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Lawmakers Lack Power To Replace 1999 Constitution – Senate Deputy President

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The Deputy President of the  Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, on Wednesday responded to Nigerians who have been clamoring for the 1999 constitution to be abolished. 

In a statement seen by Grassroots.ng, the lawmaker who is also the Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review said the National Assembly lacks the powers on such an issue. 

He explained that the National Assembly had no powers to replace the current Constitution but that it could only amend it.

He said the advanced democracies like the United States of America where Nigeria’s presidential system of government is fashioned after, also engage in piecemeal amendments.

He also said Sections 8 and 9 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), equally made provisions for piecemeal alteration of the Constitution.

He, therefore, urged those calling for a new Constitution to channel their energy towards participating actively in the ongoing amendment of the Constitution by the  9th Assembly.

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TEXT: Full Transcript Of Joe Biden’s Inaugural Speech

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Chief Justice Roberts,

Vice – President Harris ,

Speaker Pelosi ,

Leader Schumer ,

Leader McConnell,

Vice -President Pence ,

My distinguished guests ,

My fellow Americans .

This is America ’s day . This is democracy ’ s day . A day of history and hope , of renewal and resolve . Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge.

Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause , a cause of democracy . The people – the will of the people – has been heard , and the will of the people has been heeded.

We ’ ve learned again that democracy is precious , democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed . So now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol ’s very foundations , we come together as one nation under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries .

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless , bold , optimistic , and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be , I thank my predecessors of both parties . I thank them from the bottom of my heart . And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength , the strength of our nation , as does President Carter , who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service .

I’ ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken . The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people who seek a more perfect union . This is a great nation , we are good people . And over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we’ ve come so far. But we still have far to go.

We ’ ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility . Much to do , much to heal , much to restore , much to build and much to gain . Few people in our nation ’ s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’ re in now . A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two .

Millions of jobs have been lost . Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed . A cry for racial justice , some 400 years in the making , moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself , a cry that can’ t be any more desperate or any more clear now . The rise of political extremism , white supremacy, domestic terrorism , that we must confront and we will defeat .

To overcome these challenges , to restore the soul and secure the future of America , requires so much more than words . It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity . Unity. In another January on New Year’ s Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said , and I quote , ‘ if my name ever goes down in history , it ’ll be for this act , and my whole soul is in it ’ .

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day . My whole soul is in this . Bringing America together , uniting our people , uniting our nation . And I ask every American to join me in this cause . Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger , resentment and hatred . Extremism, lawlessness , violence , disease , joblessness , and hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things , important things . We can right wrongs , we can put people to work in good jobs , we can teach our children in safe schools . We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work , we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure , we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world .

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days . I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real . But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal , that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism , nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure .

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War , 9 / 11 , through struggle , sacrifice , and setback, our better angels have always prevailed . In each of our moments enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now . History , faith and reason show the way. The way of unity .

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours . We can treat each other with dignity and respect . We can join forces , stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace , only bitterness and fury , no progress , only exhausting outrage . No nation , only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge . And unity is the path forward . And we must meet this moment as the United States of America .

If we do that, I guarantee we will not failed. We have never , ever, ever, ever failed in America when we ’ve acted together . And so today at this time in this place , let ’s start afresh , all of us. Let’ s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another , see one another . Show respect to one another . Politics doesn ’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path . Every disagreement doesn ’ t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured .

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this . We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this . Just look around . Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome. As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War . When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance.

We endure , we prevail . Here we stand , looking out on the great Mall , where Dr King spoke of his dream .
Here we stand , where 108 years ago at another inaugural , thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote . And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris . Don’ t tell me things can change . Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace .

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people , to stop the work of our democracy , to drive us from this sacred ground . It did not happen , it will never happen , not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever. To all those who supported our campaign , I’ m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this . Hear us out as we move forward . Take a measure of me and my heart.

