Donald Trump, in Final Farewell Speech, Says 'We Will be Back in Some Form'

Donald Trump's presidency is coming to a close, but Trump had a message for his supporters before departing for Florida, where he will take up his post-presidency residence: "We love you. We will be back in some form."

"I will always fight for you. I will be watching. I will be listening," Trump told a crowd of friends and family gathered at Joint Base Andrews before he boarded Air Force One for the last time as president.

It's unclear what role Trump will play in GOP politics as his tenure is clouded by his failed reelection bid, a mass riot at the Capitol and a second impeachment saga. He's spent recent months raising millions for a political action committee that could make him valuable to Republican candidates, and Trump himself hasn't written off another run for the presidency in 2024.

Trump left the White House at about 8:15 a.m.—less than four hours before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn into office. He took the makeshift stage at JBA to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and spoke off-the-cuff for just under 10 minutes to the crowd.

Trump's decision to depart Washington still as president and not attend the inauguration is a reversal of the long-standing tradition of presidents attending the inaugurations of their successors. Vice President Mike Pence, who was spotted at the White House Tuesday, is scheduled to attend Biden's inauguration but didn't attend Trump's send-off event.

Trump, who spent months refusing to concede the election and making baseless claims of widespread fraud, released a nearly 20-minute pre-taped video on Tuesday as an official farewell speech.

"We are—and must always be—a land of hope, of light and of glory to all the world," Trump said in the video taped Monday and released by Trump's White House press office on Tuesday. "This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous."

Trump ended efforts to overturn the election outcome earlier this month after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, temporarily halting Congress' efforts to certify the election. Five people died in the riot, which forced lawmakers and Pence to be whisked to secure areas of the Capitol.

Trump had addressed his supporters at a mass rally before the riots and urged them to go to the Capitol. He's since been impeached by the U.S. House for his role in encouraging the mob. Democrats, newly in control of the U.S. Senate, have vowed to vote on whether he should be permanently barred from seeking public office in the future.

Trump departure
Outgoing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump descend Marine One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20, 2021. - President Trump travels his Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP/Getty