and developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus in just nine months.
"The future of this country has never been brighter," he sad. "I wish the new administration great luck and great success."
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