If you still disagree , so be it . That ’s democracy . That ’s America . The right to dissent peacefully . And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation ’ s greatest strength . If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion . And I pledge this to you . I will be a President for all Americans , all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago , St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love . What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans ? I think we know. Opportunity , security, liberty, dignity , respect , honour, and yes, the truth .

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson . There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders . Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation . To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look , I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs . I understand like their dad they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking : ‘Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage ?’ Thinking about their families , about what comes next. I promise you , I get it . But the answer ’s not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions . Distrusting those who don’ t look like you , or worship the way you do, who don’ t get their news from the same source as you do .

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue , rural versus urban , conservative versus liberal . We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts , if we show a little tolerance and humility , and if we’ re willing to stand in the other person ’s shoes, as my mom would say . Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here’s the thing about life . There ’s no accounting for what fate will deal you . Some days you need a hand . There are other days when we’ re called to lend a hand . That ’s how it has to be , that’ s what we do for one another . And if we are that way our country will be stronger , more prosperous , more ready for the future . And we can still disagree .

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter . We ’ re entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus . We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation , one nation . And I promise this , as the Bible says , ‘ Weeping may endure for a night , joy cometh in the morning ’ . We will get through this together . Together.

Look folks , all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching . Watching all of us today. So here’ s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ ve come out stronger for it .

We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’ s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’ s challenges . And we’ ll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example .

Fellow Americans , moms , dads , sons , daughters, friends , neighbours and co -workers . We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be . So I ask you let ’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives , those left behind and for our country . Amen.

Folks , it ’ s a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy , and on truth , a raging virus , a stinging inequity , systemic racism , a climate in crisis , America ’s role in the world . Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways . But the fact is we face them all at once , presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we’ ve had . Now we ’re going to be tested . Are we going to step up ?

It ’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain , I promise you . We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour ? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must and I ’m sure you do as well . I believe we will , and when we do , we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America . The American story .

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me , it ’ s called American Anthem . And there ’ s one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this : ‘ The work and prayers of century have brought us to this day , which shall be our legacy , what will our children say ? Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America , America , I gave my best to you. ’

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation . If we do this , then when our days are through, our children and our children ’s children will say of us: ‘ They gave their best , they did their duty , they healed a broken land .’

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began , with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you , I give you my word. I will always level with you .

I will defend the Constitution , I’ll defend our democracy . I ’ll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service . Thinking not of power but of possibilities . Not of personal interest but of public good .

And together we will write an American story of hope , not fear . Of unity not division, of light not darkness . A story of decency and dignity , love and healing , greatness and goodness . May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history , we met the moment . Democracy and hope , truth and justice , did not die on our watch but thrive .

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world . That is what we owe our forbearers , one another , and generations to follow .

So with purpose and resolve , we turn to those tasks of our time . Sustained by faith , driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts .

May God bless America and God protect our troops .

Thank you , America.

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FULL SPEECH: Donald Trump Farewell Speech Before Departing The White House

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Just hours before he’s set to leave the White House, President Donald Trump released a taped “farewell address to the nation”.

In his address on his final full day in office and after having been out of public view for more than a week, Trump touted his legacy and wished luck to the new administration.

Below is the full text of his speech.

My fellow Americans: Four years ago, we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again — for all Americans.

As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do — and so much more.

This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word.

I’d like to begin by thanking just a few of the amazing people who made our remarkable journey possible.

First, let me express my overwhelming gratitude for the love and support of our spectacular First Lady, Melania. Let me also share my deepest appreciation to my daughter Ivanka, my son-in-law Jared, and to Barron, Don, Eric, Tiffany, and Lara. You fill my world with light and with joy.

I also want to thank Vice President Mike Pence, his wonderful wife Karen, and the entire Pence family.

Thank you as well to my Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows; the dedicated members of the White House Staff and the Cabinet; and all the incredible people across our administration who poured out their heart and soul to fight for America.

