President Donald Trump, in his farewell speech on Wednesday morning, said he wished the incoming administration “great luck” and success.
“I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. 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,” Trump said before he departed for Florida.
Trump told the audience that “you’re going to see incredible numbers coming in”—referring to the U.S. economy—if President-elect Joe Biden leaves his policies “untouched.”
Biden, 78, will become the oldest U.S. president in history at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington that has been largely stripped of its usual pomp and circumstance, due both to the COVID-19 as well as security concerns following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
Trump also promised supporters “we’ll be back in some form” and listed more of his accomplishments while in office before flying off to Florida. Trump owns the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
Vice President Mike Pence and other top GOP members were not there to see Trump depart. Shortly after Trump finished his remarks, Biden left the presidential guest house in Washington on his way to church, where he was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the president-elect likely won’t mention Trump in his speech later Wednesday.
“We spend a lot less time talking about and thinking about and worrying about Donald Trump than I think most people assume. This is a forward-looking speech,” she said. “So he’s going to talk about the problems we’re facing, the resolve of the public to come together, the power of coming together and unifying.”
Meanwhile, 17 House GOP freshmen representatives sent a letter to Biden promising to work with his administration.
“We firmly believe that what unites us as Americans is far greater than anything that may ever divide us,” they wrote. “In that spirit, we hope that we can rise above the partisan fray to negotiate meaningful change for Americans across the nation and maintain the United States’ standing as the best country in the world.”
Some Republican representatives who signed on include Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Barry Moore (R-Ala.), Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), and Carlos A. Gimenez (R-Fla.), among others.
“Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock and simply want to see leaders from both sides of the aisle work on issues important to American families, workers, and businesses,” their letter added.
Reuters contributed to this report.