Donald Trump arrives in Florida to cheering crowds after snubbing White House inauguration

  • Video report by ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine

Donald Trump has arrived in Florida to cheering crowds after snubbing Joe Biden's White House inauguration as president.

The outgoing US leader emerged from Air Force One and stepped into a waiting vehicle with wife Melania. They are heading to his Mar-a-Lago retreat.

In deciding not to attend the ceremony, Mr Trump broke more than 150 years of tradition becoming the first outgoing president not to greet his successor.

Mr Trump and the First Lady had earlier been seen striding across the South Lawn at the White House to board Marine One and said, “It’s been a great honour, the honour of a lifetime.”

  • Donald Trump arrives in Florida to cheering crowds

“We love the American people, and again, it has been something very special," he added.

"I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye. We’ll see each other again.”Mr Trump was headed to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where he had a military sendoff. Four US Army cannons were prepped for a 21-gun salute. He is now due to fly to Florida, where he’ll stay at Mar-a-Lago.

In just a few hours, Joe Biden will take the oath of office as the 46th president.

It’s the first time in more than a century that a sitting president has rejected the tradition of attending his successor’s inauguration.

However, Mr Trump reportedly abided by another tradition - writing a letter to the incoming president.

According to American news channel ABC, he left a note for Mr Biden in the White House before leaving. It is not known what the letter - if there is one - says.

  •  US Army cannons fire a 21-gun salute to the president

Speaking in Maryland, Trump said he'd had an "an incredible four years".

"We've accomplished so much together," he continued.

"I want to thank all of my family and my friends and my staff and so many other people for being here."