Former President Donald Trump spent his last minutes as president at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, becoming the first president in over 150 years to pass on attending his successor’s inauguration.
In his farewell remarks from Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning, Trump also suggested he would remain in the political world, saying “We will be back in some form.”
He concluded by saying “Have a good life. We will see you soon.”
In a nine-minute farewell speech, Trump spoke of “an incredible four years,” recounting highlights that included the creation of the Space Force, tax cuts, and deregulation.
Trump did not mention his two impeachments or the 400,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, but did warn supporters to “be careful” due to the “horrible virus.”
Trump, who never mentioned Joe Biden by name, did add, “I hope they don’t raise your taxes … but if they do, I told you so.”
In a rare moment of good will, he wished the incoming administration “great luck and great success,” and the Biden White House said that Trump left a positive note of encouragement for President Biden.
With Sinatra’s “My Way” playing in the background, Trump took off in Air Force One from Andrews at 9 a.m., while back in D.C, Biden and a bipartisan group of Congresspeople attended a church service downtown.
Trump landed in South Florida shortly before 11 a.m., and as the clock struck noon, a contentious, exhausting Presidency came to an end.
Trump arrived in Palm Beach with all the powers of the presidency, such as possession of the military “football” with the nuclear codes, but an hour later, that, and all the other duties of the President, was shut off, as Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States.
Trump’s shaky relationship with the truth throughout his presidency is no secret, but as The Washington Post’s quest to track his lies while in office illustrates, he speaks untrue statements, half-truths and all-out lies so frequently that it might actually have been easier to track the things he said that were true.
As the Post points out, some of the lies were vanity lies like ones about his height and weight, but many were lies that were “egregious denials of basic facts that were shockingly cast aside over desperate scrambles to excuse ignorance or prop up inadequate leadership.”
It all began with the announcement by Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, when he angrily stated from the White House podium that Trump had the largest inaugural crowd of all time. “Period!” He didn’t.
The Post ended up tracking 30,573 lies told by Trump since he took office. The paper doesn’t make judgement on the worst or categorize the lies as the more or less harmful to the country, but it does divide them by topic.
One of the most frequently told lies, one that Trump worked into his farewell address at Andrews Joint Base Wednesday morning involves the economy.
“We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world…Powered by these policies, we built the greatest economy in the history of the world.”
According to the Post, this is his favorite, most frequently stated false claim:
…there should be no surprise he said it twice in his farewell address. (In this database, we only count a falsehood once per venue.) By just about any key measure in the modern era, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton presided over stronger economic growth than Trump. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2019, slipping from 2.9 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2017. But in 1997, 1998 and 1999, GDP grew 4.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Yet even that period paled in comparison with the postwar boom in the 1950s or the 1960s. Growth between 1962 and 1966 ranged from 4.4 percent to 6.6 percent. In 1950 and 1951, it was 8.7 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate reached a low of 3.5 percent under Trump, but it dipped as low as 2.5 percent in 1953. (After the novel coronavirus tanked the economy, Trump jacked up his claim even more, falsely saying it had been the greatest economy in the history of the world.) This marks the 493rd time that Trump used a variation of this line, meaning he said it on average every other day.
Check out the Posts’ database of all 30,000 of Trump’s lies here.
Trump told some doozies during his time in office. One of the last ones of his presidency was the fact that he outdid President-elect Joe Biden on the “most admired man” poll, which in Trump’s mind, is proof-positive that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.