President Trump is planning to host a lavish goodbye ceremony next week on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a report Friday.
Trump is reviewing plans for an event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland that resembles a state visit, with supporters, a red carpet, color guard, military band and 21-gun salute all being discussed, The Associated Press reports.
Trump will then board a plane usually identified as Air Force One for a trip to Palm Beach, Fla. The plane won’t have the special call sign if it departs after noon, when Trump’s term expires.
Trump will leave office exactly two weeks after his supporters stormed the Capitol and interrupted certification of Biden’s win. This week he became the first US president to be impeached twice for allegedly inciting that mob.
Trump is skilled at counter-programming that snatches the spotlight from rivals. For example, he made his first White House briefing room remarks on Jan. 3, 2019, diverting focus from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s swearing-in as Democrats retook the House.
Trump’s potentially flashy send-off will contrast with an austere, largely virtual inauguration staged by Biden, who discouraged supporters from traveling to DC due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Much of downtown Washington is walled off with anti-riot fencing and the public is banned from the National Mall during Biden’s inauguration. Biden’s team plans a “virtual” parade instead of a traditional triumphant procession down Pennsylvania Ave.