President Donald Trump has a big family, and securing everyone was always going to be a conundrum for the Secret Service. There’s the president himself and first lady Melania Trump. There are five Trump children and eight grandchildren, some in Washington, D.C., others in New York. To say nothing of when they take vacations within the U.S. or abroad.
Within 30 years, climatologists estimate, Trump’s beloved Mar-a-Lago could be vulnerable to flooding as many as 210 days a year due to global warming. Even mighty Donald cannot command the sea.
Trump’s constant weekend golfing visits to Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach estate and private club, have cost us tens of millions of dollars already — and are projected to cost far more, depending how long he remains president. In the meantime, the grifting Trumps are actually profiting from his use of the “Southern White House” for high-profile meetings with heads of state.
The White House no longer operates as in Lincoln’s time, when literally anyone could walk in to speak with the president. But as Danziger observes, if you have 200 large to join one of Trump’s exclusive clubs, you may be able to walk in and chat up the grifter-in-chief.
Before Donald Trump left for the “Winter White House” in Florida — where he planned to kick off his 2020 campaign — the president took to his Twitter cocoon to berate his enemies, as is his habit. NBC’s Seth Meyers couldn’t help but notice that Trump failed miserably at sounding like an authoritarian strongman. Apparently, he hasn’t been following the cheat sheet Putin gave him as a guide for delegitimizing the free press.
Already Trump, who was vocally critical of Obama’s frequent vacations, is set to outspend the former president on his travel by a long shot. His three Mar-a-Lago trips since Inauguration Day have cost the federal treasury an estimated $10 million. By that estimate, Trump’s travel will likely cost hundreds of millions more than Obama’s did. The former president’s travel expenses over eight years totaled an estimated $90 million.
Donald Trump has been in office almost one month and every single day of it feels like a dress rehearsal for the apocalypse. Instead of focusing on the many problems of his administration, including leaks, scandals, firings, and legislative failures, Trump is trying to relive the glory days of his campaign. It’s unclear if the bill for Saturday’s rally is being paid for by the Trump 2020 campaign, American taxpayers, or Mexico.
Trump doesn’t seem to fear failure — after all, he’s filed for bankruptcy four times — so much as he fears not being seen as successful. Appearances are paramount in the Trump universe, and frankly, things are not looking so good these days.
As an avalanche of security issues distracts the Trump administration in its third week, two ranking Democratic senators have sent letters of inquiry to the White House regarding the staff’s possession of private Republican National Committee email accounts; the president’s use of a personal, unsecured smartphone; and reports of mishandling sensitive documents during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Florida over the weekend.
Last weekend, Trump attended the Red Cross Ball at his Mar-a-Lago resort and watched the Super Bowl at his West Palm Beach golf course. As he left Florida on Monday, news emerged that he will probably return this weekend for golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Does Trump think being president is a part-time job? And is Trump the one doing the job? There’s no clear answer to either one.
Mr. Trump envisions Mar-a-Lago as a resort for all the people, including those Rust Belt voters who got him elected. And while we’d love to offer them a patriotic discount to join our club, it really wouldn’t be fair to all our millionaire members who shell out the big bucks. So, for one and all, the post-election price is $200,000.