Politics

It’s official: President Trump is now a full-time Florida man

President Donald Trump is now a full-time Florida man.

Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, quietly filed a declaration of domicile form last month in Palm Beach County, changing his residence from his three-story penthouse at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan to his 128-room Mar-a-Lago mansion.

First lady Melania Trump filed the same form a week later.

“I hereby declare that my above described residence and abode in the state of Florida constitutes my predominant and principal home and I intend to continue it permanently, as such,” states the form, signed by the president on Sept. 27, and the first lady on Oct. 3.

An attachment entitled Declaration of Domicile of Donald J. Trump lists Trump’s “other places of abode” as the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, in New Jersey, and the White House. When the first lady filed her own form, someone scratched out the word “Donald” and scribbled in “Melania.”

Trump, following a report late Thursday by The New York Times first revealing his residence change, tweeted that he decided to move full time to Florida from New York because he feels he’s been “treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and the state.”

Federal and state authorities have investigated him, New York City Mayor and former Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio has trashed him, and U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a longtime Trump foe, has been among the Democrats pursuing impeachment charges in Congress.

“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state,” Trump wrote. “Few have been treated worse.”

Trump wrote that he’ll “always be there to help New York and the great people of New York.”

“I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned,” he tweeted.

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Since his election in 2016, Trump has made frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago, which effectively served as his winter White House. Past presidents, including Richard Nixon, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, also kept winter homes in South Florida.

But Trump appears to be Florida’s first full-time resident president.

In moving to the Sunshine State from New York, Trump is leaving a state with an income tax that can approach 9 percent to a state with no income tax and no inheritance tax. And, as he complains about his treatment in New York, he is also leaving a liberal state for one with two Republican U.S. senators, a Republican Legislature and a governor, Ron DeSantis, with whom he has a close relationship.

His campaign manager, Brad Parscale, also lives in Fort Lauderdale after purchasing a home in May.

In contrast to Trump’s relationship with officials in New York, Florida’s most recent past attorney general, Pam Bondi, was criticized for not pursuing allegations of fraud against the for-profit Trump University in 2016 following a $25,000 political donation from a Trump charity three years earlier.

Trump is reportedly interested in bringing on Bondi — now a lobbyist — to help with an impeachment defense.

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President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach is now officially the president’s residence. Charles Trainor Jr. Miami Herald staff

Florida is also a key battleground state for Trump. His own campaign has acknowledged that it likely needs to win the state again in 2020 in order for Trump to be reelected.

Trump chose Florida to launch his first reelection rally shortly after he was first elected, came back to the state for a campaign relaunch in June, and returned again in October. He’ll be back in December, when he’ll give a speech for a Republican Party of Florida fundraiser.

Democrats reacted predictably to the news Thursday. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted “good riddance.”

“It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway,” Cuomo said. “He’s all yours, Florida.”

In Florida, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham tweeted “We. Don’t. Want. Him.”

But U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s most ardent defenders in Congress, reacted to the news by suggesting Trump was establishing a new Florida dynasty.

“Florida has never had a President. Now, with Trump moving and DeSantis soaring, we may have two back-to-back,” said Gaetz, who represents the Florida Panhandle. “That’s one helluva way to end a slump.”

David Smiley is a Florida native (yes, they exist) and veteran of South Florida journalism. He’s covered schools, cops and crime, and various city halls, earning awards for stories about municipal pensions and Miami Beach’s police department. He became the Miami Herald’s political reporter in 2018 and covered the midterm elections and recount.
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