Clinton is expected to attend a wedding at The Breakers, about 3 miles north of Mar-a-Lago. There’s been no word on whether Hillary Clinton will be with him or whether the current and former presidents will meet.
PALM BEACH — After spending his first winter White House weekend at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump is scheduled to depart from Palm Beach International Airport this morning for Tampa — but he could be back soon.
Trump could return to Palm Beach this weekend to play golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to CBS’s Mark Knoller and Japanese media. Trump and Abe are scheduled to meet in Washington on Friday.
Today, Trump will visit Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base and the headquarters of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command.
Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to meet with Trump in Tampa, Scott’s office said Sunday.
In an advance clip of a Fox News interview set to air in full at 4 p.m. today, Bill O’Reilly described Putin as “a killer” after Trump said he respects the Russian leader and believes he can work with him on combating Islamic terrorism.
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country is so innocent?”
When has a Democratic political activists been poisoned by the GOP, or vice versa? We are not the same as #Putin. MR
Aside from golf, Trump filled his Saturday by attending the Red Cross Ball at his Mar-a-Lago Club, pledging to work for peace between Russia and Ukraine and tweeting his displeasure with the “so-called judge” who halted Trump’s travel ban. Meanwhile, across the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach, about 3,000 anti-Trump protesters marched down Flagler Drive.
Later today, the president is scheduled to talk on the phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English. He’ll return to Trump International Golf Club in the evening to watch the Super Bowl.
Trump noted he had to give up the show when he ran for president and, “They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It has been a total disaster.”
Then, ever mindful of his audience, Trump added: “I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.”
“Hey, Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs?” Schwarzenegger says in a brief video he tweeted. “You take over TV because you’re such an expert in ratings and I take over your job, and then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
The House of Representatives doesn’t have a say in confirming Supreme Court nominees, but two Palm Beach County Democrats — Reps. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton — want it known that they oppose President Donald Trump‘s pick of Neil Gorsuch for the high court.
Frankel put out a statement within 20 minutes of Trump’s announcement.
“The Republicans hijacked President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court and now, sadly, President Trump is bowing to his more extreme supporters,” said Frankel on Tuesday night. “Based on his judicial record, Neil Gorsuch will tip a narrowly divided court in a dangerous direction. This nomination puts serious issues at stake, like a woman’s constitutional right to make her own personal health care choices, getting money out of our politics, and ending political gerrymandering. We need a Supreme Court Justice whose record reflects mainstream values and respect for the fundamental rights of all Americans.”
Deutch weighed in this morning, calling Gorsuch “an extreme right-wing ideologue.”
Deutch continued in a statement released by his office: “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s radical views on federal regulations fly in the face of long-standing Supreme Court precedent and will undermine crucial consumer protections, environmental protections, and labor safety protections. He sided with corporations in the Hobby Lobby decision defining them as people, giving corporations the right to deny women birth control in the name of religious belief. He has publicly attacked everyday Americans for seeking access to our nation’s courts to protect and support their individual rights. His rulings supporting the use of excessive force by law enforcement will be a step-back in our nation’s effort to reform the criminal justice system. And he has consistently sided with corporations and their interests while quashing the ability of employees to protect their rights in the workplace.
“If Mitch McConnell wanted to replace the late Justice Scalia with someone with equally or even more extreme views, he’s getting the pick he wanted. Judge Gorsuch’s far-right views fall so far outside the mainstream that he should not be confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.”
It took about one minute for the Democratic National Committee to slam President Donald Trump‘snomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court tonight.
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, however, is holding fire.
“The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is an awesome responsibility that I gladly accept. I will base my decision on a full examination of Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record and his responses to senators’ questions,” Nelson said a few minutes after Trump announced his selection of Gorsuch.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio praised Trump’s choice.
“Judge Gorsuch is a highly qualified, mainstream jurist, which is why he was unanimously confirmed to the circuit court by the Senate in 2006,” said a Rubio statement. “By all accounts he has the right temperament and experience for the job, and I’m pleased to see him nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Most importantly, he is committed to the principles of original intent and judicial restraint. This is critical, because too many in the federal judiciary today believe it is appropriate for judges to invent new policies and rights instead of interpreting and defending the Constitution as it is written.”
Nelson, who is up for re-election in 2018, has a mixed record on Republican nominations to the high court. He voted for President George W. Bush‘s nomination of John Roberts to be chief justice in 2005. Nelson voted against Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito later that year.
Nelson voted in favor of President Barack Obama‘s nominations of Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010.
Nelson was a member of the Senate in 2006 when Gorsuch was confirmed by a voice vote for his seat on the 10th Circuit.
A potential Republican challenger of Nelson in 2018, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, tweeted his approval for Gorsuch in two languages.
“Great pick to the Supreme Court by President Trump!” Scott told his Twitter followers. A few minutes later, Scott tweeted the same message in Spanish.
Nelson can also expect pressure from the left to oppose Gorsuch. Leading liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced her opposition.
Rubio, elected in 2010, has never voted on a Supreme Court nominee. As a candidate, he opposed the Sotomayor and Kagan nominations in 2009 and 2010.
It has been nearly 6-1/2 years since the Senate confirmed Kagan in August 2010. The Republican-led Senate refused to consider President Barack Obama‘s nomination of Merrick Garland last year after conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died.
According to U.S. Senate records, the longest period between Senate confirmation votes on a Supreme Court justice was 12 years between President James Madison’s 1811 nomination of Gabriel Duvall and President James Monroe‘s 1823 nomination of Smith Thompson.
The second-longest drought was the 11 years that separated the 1994 confirmation of Stephen Breyer, a nominee of President Bill Clinton, and the 2005 confirmation of Roberts.
The last Supreme Court nominee to be rejected was Robert Bork, a nominee of President Ronald Reagan, in 1987.
PALM BEACH GARDENS — Aspiring to be the liberal answer to the tea party movement, dozens of demonstrators showed up outside Sen. Marco Rubio‘s office this morning to protest President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet picks and his executive order halting travel from seven nations.
About 60 people were waving signs along PGA Boulevard at 10:30 a.m. Some of them met with a Rubio staffer to express their concerns.
Their signs targeted at least six of Trump’s Cabinet nominees, White House senior adviser Steve Bannon and Trump’s executive order halting refugee admissions to the U.S. and visits from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Robb Allan, an investor from Palm Beach, helped organize the event as part of a group called Indivisibles. Amanda Kopacz of Boynton Beach also helped organize through a group called Florida Action Network, which she said recently changed its name from Rise Up because other groups were already using that name.
Both described this morning’s demonstration as part of a national effort put together by MoveOn.org and other groups.
“These groups are starting everywhere spontaneously and we’re all just beginning to discover each other and participate,” said Allan.
“All of this for us is an outgrowth of a handbook that was written by a group of congressional staffers right after the election about how to be the left-wing tea party,” Allan said.
Whether it was his past support for universal health care, abortion rights and impeaching George W. Bush or his 2016 trade protectionism and NATO questioning, conservatives had their doubts about Donald Trump as he sought the presidency.
When leading Never Trump figure Rick Wilson tried to persuade conservatives to leave Trump in favor of independent Evan McMullin, Trump’s Supreme Court pledge proved to be an obstacle.
“The Supreme Court was a value-added for Donald Trump that turned skeptical Republicans into at least tolerant Republicans of Trump. It was something we saw turn up in focus groups over and over and over again,” said Wilson.
Now Trump appears ready to honor his pledge to conservatives when he names a Supreme Court appointee this week.