Why Donald Trump won’t be at Mar-a-Lago this weekend…

President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

From November to April, President Donald Trump loves to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

He’s made 14 visits to Palm Beach since taking office in January 2017.

But barring a major surprise — something on the order of, say, agreeing to meet with North Korean “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un — the president won’t be in town this weekend.

Trump is scheduled to travel, however. On Saturday, he’ll be near Pittsburgh for a campaign rally for his 2020 re-election bid — and to try to stave off a potentially embarrassing defeat for the GOP in a special congressional election.

In a western Pennsylvania district that Trump carried by 20 points in 2016, polls show that Republican Rick Saccone is struggling against Democrat Conor Lamb as Tuesday’s election approaches. A similar Trump rally the weekend before a special Alabama Senate election failed to deliver the deep-red state for accused child molester Roy Moore.

 

Part-time Florida man Donald Trump returning to state after two-month hiatus

President Donald Trump at Palm Beach International Airport in February. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

President Donald Trump will visit Miami next Friday to unveil a new U.S. policy on Cuba.

The part-time Palm Beach resident was a frequent Florida visitor during his first 100 days in office .  He made seven trips to Florida, logging about 19 days in the Sunshine State or travelling to or from Florida on Air Force One. The bulk of Trump’s Florida time, about 17½ days, was spent in Palm Beach County, where Trump used his Mar-a-Lago estate to host world leaders, order missile strikes in Syria, make key personnel moves and fire off some controversial tweets.

Donald Trump discussed Cuba policy in an exclusive interview with The Palm Beach Post in October. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

But Trump hasn’t returned to Florida since Easter weekend in April.

There’s been no word yet on whether the president will spend any time in Palm Beach next weekend.

The fact that Trump is choosing Miami to announce Cuba policy suggests the changes he’s making will be pleasing to the Cuban exile community that supports the U.S. embargo and other hard-line policies against the communist island.

As he courted Cuban-American voters during the 2016 campaign, Trump criticized former President Barack Obama for easing restrictions on Cuba.

In an exclusive interview with The Palm Beach Post in October, Trump called for more “strength” in U.S. dealings with Cuba.

“I think the deal that Obama is making is a terrible deal for the Cuban people and for the Cuban people that are living here. And I wouldn’t want to do anything with Cuba – that’s why I’ve never done anything with Cuba – I wouldn’t want to do anything with Cuba unless the proper deal is made,” Trump said.

“We need strength. We need strength. We have to have teeth in the deal. This deal is a one-way ticket for Castro and we need strength in this deal. They want us  to go there so badly, but we need strength,” Trump said.

Trump in Palm Beach: Budget deal calls for feds to reimburse county taxpayers

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy keeps an eye on demonstrators in Manalapan during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last month. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

A $1 trillion bipartisan budget deal struck by congressional leaders Sunday night includes money to reimburse taxpayers in Palm Beach County and New York City for expenses associated with President Donald Trump‘s visits.

The full House and Senate are expected to vote this week on the bill to keep the federal government running through Sept. 30.

President Donald Trump and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw at Mar-a-Lago in March.

CONTEXT: How President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits compare to getaways by other presidents.

Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago — two extended stays as president-elect and seven visits as president — have cost Palm Beach County taxpayers around $4 million so far. Most of the money has been for overtime by sheriff’s deputies who assist the Secret Service.

As costs have risen, local officials and members of Congress have called for the federal government to help. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw discussed the issue in person with Trump in March.

 

 

 

Report: Paul Ryan in Palm Beach Thursday; Dem already attacking

Ryan

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t in the Sunshine State yet, but gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is already throwing some shade his way.

“When Speaker Paul Ryan comes to Florida later this week, he’ll hear a rallying cry from every corner of our state: Governor Rick Scott should expand Medicaid now, and Obamacare is the law of the land,” Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, said in a press release. “His continued refusal to expand coverage is a deeply damaging mark on our state’s healthcare system, and the governor should immediately take this long overdue step to save lives. Speaker Ryan should know that healthcare is a right, and any attempt to further hurt Florida’s families will backfire at the ballot box.”

The Miami Herald has reported that Ryan, fresh off the House’s high-profile failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, plans to spend Thursday and Friday at The Breakers on Palm Beach huddling with top financial donors.