South Florida

Trump was supposed to ring in the new year at Mar-a-Lago. That’s not happening now.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron walk up the steps of Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., after spending a week in November at Mar-a-Lago.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron walk up the steps of Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., after spending a week in November at Mar-a-Lago. AP

President Donald Trump has scrapped his New Year’s plans to visit Mar-a-Lago and will remain in Washington, D.C., amid a partial government shutdown, his acting chief of staff said Friday morning.

“The President’s been here, by the way, all weekend, all Christmas,” said Mick Mulvaney, director of the office of management and budget, in an interview with “Fox & Friends.” “He’s staying in Washington, D.C., over New Year’s. He’s canceled his plans for Christmas. Now, he’s canceled his plans for New Year’s.”

The shutdown, sparked by a Congressional stalemate related to Trump’s demand for about $5 billion in border security, is expected to run into the new year. It entered its seventh day on Friday.

Mulvaney said Friday that Trump was “very heavily engaged” in the shutdown negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

Trump had scheduled a 16-day vacation in his Palm Beach golf resort, including during Christmas, but canceled those plans on Saturday to remain in Washington.

Funding for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies ran dry on Saturday. About 420,000 workers deemed essential are working unpaid, while about 380,000 others have been furloughed.

Past guests of Mar-a-Lago’s big, ticketed New Year’s Eve parties include model Fabio and actor Sylvester Stallone. The Palm Beach club increased ticket prices this year, as guests paid $1,000 for a chance to ring in the New Year alongside Trump, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Trump on Friday threatened to close the southern border if an agreement isn’t brokered.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” he tweeted Friday morning. “Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!”

First Lady Melania Trump arrived at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, after three days away, according to WPTV.

Information from the Associated Press was used for this report

Martin Vassolo is a general assignment reporter on the Miami Herald’s metro desk. He was a member of the Herald’s reporting team covering the 2018 midterm elections and Florida’s recount. Previously, he worked as a political reporting intern with the Herald and as editor-in-chief of the University of Florida’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator.


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