I also want to take a moment to thank a truly exceptional group of people: the United States Secret Service. My family and I will forever be in your debt. My profound gratitude as well to everyone in the White House Military Office, the teams of Marine One and Air Force One, every member of the Armed Forces, and state and local law enforcement all across our country.

Most of all, I want to thank the American people. To serve as your President has been an honor beyond description. Thank you for this extraordinary privilege. And that’s what it is — a great privilege and a great honor.

We must never forget that while Americans will always have our disagreements, we are a nation of incredible, decent, faithful, and peace-loving citizens who all want our country to thrive and flourish and be very, very successful and good. We are a truly magnificent nation.

All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.

Now more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor, and forge our common destiny.
Four years ago, I came to Washington as the only true outsider ever to win the presidency. I had not spent my career as a politician, but as a builder looking at open skylines and imagining infinite possibilities. I ran for President because I knew there were towering new summits for America just waiting to be scaled. I knew the potential for our nation was boundless as long as we put America first.
So I left behind my former life and stepped into a very difficult arena, but an arena nevertheless, with all sorts of potential if properly done. America had given me so much, and I wanted to give something back.

Together with millions of hardworking patriots across this land, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country. We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world. It was about “America First” because we all wanted to make America great again. We restored the principle that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation.

With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone thought possible. Nobody thought we could even come close.

We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history. We slashed more job-killing regulations than any administration had ever done before. We fixed our broken trade deals, withdrew from the horrible Trans-Pacific Partnership and the impossible Paris Climate Accord, renegotiated the one-sided South Korea deal, and we replaced NAFTA with the groundbreaking USMCA — that’s Mexico and Canada — a deal that’s worked out very, very well.

Also, and very importantly, we imposed historic and monumental tariffs on China; made a great new deal with China. But before the ink was even dry, we and the whole world got hit with the China virus. Our trade relationship was rapidly changing, billions and billions of dollars were pouring into the U.S., but the virus forced us to go in a different direction.

The whole world suffered, but America outperformed other countries economically because of our incredible economy and the economy that we built. Without the foundations and footings, it wouldn’t have worked out this way. We wouldn’t have some of the best numbers we’ve ever had.

We also unlocked our energy resources and became the world’s number-one producer of oil and natural gas by far. Powered by these policies, we built the greatest economy in the history of the world. We reignited America’s job creation and achieved record-low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women — almost everyone.

Incomes soared, wages boomed, the American Dream was restored, and millions were lifted from poverty in just a few short years. It was a miracle. The stock market set one record after another, with 148 stock market highs during this short period of time, and boosted the retirements and pensions of hardworking citizens all across our nation. 401(k)s are at a level they’ve never been at before. We’ve never seen numbers like we’ve seen, and that’s before the pandemic and after the pandemic.
We rebuilt the American manufacturing base, opened up thousands of new factories, and brought back the beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.”

To make life better for working families, we doubled the child tax credit and signed the largest-ever expansion of funding for childcare and development. We joined with the private sector to secure commitments to train more than 16 million American workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

When our nation was hit with the terrible pandemic, we produced not one, but two vaccines with record-breaking speed, and more will quickly follow. They said it couldn’t be done but we did it. They call it a “medical miracle,” and that’s what they’re calling it right now: a “medical miracle.”

Another administration would have taken 3, 4, 5, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.
We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all.

When the virus took its brutal toll on the world’s economy, we launched the fastest economic recovery our country has ever seen. We passed nearly $4 trillion in economic relief, saved or supported over 50 million jobs, and slashed the unemployment rate in half. These are numbers that our country has never seen before.

We created choice and transparency in healthcare, stood up to big pharma in so many ways, but especially in our effort to get favored-nations clauses added, which will give us the lowest prescription drug prices anywhere in the world.

We passed VA Choice, VA Accountability, Right to Try, and landmark criminal justice reform.
We confirmed three new justices of the United States Supreme Court. We appointed nearly 300 federal judges to interpret our Constitution as written.

