Motorcade incident brings moment of drama to Trump’s quiet day


An incident involving the presidential motorcade and a round of golf with one of the greats marked an otherwise quiet Saturday in Palm Beach for President Donald Trump, as he prepares to wrap up his first visit to his Mar-a-Lago Club since Easter.

The fourth day of President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving visit to Palm Beach, his first since Easter, was relatively quiet in comparison to the previous three days.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

The president arrived at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach about 8 a.m. and was back at Mar-a-Lago just after 2 p.m. Those six hours were spent out of the public eye, with no information for White House pool reporters on how the president spent that time.

As the motorcade returned to Mar-a-Lago from Trump International, a man in a red van attempted to cut into the line of black SUVs, surveillance vehicles and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies as they moved along Southern Boulevard. According to a pool report, local law enforcement pulled over the van. The driver then “made obscene gestures and screamed several expletives,” the pool reported.

No further information was available Saturday.

PHOTOS: Look at our gallery of Trump’s Thanksgiving visit

This was not the first time there has been an incident with Trump’s motorcade in Palm Beach County. In February, a middle-school student threw a block of wood at the motorcade as it passed along Southern Boulevard toward Mar-a-Lago. In April, three protesters tried to run in front of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s motorcade. The following day, another protester was arrested for trying to run in front of the motorcade carrying Xi’s wife, Madame Peng Liyuan. In each of those instances, the people faced charges.

However, driving into a motorcade does not necessarily lead to jail time or even a ticket. In August, a driver in a white car careened into the path of Trump’s motorcade in Springfield, Mo. The Springfield Police Department said the driver’s brakes malfunctioned, causing her to lose control of the car. There was “no intent of harm or disruption to (the) motorcade,” Springfield police said, and the driver was not charged.

A few minutes after the incident with the van, the motorcade passed a small group of protesters holding signs on Southern Boulevard near the Intracoastal, with one sign that read, “Don the con man.” A group of supporters stood a few feet away waving signs and flags bearing red and blue hearts. Half of the supporters were also wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

RELATED: Follow our Trump in Palm Beach Facebook page

While only one round of golf has been confirmed by the White House — on Friday, the president played with PGA pros Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Brad Faxon — Trump has visited one of his golf courses each day since arriving Tuesday in Palm Beach County. The Associated Press reported Trump on Saturday played golf with Jupiter resident and golf great Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus’ son, Gary.

Trump’s typically lively Twitter account was silent for most of the day, with his first tweet coming just before his return to Mar-a-Lago: “Happy #SmallBusinessSaturday!” the president tweeted. “A great day to support your community and America’s JOB creators by shopping locally at a #SmallBiz. #ShopSmall”

After 5 p.m., Trump continued to tweet, first about his choice for an interim leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, then about CNN. “@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly,” the president said. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”

READ: Trump ‘Man of the Year’? Only Time Magazine knows for sure

It was the final full day of Trump’s trip to what he earlier this year dubbed his “Winter White House.” He arrived aboard Air Force One just after sunset Tuesday with first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron. The president’s son Eric Trump, his wife, Lara, and their son also joined the first family at Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving. According to their social media posts, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and daughters Ivanka and Tiffany Trump and their families spent the holiday elsewhere.

President Trump is expected to head back to Washington, D.C., Sunday afternoon. An exact departure time has not been released by the White House.



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