No official explanation for the President's early departure from Mar -a-L ago was given, though he remains consumed with efforts to overturn the election results and tensions are ratcheting up in the Persian Gulf ahead of the one-year anniversary of the US killing of Iran's top general. Guests angled for selfies with Giuliani, who was wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket, and Fox News host Judge Jeanine Piero, along with personalities from the right-wing television network OANN.
Tables set for 10 people, with no social distancing, were clustered in the ballroom with white floral arrangements and candles encased in a sculpture meant to look like the New Year's Eve ball. Many guests and entertainers were left disappointed upon learning from CNN late Wednesday that Trump would be leaving Florida early.
Trump remained largely out of sight at his club during his stay as he fixated on the election results and the January 6 effort to delay certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. That provided a bookend to the start of the pandemic, when a similarly massless birthday party for Guilfoyle held in the Mar -a-L ago ballroom proved to be an early spreading event.
Jan 01, 2021Image via Getty/Al Drag CNN reports that the event, which cost its guests four figures just to get in, was originally meant to have Trump present. Trump reportedly decided to bail last-minute, choosing instead to head back to Washington over spending time with the losers who attended the super-spreader event.
Videos from the party make it look even more bizarre than it sounded, with Mike Love of the Beach Boys even showing up to perform. It's worth pointing out that Vanilla Ice landed himself in hot water back in the summer after he was scheduled to put on a concert in Austin in July.
The first couple are at Mar -a-L ago for the holidays, and a source told Page Six: “Melania has been redecorating their apartment. Where they have separate bedrooms, sitting rooms and offices.” Reportedly 2,000 square feet, the place once belonged to Marjorie Merriweather Post.
Some locals are up in arms about Trump possibly living there, but the Palm Beach town manager told the Miami Herald, “The town is not aware of the president’s intent in this regard and has no evidence to support said claim.” West Palm Beach attorney Reginald Tombaugh sent a letter to Palm Beach Mayor Gail Congo and the Town Council on Tuesday laying out the legal reasons and security concerns that he said should bar Trump from living at his private club.
A fax pocked with grammatical and spelling errors sent by an organization few knew anything about arrived Thursday expressing similar concerns. “We do not (want) Proud Boys, Skin Heads, Neo Nazi Crazies visiting Trump proposed new PB residence.
Tombaugh sent a copy of his letter, first reported by The Washington Post, to the Secret Service, which has not revealed security plans for Mar -a-L ago once Trump's presidency ends. The town of Palm Beach was leery of Trump when he negotiated to convert Mar -a-L ago into a club.
A year earlier, he failed to convince the council to allow him to subdivide the property and build mini-mansions. Trump purchased Mar -a-L ago in 1986 and lived at the estate during the season with his first wife, Ivana, and their children.
Tombaugh said neighbors are concerned about “significant devaluation” of their property because of Trump's visits to his club, some lasting nearly two weeks. During those times, residents and their yard workers, pool cleaners and other staff have had to pass through security checkpoints to reach their homes.
Mar -a-L ago neighbors complained when Trump requested a helipad be installed on the estate's back lawn. The Town Council agreed, provided it be used only for presidential business and be removed when Trump leaves office.
The 128-room mansion in Palm Beach was built by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1927. Donald Trump likes to call Mar -a-L ago, his Palm Beach club and catering facility, the “Winter White House,” and while that's just his nickname for the sprawling Florida estate, there is some precedent for the moniker.
In 1973, cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post donated her 128-room Palm Beach mansion to the U.S. government to be used as the “winter White House.” Marjorie Merriweather PostArchitects Marion Sims Wyeth and Joseph Urban designed the estate, which sits on 20 acres that border the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Florida's Intracoastal Waterway on the other.
Post willed her home to the American government upon her death with the intention that it be used as a warm-weather retreat for the president. But in 1981 the government returned Mar -a-L ago, which had been declared a National Historic Landmark a year earlier, to the Post Foundation, citing its high annual maintenance cost of $1 million.
(In addition to Mar -a-L ago, Post had a considerable real estate portfolio that included an Adirondacks retreat, a Long Island mansion, a yacht she designed herself that was the largest privately-owned yacht at the time, and a Washington, D. C estate, Hill wood, that is now a house museum containing her extensive collection of jewelry, Sevres porcelain, Faberge, and French masterpieces.) Trump turned Mar -a-L ago into a private club in 1995 and built a 20,000-square-foot ballroom with $7 million in gold leaf.
(Seneca was also investigated by the Secret Service for threatening comments he made on Facebook about President Barack Obama.) When he opened Mar -a-L ago, Trump welcomed Jewish members, African-Americans, and gay couples, who had been prohibited from joining other Palm Beach clubs.
The Beach Club is on the Atlantic Ocean side of the property. To date, Trump has spent 133 days at the property while in office. He took his first trip there as POTUS for the Red Cross Ball in early February 2017 and hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinz Abe the following weekend.
Mar -a-L ago is where he was when he announced Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster as his pick for national security advisor, authorized a missile strike on Syria, and hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for a two-day summit. According to the Government Accountability Office, four trips the president took to Mar -a-L ago in 2017 cost taxpayers at least $13.6 million.
Among its tales of palace intrigue: Trump reportedly banned the infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein from Mar -a-L ago after the latter hit on a teenage daughter of a member. At Mar -a-L ago, he can let loose and be himself, unbound by strict D.C. protocols and unbothered by scores of aides and handlers.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York didn't miss the opportunity to express his feelings about the move. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
For weddings, galas and private parties, The Mar -a-L ago Club is beyond compare. © Don Emmett/AFP via Getty Images Donald and Melania Trump at the Mar -a-L ago New Year's Eve party in 2016.
They're scheduled to leave Florida at 11 a.m. and set to spend Thursday night at the White House. They had previously planned to leave Mar -a-L ago on New Year's Day, The Associated Press reported.
Jennifer Jacobs, a Bloomberg News senior reporter, tweeted late Wednesday that Trump was leaving the resort a day earlier than planned and would miss the party “that hundreds bought tickets for.” The AP reported that since arriving at Mar -a-L ago on December 23, the president has spent most of his time repeating his grievances about the result of the election, which he lost to Joe Biden.
He will return to Washington, DC, as some congressional Republicans plan to object to formally affirming Biden's win at a joint session on January 6. The first lady also recently visited a private school in Boca Raton for their teenage son Barron to attend.
Mar -a-L ago is directly under the main flight path of Palm Beach International Airport. While the date of the family's move to Palm Beach has not been announced, Trump has visited Mar -a-L ago for the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend during his time as president.
Scott, a staunch Trump supporter who voted to uphold an objection to election results in Pennsylvania, said he would attend. “I am urging the President to reconsider his decision to skip the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.