For years, the American people pleaded with Washington to finally secure the nation’s borders. I am pleased to say we answered that plea and achieved the most secure border in U.S. history. We have given our brave border agents and heroic ICE officers the tools they need to do their jobs better than they have ever done before, and to enforce our laws and keep America safe.

We proudly leave the next administration with the strongest and most robust border security measures ever put into place. This includes historic agreements with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, along with more than 450 miles of powerful new wall.
We restored American strength at home and American leadership abroad. The world respects us again. Please don’t lose that respect.

We reclaimed our sovereignty by standing up for America at the United Nations and withdrawing from the one-sided global deals that never served our interests. And NATO countries are now paying hundreds of billions of dollars more than when I arrived just a few years ago. It was very unfair. We were paying the cost for the world. Now the world is helping us.

And perhaps most importantly of all, with nearly $3 trillion, we fully rebuilt the American military — all made in the USA. We launched the first new branch of the United States Armed Forces in 75 years: the Space Force. And last spring, I stood at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and watched as American astronauts returned to space on American rockets for the first time in many, many years.
We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.

We obliterated the ISIS caliphate and ended the wretched life of its founder and leader, al Baghdadi. We stood up to the oppressive Iranian regime and killed the world’s top terrorist, Iranian butcher Qasem Soleimani.
We recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East. Nobody believed it could happen. The Abraham Accords opened the doors to a future of peace and harmony, not violence and bloodshed. It is the dawn of a new Middle East, and we are bringing our soldiers home.

I am especially proud to be the first President in decades who has started no new wars.
Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that, in America, the government answers to the people. Our guiding light, our North Star, our unwavering conviction has been that we are here to serve the noble everyday citizens of America. Our allegiance is not to the special interests, corporations, or global entities; it’s to our children, our citizens, and to our nation itself.

As President, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families. I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult. I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus.

This, I hope, will be our greatest legacy: Together, we put the American people back in charge of our country. We restored self-government. We restored the idea that in America no one is forgotten, because everyone matters and everyone has a voice. We fought for the principle that every citizen is entitled to equal dignity, equal treatment, and equal rights because we are all made equal by God. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, to have their voice heard, and to have their government listen. You are loyal to your country, and my administration was always loyal to you.

We worked to build a country in which every citizen could find a great job and support their wonderful families. We fought for the communities where every American could be safe and schools where every child could learn. We promoted a culture where our laws would be upheld, our heroes honored, our history preserved, and law-abiding citizens are never taken for granted. Americans should take tremendous satisfaction in all that we have achieved together. It’s incredible.

Now, as I leave the White House, I have been reflecting on the dangers that threaten the priceless inheritance we all share. As the world’s most powerful nation, America faces constant threats and challenges from abroad. But the greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness. A nation is only as strong as its spirit. We are only as dynamic as our pride. We are only as vibrant as the faith that beats in the hearts of our people.

No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history, and heroes, for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality.
What has always allowed America to prevail and triumph over the great challenges of the past has been an unyielding and unashamed conviction in the nobility of our country and its unique purpose in history. We must never lose this conviction. We must never forsake our belief in America.

The key to national greatness lies in sustaining and instilling our shared national identity. That means focusing on what we have in common: the heritage that we all share.

At the center of this heritage is also a robust belief in free expression, free speech, and open debate. Only if we forget who we are, and how we got here, could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America. It’s not even thinkable. Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions.

In America, we don’t insist on absolute conformity or enforce rigid orthodoxies and punitive speech codes. We just don’t do that. America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree. That’s not who we are. It will never be who we are.

For nearly 250 years, in the face of every challenge, Americans have always summoned our unmatched courage, confidence, and fierce independence. These are the miraculous traits that once led millions of everyday citizens to set out across a wild continent and carve out a new life in the great West. It was the same profound love of our God-given freedom that willed our soldiers into battle and our astronauts into space.

