Trump defends his record and says “we’ll be back” in farewell speech


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President Trump touted his administration’s record and bid Americans farewell in a brief speech at Joint Base Andrews before leaving Washington, D.C., on Air Force One for his final flight as president.

“We’ve accomplished a lot,” he said, adding, “What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard.”

Mr. Trump went off script from his prepared remarks, failing to mention President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris by name, something he has yet to do. He did, however, “wish the new administration great luck and great success,” and he told a crowd of supporters assembled at Joint Base Andrews to see him off, “I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”

He also said, “I hope they don’t raise your taxes, but if they do, I told you so.”

His delivered his farewell remarks hours after he had pardoned 73 people, including his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and rapper Lil Wayne, and commuted the sentences of 70 others.

Bucking the long tradition of attending his successor’s inauguration, Mr. Trump is expected to have arrived in Florida by the time President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Once Mr. Biden is president, Mr. Trump will no longer have access to Air Force One.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., January 20, 2021.Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP


Several hundred people assembled at Joint Base Andrews near Air Force One for the remarks, including Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump. As the president delivered his remarks, the crowd chanted, “Thank you, Trump.”

Mr. Trump highlighted the work of his administration, including the development and distribution of coronavirus vaccines through Operation Warp Speed. Mr. Trump spoke of the pandemic as if it was in the past, saying, “as bad as the pandemic was,” as 400,000 Americans and counting have died. With the vaccine, he said, coronavirus numbers should “skyrocket downward.”

“We have worked hard. We left it all — as the athletes would say — we left it all on the field,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump concluded his remarks by saying, “Have a good life. We will see you soon.”

U.S. President Trump departs the White House
Ivanka Trump and family members attend the departure ceremony of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, January 20, 2021.CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS


The president will be living at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida, after moving his residency from New York.

Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at noon.

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