The handover of strength was a solemn affair. There was no mistaking the new administration because that the old one.

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At dawn this morning, employees loaded couches and also tables into a relocating truck parked exterior the West Wing. Guys wearing white coveralls and carrying roller brushes and paint can be ~ walked across the north driveway. Inside the White House, images of the 45th president had actually been gotten rid of from the walls. Only the hooks remained, prepared for a new set the portraits the the 46th.

A lone Donald Trump press deputy, Judd Deere, sat in his small office, writing a keep in mind on a piece of stationery come whoever would certainly be taking over his desk in a couple of hours. Deere to be attempting to explain what it’s choose to work-related in the building. As soon as I looked in in ~ noon, after the trump card presidency had officially ended, he was gone, his desk cleared. Even the magazine racks hanging ~ above the wall surface had to be emptied.

Trump likewise left a letter because that his successor, possibly the only traditional gesture he’d made in what has been an utterly graceless departure. Breaking one last norm, Trump refused to approve the straightforward courtesy that attending the inauguration ceremony and also greeting the Bidens at the White house to present them their brand-new home, together the Obamas had actually greeted him four years earlier. It’s not that trump card is merely a sore loser; trumped was also a sore winner, weaving conspiracy theories around how he to be robbed of the well-known vote in 2016.

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Trump left the White house with his wife, Melania, at about 8:20 a.m., refusing to take concerns from the press. He walked to maritime One v an ominous send-off: “I simply want come say goodbye, however hopefully it’s not a irreversible goodbye. We’ll check out each various other again.” Later, in a brief departure ceremony in ~ Joint basic Andrews before flying to Florida, he provided a familiar and also repetitive summation the what he views together his achievements in office. He of food neglected to point out the event that will pertained to overshadow everything else that happened over the past 4 years: a lethal insurrection carried out through his supporters after a rally in which the again falsely asserted that the choice was stolen. Trump card may have actually no interest in revisiting the riot at the Capitol top top January 6 the delayed the conference certification that Joe Biden’s victory and took 5 lives, but background won’t forget it.

“This is the just president in American background who incited an insurrection versus Congress that could have resulted in assassinations and hostage-taking and, conceivably, the cancellation of a cost-free presidential election and also the fracturing the a democracy,” Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, said me. “That’s a fact, and also it won’t readjust in 50 years. It’s really hard come think that a script under i m sorry someone can imagine some wonderful thing that Donald Trump walk that will certainly outshine that. The did, literally, the worst point that one American president can ever do.”

By early on afternoon, the new Biden aides had arrived in the White House, fresh from the inaugural ceremony. There were predictable hiccups: The just arrived deputy push secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, came through the push room v a thick binder under her arm and also discovered the the door to the West wing staff section was locked. Jean-Pierre, it turns out, inherited the office the Deere had actually just vacated. I later asked she if she had gained his note. She said she hadn’t check out it yet, but appreciated the he created it.

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Shortly after noon today, the main
VP Twitter accounts had changed hands. Twitter even produced an account for Vice president Kamala Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, referred to as
SecondGentleman. Uneven Trump, Biden is no a Twitter obsessive. A Biden change adviser told me that the new president would not usage social media as an “abusive, psychotic mechanism to display screen insecurity and grievances.”

There to be no mistaking the brand-new administration for the old. Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, satellite behind the desk in her office attract a mask. Others walked through the offices wearing masks together well. Throughout my visits to the White residence last year, i observed employee members walking v hallways and also talking come one another without masks. The explanation they’d provide was that they were on regular basis tested because that COVID-19. Still, the coronavirus sickened a slew of White residence officials indigenous Trump on down.

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The Biden White house will limit the variety of journalists allowed on the grounds at any type of one time to minimize the danger of infection throughout the pandemic. Reporters are forced to get tested for the virus before coming into the building. Through comparison, tourists to the trump White House could have looked around and also concluded that the pandemic no exist.

After trumped boarded naval One because that his exit from the White House, tree branches bent and also swayed as the chisels whipped the air. The helicopter rose progressively from the southern Lawn and also arced behind the Washington Monument. Had actually Trump looked out his passenger window, he might have checked out the thousands of national Guard troops and also razor-topped fences aimed at warding off his supporters must they attempt another insurrection. He might have glimpsed the lights placed near the Lincoln Memorial honoring those who have passed away from COVID-19, even as he made his north assurances the the nation had “rounded the turn.”

A small group of reporters and TV camera world gathered outside the White house on the north driveway watched quietly. A voice behind me eventually piped up: “Good riddance.”