As I think back on the past four years, one image rises in my mind above all others. Whenever I traveled all along the motorcade route, there were thousands and thousands of people. They came out with their families so that they could stand as we passed, and proudly wave our great American flag. It never failed to deeply move me. I knew that they did not just come out to show their support of me; they came out to show me their support and love for our country.

This is a republic of proud citizens who are united by our common conviction that America is the greatest nation in all of history. We are, and must always be, a land of hope, of light, and of glory to all the world. This is the precious inheritance that we must safeguard at every single turn.

For the past four years, I have worked to do just that. From a great hall of Muslim leaders in Riyadh to a great square of Polish people in Warsaw; from the floor of the Korean Assembly to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly; and from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the shadow of Mount Rushmore, I fought for you, I fought for your family, I fought for our country. Above all, I fought for America and all it stands for — and that is safe, strong, proud, and free.

Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it. The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day.

As long as the American people hold in their hearts deep and devoted love of country, then there is nothing that this nation cannot achieve. Our communities will flourish. Our people will be prosperous. Our traditions will be cherished. Our faith will be strong. And our future will be brighter than ever before.

I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come.

Thank you, and farewell. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

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Trump To Hold Early Morning Sendoff On Inauguration Day

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The outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, plans an early morning send-off event for himself at a military airfield in Maryland on Wednesday. 

The event is set to hold hours before his successor, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States at the Capitol in Washington DC, TheGuardian reports. 

Trump reportedly wants an ostentatious military parade and an official armed forces farewell as the commander-in-chief, as well as a large crowd of supporters, selected backers and current and former officials in his administration and their guests at a huge red-carpet affair.

But latest reports indicate that Trump, who is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate and many criminal and civil investigations, will not be afforded a big military send-off just two weeks after a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol that followed his exhorting supporters to fight to overturn the election.

Invitations have been issued from the White House for the event.

The ceremony’s details are not yet clear, although attendees will have to make a pre-dawn start and have been told to arrive by 7.15 am when temperatures are forecast to be below freezing.

The invite stated that attendees might not bring items including firearms, ammunition, explosives, laser pointers or toy guns.

Air Force One will then be at the disposal of Biden. Trump would have had to have permission from the Democrat who defeated him to use it if he had waited to leave Washington until Biden was sworn in.

According to some reports, a 21-gun salute has been under consideration for the event at Andrews, and officials consider an elaborate ceremony that would have the feel of a state visit.

However, senior Pentagon officials reportedly told the security and intelligence news website Defense One that no military farewell was being planned for the commander-in-chief, unlike ceremonies for past presidents.

With the sun barely up at the start of an expected-to-be-chilly Wednesday, a minimal group of staff still left in a rapidly emptying White House will see off Trump as he takes one last walk across the lawn to enter Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for the short flight to Andrews just a few miles away.

Strict security arrangements in place for the inauguration, following the January 6 violence, have also limited the number of people who can attend the White House departure.

Four years ago, Barack and Michelle Obama hosted Donald and Melania Trump for tea at the White House before travelling to the ceremony to watch Trump inaugurated as the 45th US president.

But Trump has made it clear he would become the only president in a century and a half not to attend his successor’s inauguration and only the fourth in history not to do so, with the plans for his premature departure unprecedented.

Vice-President Mike Pence is attending Biden’s inauguration, but it is not yet known if he will attend Trump’s farewell at either the White House or Joint Base Andrews beforehand.

Pence travelled to thank troops in California and New York over the weekend as part of a farewell from the Trump-Pence administration, engagements that would have been expected to be carried out by the president.

Trump has not been seen in public since he travelled to the US-Mexico border last Tuesday. In recent weeks he has not visited the US military. And has not visited or spoken of healthcare workers overwhelmed at hospitals and vaccination sites as the US coronavirus death toll approaches 400,000.

The Bidens may be able to see and hear Trump departing aboard Marine One as they stay close to the White House the night before the inauguration.

There is no word on whether Trump will call Biden or leave the traditional letter to his successor upon the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

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