After what felt like an eternity, Donald Trump left the White House for the final time of his presidency – but only after making sure to get in one final word.
Speaking at the White House before his departure, Trump said, "I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it's not a long-term goodbye. We'll see each other again".
At his own inauguration in 2016, Trump painted a picture of “American carnage,” and was later twice impeached, with millions more out of work and more than 400,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus. His final major act of his presidency was inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five people dead.
"We've had an amazing four years, we've accomplished a lot,” he added, with a black-clad Melania at his side.
Leaving the White House lawn, Trump will be the first president since 1869 to boycott his successor’s inauguration – which will happen later on Wednesday – as he maintains the 2020 election was “stolen” from him.
"I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it's not a long-term goodbye. We'll see each other again"
US President… https://t.co/EFeuw4eAGX
"I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better," Trump said. "I 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 like it's never been before despite the worst plague to hit since I guess you'd say 1917, over 100 years ago."
"Just a goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form," he said as the "YMCA" began to play in the background. "Have a good life. We will see you soon."
The flurry of emotions on Wednesday morning were mixed – with many feeling relief and catharsis about Trump’s departure, some of his family were in tears, and others were alarmed by his promise to “be back in some form”.
In response to Trump saying “we’ll see each other again” back at the White House, people on social media responded that he was ‘delusional’ and they ‘hoped not’. One person asked, “is this Not terrifying for y’all?” as another user pointed out, “And that’s why conviction is so important” – referencing Trump’s impending Senate trial.
Others were confused by his strange threat to ‘come back in some form’: “What is this, science fiction?” historian Michael Beschloss tweeted. Others guessed he would be back in the form of a ‘slug’ (poor slugs) or as ‘Voldemort’.
(Adding to the bizarre nature of the whole day, someone else pointed out, was the “YMCA being overlaid over this makes it some incredible surrealist comedy”).
While the world is certainly not finished dealing with Trump yet – and concerns over his return and the high tensions across the country are still pertinent – at least we can all take a short break for the rest of the day.