Washington, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- The outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, vowed that he would return to the political landscape as he left the White House on Wednesday.
Democrat Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46 US president at a ceremony outside the US Capitol later on Wednesday.
“It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your president,” Trump said, before pledging: “We will be back in some form.”
Trump maintains that the election was rigged, although his campaign has failed to produce any evidence backing those claims, with dozens of court cases in several states being thrown out.
He will not attend Biden’s inauguration, becoming only the fourth president not to take part in the ceremonial handover to a successor.
Addressing supporters at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland alongside his wife Melania, Trump paid tribute to his family and aides for “an incredible four years.”
“It’s been something very special, we’ve accomplished a lot,” Trump said.
“What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard,” he said, before listing revamps to the military — including creating the new “Space Force” — and his high approval ratings with war veterans.
“We were not a regular administration,” Trump said.
He highlighted his government’s tax cuts and deregulation which had spurred creation of jobs, and said he hoped the next administration would not raise taxes. “If they do, I told you so,” he added.
“Had we not been hit by the pandemic, we would have had numbers that would never have been seen,” he said.
He also claimed responsibility for the “medical miracle” of coronavirus vaccines, which were developed and manufactured in record time.
While Trump did not mention Biden by name, he did wish “the new administration great luck and great success.”
“I think they’ll have great success, they have the foundation to do something really spectacular. And again, we put it in a position that it’s never been in before despite the worst plague” in a century, he said.
With his departure from the White House, four turbulent years dogged by controversy have ended.
Trump will go down in history as the first US president to have two impeachment proceedings opened, the second of which is still pending in the Senate. EFE