Trump eyes 21-gun salute as he plans 'departure ceremony’ at Joint Base Andrews on Biden’s inauguration day
Outgoing President Donald Trump is reportedly planning a "goodbye ceremony" or “departure ceremony” on the day Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. The event, revealed the New York Post, will be at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, as the president is "reviewing plans" there. The Associated Press further reported that the event will resemble a state visit - a color guard, a red carpet, military band, and a 21-gun salute are being "discussed"; a White House spokesperson is yet to comment. It is after this planned ceremony that Trump will leave on Air Force One to Florida.
Trump will be living in Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach after he leaves the White House. He is set to leave office fourteen days after the Capitol was stormed by his supporters when Congress was meeting to certify Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election. The riots also led to the death of a Capitol police offer, and four others, which further led to Trump becoming the first US president to be impeached twice, this time for "inciting insurrection."
The New York Post further reported that downtown Washington is "walled of" with anti-riot fencing, with the public not allowed into the National Mall while Biden is being inaugurated. The incoming president seemingly has kept the pandemic in mind as he plans a "virtual" parade. Trump has already announced that he won't be attending Biden's inauguration, but according to reports, Vice President Mike Pence, all living presidents except Jimmy Carter are said to be expected to attend on Wednesday.
So there isn't much to bet on when it comes to the "peaceful transfer of power" that has been held on a pedestal as tradition. History has seen former presidents attend the inauguration of the incoming president but Trump doesn't seem to be wanting to uphold traditions. It seems as though president-elect Biden could care less, as it has been reported that he told reporters it was one of the "few things" the duo agree on. Trump's breaking of the tradition is the first since 1869 when President Andrew Johnson who was impeached did not attend the inauguration for Ulysses S. Grant.
As for what Trump will be doing in his final days as president, it has been rumored that he will be pardoning family members, or even himself amid news that he may be facing criminal charges after his term as president ends. Pence on the other hand called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to not only congratulate her but also to "offer assistance" as reported by USA TODAY. Biden has said that Pence was "welcome to come." Turns out that the president will also not be participating in the traditional helicopter lift from the Capitol, a moment of "symbolism that underscores the peaceful transfer of power between two presidents." Time will tell how smoothly Biden'ss inauguration day will go.