Trump in Palm Beach: “Trump Squad” gets surprise invite to Mar-a-Lago


About 20 minutes after President Trump’s motorcade passed over of the Southern bridge on its way back to Mar-a-Lago after golf on Saturday, a white van stopped near a group of supporters.

RELATED: VIPs flock to New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago

A man stepped out with an invitation that stunned the devoted sign-waiving crowd.

The president would like to meet with you at Mar-a-Lago.

“It stunned me,” said Mike Sims, of West Palm Beach. “I didn’t know what to think.”

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Sixteen supporters piled into two white vans for a short drive across the bridge to the president’s private club. No one expected the 90-minute visit to the president’s “Winter White House.”

“I was wearing baggy pants,” bemoaned one supporter of the sudden invite — and the photo she had taken with Trump.

The group went through the usual security sweep by the Secret Service and then met with the president, who was still in his golf clothes and shoes.

RELATED: Trump spends day with governor, golf, attends party with wife, son

He shook hands with the group near the pool and posed with each for photos. A White House photographer also shot pictures. The president gave a short history of Mar-a-Lago, built in the 1920’s by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and gave each a magazine about the estate.

»»READ MORE: Who is using the Trump corporate chopper at Mar-a-Lago

Trump bought the dilapidated estate in 1985 and restored it. In 1995 he opened Mar-a-Lago as a private club, which now has about 500 members. Today, Mar-a-Lago has a spa, tennis courts, two pools, putting greens, several dining areas and bedrooms that are available only to members and their guests.

“He couldn’t have been more down to earth,” said Mary Tulko, of Lake Worth. Tulko said she thanked the president for the big stock market gains this year. “He was just really nice.”

PHOTOS: New Year’s Eve red carpet at Mar-a-Lago

After the meet, greet and photo op, Trump asked his aides to show the group into his living room to see the Christmas tree, and outside, to view the helicopter. They were then invited into the ballroom for snacks: meatballs, watermelon, pigs in a blanket, spring rolls, thick chocolate chip cookies, iced tea and water.

Sims especially liked the water.

“It was a regular water bottle except it didn’t say Zephyrhills, it said Trump,” said Sims, who grabbed one as a souvenier. “It was just a fabulous experience. I will never forget it.”

Saturday’s impromptu visit was not the first. On March 18, seven Trump supporters who cheered the president as his motorcade passed were also invited to the estate. A day later, on his way out of town, the president stopped his motorcade and got out of his armored SUV to swiftly greet supporters.

Donald Tarca Jr. of Boynton Beach said the group was invited “not because we are famous or big donors but because we are members of a group called ‘The Trump Squad,’ a group of supporters who faithfully gather at the west end of the Southern Boulevard bridge to greet the president. Our motto is ‘See you at the bridge!’”

Tarca was at the bridge again on Sunday afternoon, waiting with the rest of the squad for the president to return from his golf club in West Palm Beach.

“It was such an honor — a day to all us deplorables we will never forget,” Tarca said. “We the people do matter.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Crash on northbound I-95 closes several lanes near Jupiter
JUST IN: Crash on northbound I-95 closes several lanes near Jupiter

A crash has closed several lanes of traffic on northbound Interstate-95 near Jupiter Thursday night, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. A crash just north of Indiantown Road has closed several lanes of the interstate as trauma helicopters are responding to the scene, according to authorities. Fire rescue officials said to “avoid area...
Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting
Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting

Calling it “a classic case of self-defense,” lawyers for former Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja are asking a judge to dismiss manslaughter and attempted murder charges against him for the October 2015 shooting death of 31-year-old stranded motorist Corey Jones. Raja’s lawyers in court documents filed Thursday are asking...
State senate revamps sex harassment rules

The Florida Senate released a revamped sexual harassment policy Thursday, after sex scandals rocked the chamber and led to the resignations of two prominent senators. Former Sen. Jack Latvala announced his resignation this past month following the release of an investigative report that recommended a criminal probe into allegations the Clearwater Republican...
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home

Former Minnesota Viking and NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad has put his Palm Beach Gardens home on the market, realtor.com reports. Rashad is listing his 3-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom house in Frenchman’s Creek Beach & Country Club for $740,000. The home has a two-car garage and a pool that’s surrounded by thick landscaping for privacy, but the...
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed

One person is dead and five are in the hospital after a crash near Palm Springs Thursday evening, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Crews were called to a multiple-vehicle crash near Melaleuca Lane and Congress Avenue at 5 p.m. Several people were trapped inside a vehicle that was on fire, according to Capt. Albert Borroto, the spokesperson...
More Stories