“We love the American people, and again, it has been something very special. And I just want to say goodbye but hopefully it’s not a long term goodbye. We’ll see each other again,” Trump said.
By World Israel News Staff and AP
Donald Trump pumped his fist and waved as he departed the White House on Marine One Wednesday for the last time as president.
“It’s been a great honor, the honor of a lifetime. The greatest people in the world, the greatest home in the world,” Trump told reporters before heading to Marine One, rotors whirring, on South Lawn.
“We love the American people, and again, it has been something very special. And I just want to say goodbye but hopefully it’s not a long term goodbye. We’ll see each other again.”
Trump will be the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s inauguration, insisting that the election was stolen. While supporters have argued there is much circumstantial evidence of fraud, the Trump administration found it difficult proving widespread fraud and U.S. courts rejected the administration’s appeals.
After a Jan. 6 rally got out of hand and a group of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol, Trump agreed to call it quits in his effort to contest the election.
Although Trump was expected to remain his party’s de facto leader, following the Capitol riot his future with the Republican party is unclear.
He still retains enormous popularity among his followers, however, who view him as fighting for the little guy against an entrenched Washington elite inhabiting both sides of the aisle, which appears to them out-of-touch with the electorate.
Trump highlighted his achievements in a video released on Wednesday morning.
“Four years ago, we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again — for all Americans,” he said.
He spoke of putting America first, and restoring the principle “that a nation exists to serve its citizens.”
Trump talked about his administration’s tax cuts and elimination of “job-killing regulations,” how it fixed “broken trade deals” and left the Paris Climate Accord, and how he turned the U.S. into an energy leader. “Powered by these policies, we built the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he said.
The outgoing president also spoke of the Abraham Accords, which saw peace deals brokered between Israel and four Muslim countries, which even staunch critics, including incoming president Joe Biden were forced to admit was an achievement.
The president has proven a remarkable ally of Israel. In his four years in office, he oversaw major changes, including the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights and the rejection of the notion that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria was illegal.
Marine One headed to Joint Base Andrews where Air Force One was parked, a dramatic backdrop against the rising sun. A red carpet has been placed on the tarmac for Trump to walk as he boards the plane. Four U.S. Army cannons were waiting to fire a 21-gun salute to the president.