Trump returns to Palm Beach for final time as president

Trump returns to Palm Beach for final time as president

Donald Trump arrived at Palm Beach International Airport as president for the last time Wednesday morning, and his supporters lined the motorcade route in West Palm Beach to greet him.

Trump said farewell to Washington early Wednesday, leaving before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Air Force One flew low along the coast as Biden's inauguration ceremony played on Fox News in the background.

Trump's family was on the plane with him. He spent some of the flight meeting with flight staff, who went up to say goodbye.

Air Force One flew above Mar-a-Lago once more with Trump on board as it prepared to land at Palm Beach International Airport.

Air Force One flies over President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club as it prepares to land at Palm Beach International Airport, Jan. 20, 2021, in Palm Beach, Fla.
Air Force One flies over President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club as it prepares to land at Palm Beach International Airport, Jan. 20, 2021, in Palm Beach, Fla.

A few minutes later, Trump and first lady Melania Trump smiled and waved as they stepped off the plane and got into a waiting Chevrolet Suburban.

He arrived in South Florida with about an hour left in his presidency, skipping Biden's inauguration and forgoing years of tradition. Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance.

Former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump disembark from their final flight on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump disembark from their final flight on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump waved to supporters as the motorcade slowly made its way from the airport along Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

Authorities set up barricades along the route as supporters gathered to cheer on Trump before he crossed the Intracoastal Waterway on his way to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

In his final hour as president, Trump returned to the cheers of his supporters gathered along Southern Boulevard.

There was a heavy presence of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies along the route, keeping crowds back as they cheered and thanked Trump for the last four years.

Trump supporters gather for his final trip to Mar-a-Lago as president

Boynton Beach resident Donald Tarca said it's a sad day for many of his supporters.

"We're going to move on," Tarca said. "We're going to not give up our fight. We're going to not stop fighting for our country, because that's what this is about. It's our country."

The crowd of supporters wore their Trump hats and shirts and waved flags as loud music played near Southern Boulevard and Washington Road.

The "Patriot Sisters," as they called themselves, take a selfie together while wearing hats in support of President Donald Trump, Jan. 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The "Patriot Sisters," as they called themselves, take a selfie together while wearing hats in support of President Donald Trump, Jan. 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Many were able to catch a glimpse of Trump as he waved from the window of his passing motorcade.

Not all people were feeling entirely sad. Others said they're hoping to see more of Trump.

"I know he said in his speech today that we will see more of him, but I don't know what that means, so I'm very, very curious," Loxahatchee resident Audrey Freidrich said. "Curious might be the strongest emotion I feel today."

Many people who were there were not wearing masks, even as they stood shoulder to shoulder, saying they felt safe outside.

"When somebody legislates masks are mandated with consequences, I'll put the mask on," one man told WPTV.
"When somebody legislates masks are mandated with consequences, I'll put the mask on," one man told WPTV.

"When somebody legislates masks are mandated with consequences, I'll put the mask on," one man told WPTV's Matt Sczesny.

Love him or hate him, Trump is now a former president who, at least for now, appears to be making Palm Beach his new home.

Scripps Only Content 2021