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Trump leaves White House, Washington for final time as president

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Trump leaves White House, Washington for final time as president
President Donald Trump (L), and first lady Melania Trump arrive to a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Wednesday. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump left the White House and Washington, D.C., for the final time as commander in chief on Wednesday morning.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump boarded Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House before 8 a.m. EST and headed for Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

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At Andrews, Trump spoke to a relatively small group of guests who were invited to the sendoff.

"We have left it all on the field," Trump told the crowd before he boarded Air Force One.

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Trump noted achievements of his presidency and said he wanted to extend "great love" to the American families who have suffered and are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I will be watching, I will be listening. And I can tell you the future of this country has never been better," he said.

"I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they will have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular," Trump added.

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"Goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form. ... Have a good life. We will see you soon."

The military-style send off included a color guard, military band, 21-gun salute and red carpet with supporters at the Maryland base.

Trump was expected to arrive at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., by the time President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn into office around noon.

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Trump is the first president in more than 150 years to skip his successor's inauguration.

Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump thanked in his remarks Wednesday, did not attend Trump's farewell as he will attend Biden's inauguration.

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Preparations continue at the National Mall ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., on January 19. Pool Photo by Susan Walsh/UPI | License Photo

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