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Trump leaves White House, skips Biden's inauguration ceremony

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump on Wednesday skipped his successor Joe Biden''s inauguration and exited the White House for the last time as president to board a flight to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which will be his permanent home after he failed to win his re-election bid.

Trump, 74, has already announced that he will not attend the inauguration of Biden as President and Kamala Harris as the Vice President, becoming the first president to skip his successor''s inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869.

He left the White House on Marine One presidential helicopter.

Trump, a Republican, became the first US president to lose a re-election bid since 1992. In 1992, George HW Bush failed to win his second bid for the White House.

He will host a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before catching a final flight on Air Force One to begin post-presidential life at his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach.

Vice President Mike Pence will not attend Trump''s farewell and is instead scheduled to attend Biden''s inauguration.

In his last hours, Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, who is facing fraud charges.

Trump, who has ignored many of the farewell traditions of former administrations, on Tuesday released a video farewell address instead of the typically live, prime-time speech given by past presidents.

Extending his "best wishes" and praying for the success of the new administration in keeping America safe and prosperous, Trump in his farewell address has said that Americans must unify around their shared values and rise above partisan rancour to forge their common destiny.

Trump said he embarked on a mission to make America great again- for all Americans.

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PTI