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Trump expected to depart White House Wednesday morning for final time as president

The president will be headed to his private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.
Image: President Trump Departs White House For Border Visit
President Donald Trump waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Jan. 12, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to leave the White House for the final time as president Wednesday morning, according to two people familiar with his plans.

The two sources said that he plans to travel to his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and land there before noon, when he will still be commander-in-chief. President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol will take place around 12 p.m. ET.

Trump didn't like the idea of leaving Washington for the last time on anything but Air Force One, one of the sources said, since that is no longer the call sign for the aircraft once the oath of office has been given to an outgoing president's successor.

People wait for a moving van after boxes were moved out of the Eisenhower Executive Office building inside the White House complex on Jan. 14, 2021.Gerald Herbert / AP

Plans are still being made for Trump's departure, these people caution. There are discussions underway, for example, for a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews where Trump would deliver remarks before leaving for Mar-a-Lago.

This comes as people were seen at the White House Thursday packing boxes into moving trucks.

Image: Washington, DC Prepares For Potential Unrest Ahead Of Presidential Inauguration
Workers move boxes onto a truck on West Executive Avenue between the West Wing of the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on Jan. 14, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Unlike previous inauguration days, the Trumps and the Bidens are not expected to interact before Biden is sworn in. Trump has already said he has opted not to attend his successor’s ceremony.

Details have not yet been finalized, however, and as recently as this week, Trump’s aides and allies were told the president may leave on Tuesday, which shows how fluid the situation has been and remains with only five days left in his presidency.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer any assistance with the upcoming inauguration, NBC News confirmed.

It was a cordial and pleasant call, according to two sources familiar with the discussion. Pence and his wife plan to attend the inaugural ceremony Wednesday. The New York Times first reported the call.