WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama left the Oval Office for the final time on Friday, having spent a few minutes there just hours before the transfer of power to his successor, Donald Trump.
After departing the president’s office for the last time, Barack Obama was asked by reporters if he had any final words for the American people.
“Thank you,” Obama replied.
Asked by another reporter if he was feeling nostalgic, Obama said “of course.”
The outgoing head of state traditionally leaves a letter in the Oval Office for his successor, and Obama could be seen placing some papers on the president’s desk before leaving the room.
Vice President Joe Biden also could be seen walking along the colonnade of the West Wing, where the Oval Office is located, accompanied by his wife, Jill.
In keeping with tradition, Trump will succeed Obama at 12:01 pm, becoming the 45th US president after a swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol.
After participating in the inauguration ceremony, Obama and his family will leave Washington in a final flight on board the presidential aircraft for a vacation in Palm Springs, California.
Before their flight, a small farewell ceremony will be held at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington to be attended by White House staff and Obama’s friends and advisers.