Trump to leave town early Wednesday before Biden inauguration

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US President Donald Trump arrives to deliver an update on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on 13 November 2020.
US President Donald Trump arrives to deliver an update on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on 13 November 2020.
Mandel Ngan / AFP

US President Donald Trump will leave Washington on Wednesday morning, hours before the inauguration of his Democratic successor Joe Biden, an official said Friday on condition of anonymity.

The outgoing president, who already announced he would not attend the swearing-in, will fly to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he intends to stay.

After two months of refusing to acknowledge his defeat in the 3 November election, Trump finally promised a transition in recent days, but never congratulated Biden.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic and last week's attack by Trump supporters on Congress, Biden's team and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser have asked Americans to avoid the Capitol area and the city's downtown and watch the inauguration ceremony from their computers and TVs.

US presidential inaugurations are generally attended by hundreds of thousands of people who pack onto the National Mall, but officials have closed the immense lawn due to security concerns.

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