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'Ma'a salama, adios': Democratic lawmakers celebrate Trump's exit

As Donald Trump makes his final departure from White House, some of his fiercest rivals rejoice ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart White House for last time on 20 January (AFP)

Democratic lawmakers and politicians celebrated US President Donald Trump's final exit from the White House on Wednesday, just hours before President-elect Joe Biden was set to be sworn-in as the new leader of the United States. 

Breaking with tradition, Trump left the White House early on Wednesday, skipping Biden's inauguration and opting to head to Florida instead.

"Ma3assalamah Trump!" House Representative Rashida Tlaib said on Twitter, giving the outgoing president who had attacked her legitimacy from day one an Arabic farewell. 

Tlaib's post retweeted Julian Castro's own multicultural, celebratory send-off. 

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"¡Adiós Trump!" the former presidential candidate and secretary of housing and urban development tweeted. 

Trump frequently attacked both Democrats, along with a long list of their colleagues, throughout his presidency.

A freshman lawmaker and the first Palestinian-American member of Congress, Tlaib famously stole headlines during her first election win with her exclamation, "We're gonna impeach the motherfucker!" - shortly after her swearing-in ceremony in 2019.

Representative Katherine Clark, assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who earlier this month called Trump "a traitor", also took to Twitter to celebrate the new administration. 

"Let's do this!" she tweeted, posting a photo of herself and a group of other women lawmakers. 

Biden himself sent out a short but optimistic message regarding Trump's exit on Wednesday, tweeting simply: "It’s a new day in America." 

Representative Adriano Espaillat of New York posted a similar message in Spanish, the English translation of which reads "Good morning America. Today is a new day."

Seventeen freshman Republicans in the House also offered congratulations to Biden via a letter that welcomed the incoming president to office.

"People are tired of the chaos and dysfunction that runs DC," Representative Ashley Hinson of Iowa tweeted, sharing the letter.

"As our nation prepares for the peaceful transition of presidential power, I stand ready to find common ground with the Biden administration where possible," she said.

In addition to Trump's exit from the White House, many Democrats also took to Twitter to celebrate the inauguration of the first female vice president, as well as the first Black or brown person to hold the office. 

"My aunt gave me these pearls to wear for my swearing-in two years ago when I became the first woman to represent my community in Congress," Representative Chrissy Houlahan tweeted, sharing a picture of herself before the inauguration ceremony.

"Today, I wear them to honour this transition of power and the first woman vice president in our nation’s history," she said. 

Since the 3 November elections, the last few months have seen Trump fail in his attempt to challenge the outcome of the vote and concede to Biden. 

Earlier this month an attack on the US Capitol by Trump-supporting agitators caused further tension, with more than 20,000 National Guard troops deployed to Washington DC as part of ramped-up security measures against any further attacks that intelligence agencies have warned could occur. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as those security concerns, most of the 59th inaugural ceremonies will be taking place virtually this year. Those who are able to attend in person will be mostly lawmakers, Democratic mayors and politicians, Supreme Court justices, former presidents and their family members.

Those in attendance will be socially distanced and masks will be required, in stark contrast to Trump's departure ceremony earlier in the day. 

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