Trump Family Arrives in Florida as They Skip Out on Biden Inauguration

Outgoing President Donald Trump left Washington, D.C. for Florida for the final time on Wednesday, arriving in the Sunshine State just as his successor Joe Biden kicked off his Inauguration Day events.

Trump, 74, landed in West Palm Beach on Air Force One around 11 a.m. with wife Melania Trump by his side. The couple was photographed leaving the White House together shortly after 8 a.m. as they headed south to Florida, where sources have told PEOPLE the family plans to begin its next chapter.

Instead of attending President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, Trump broke from tradition by hosting his own farewell ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base.

Traditionally, outgoing presidents and first ladies stand on the steps of the White House welcoming the president-elect and incoming first lady to their new home.

The new first lady often gives the outgoing first lady a gift. Mrs. Trump handed Michelle Obama a blue Tiffany's box that Mrs. Obama later told Ellen DeGeneres contained a "lovely frame." Mrs. Obama previously gave Laura Bush a cream-colored package when she arrived.

Recently, the president-elect's daughter, Ashley Biden, confirmed to Today's Jenna Bush Hager that Mrs. Trump did not reach out to incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden about the traditional visit.

The two couples smile, pose for pictures, and then travel together to the inauguration ceremony. Later, the outgoing president departs on a chopper from the White House lawn and then, traditionally, flies commercial to begin his next chapter.

But two days after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in one of his last tweets before being banned from Twitter, Trump wrote that he will not be attending Biden's swearing-in ceremony. "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," he tweeted.

"Him not being there is a good thing," Biden said later that day at a press conference in Delaware when he announced his cabinet members. Biden declared it was "one of the few things" he and Trump agreed on.

Trump joins a very short list of past presidents who opted to not attend their successor's swearing-in ceremony.

Richard Nixon left the White House before then-Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in, John Adams skipped the 1801 inauguration and John Quincy Adams skipped the 1829 inauguration. Andrew Johnson — the first president to be impeached — also skipped the 1869 inauguration when Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was sworn in.

Also notably absent from Inauguration Day were Trump's children.

"Ivanka is not expected to attend the inauguration nor was she ever expected to," a White House official told PEOPLE a week before the swearing-in ceremony.

Following her father to Florida, She and her husband, Jared Kushner, recently bought property in the Miami area, while her brother Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle are house hunting in Palm Beach County, sources previously confirmed to PEOPLE.

A source also told PEOPLE that newly engaged Tiffany Trump has been actively looking for a house in Miami Beach.

The Trump children's decision to head south to Florida aligns with the idea that the president and his children are looking to start their next chapter in Florida, where he owns the Mar-a-Lago Club, sources have previously told PEOPLE.

President Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, became a Florida resident in 2019, filing paperwork to officially designate Mar-a-Lago as his family's place of primary residence.

Sources told PEOPLE in December that his residence at the club is undergoing renovations, and that Mrs. Trump has been scoping out local schools for their 14-year-old son Barron.

Spokespeople for the president did not respond to a request for comment, though a White House source told PEOPLE the Trump family "has many homes and they will be traveling between them."

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