Countdown to conflict over Trump’s corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago


News item: The Town of Palm Beach is looking into a possible code violation at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

The Town Council approved the addition of a helipad on the back lawn of Mar-a-Lago on the condition that it be used strictly to fly the president in and out of the club on Marine One. Trump, however, has used the helipad for the Trump corporate helicopter during his most recent stay.

“It was a private helicopter on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago,” the town’s Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin told The Palm Beach Daily News. “That in and of itself may be evidence of a violation of our town codes.”

The town is considering sending a warning letter to Mar-a-Lago about the possible code violation.

***

Uh, oh. I think I know how this may play out. Here’s the future chronology:

Jan. 10 — Town of Palm Beach sends Mar-a-Lago a code violation warning. Says Trump will be fined $250-a-day for parking his private corporate helicopter at the Palm Beach club.

Jan. 11 — In 5 a.m. tweet, President Trump blasts Palm Beach town officials.

“Why do they hate America? People are saying that town’s public safety director Kirk “Blowin It” is about to be fired. That’s what I’m hearing. Stay tuned. Sad!!!”

Jan. 12 — Trump’s corporate helicopter lands at Mar-a-Lago for weekend stay.

Jan. 16 — Town of Palm Beach mails $750 fine to Mar-a-Lago.

Jan. 18 — Trump sues the Town of Palm Beach for $25 million.

Jan. 22 — Nuclear tensions mount after North Korea releases video of Kim Jong Un getting into a helicopter that is bigger than Trump’s helicopter.

Jan. 24 — Citing a confidential source identified only as a former high-level Trump official with spotty grooming habits and gin blossoms on his nose, The New York Times reports that Trump’s children and son-in-law may have been using the Trump corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago to meet with Russian officials to discuss business loans in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions.

Jan. 25 — U.S. Rep Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asks for the passenger logs on the Trump corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago.

Jan. 26 — U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairmen of the House Permanent Select Committee, subpoenas Hillary Clinton’s Uber charges during the past six months.

Jan. 31 — While announcing the elimination of “the burdensome job-killing regulations” on lead paint and child labor, President Trump addresses the growing scandal over his private helicopter at Mar-a-Lago.

“There is no helicopter,” he says. “Those photos you see are all fake news.”

Feb. 2 — A Gallup public opinion poll shows that 86 percent of Republicans believe the president’s statement that there is no Trump corporate helicopter at Mar-a-Lago.

Feb. 10 — Code violations on Trump’s helicopter top $10,000.

Feb. 13 — President Trump orders a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier battle group to conduct combat exercises three miles off Palm Beach.

Feb. 16 — The Town of Palm Beach files a lien on Mar-a-Lago.

Feb. 17 — Low-flying military drones unnerve shoppers on Worth Avenue.

Feb. 18 — Town Council President Richard Kleid calls for negotiations.

Feb. 22 — Construction starts on a non-permitted 100-foot flagpole on Mar-a-Lago’s back lawn. Town sends Trump another warning letter over the flagpole.

Feb. 23 — House Speaker Paul Ryan, cornered in a Capitol Hill elevator by reporters, calls the new Mar-a-Lago giant flagpole “exquisite.”

Feb. 24 — Trump calls Kleid “Little Richard.”

Feb. 26 The Washington Post reports that code enforcement actions in Palm Beach has Trump “almost too furious” to play golf every day in Florida.

March 1 — The Town of Palm Beach quietly settles with President Trump. In exchange for him dropping his $25 million lawsuit, the town dismisses its fines, permits the corporate helicopter to come and go from Mar-a-Lago, and allows the new flagpole to stay.

The town also agrees to allow Trump to sell 50 more memberships at his Palm Beach club.

“This is a great day for the American people,” President Trump said.

March 2 — The Freedom Caucus calls for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s Uber activities.



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