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One dead, one injured in West Palm Beach shooting

Trump steers clear of ‘tax march’ as hundreds protest near Mar-a-Lago


Several hundred protesters got within sight — and perhaps earshot — of Mar-a-Lago on Saturday afternoon to demand President Donald Trump release his income tax returns as anti-Trump demonstrators participated in a series of nationwide marches.

Trump, whose Easter weekend visit is the seventh Palm Beach trip of his presidency, stayed clear of the demonstration outside his tropical White House.

» Photos: President Donald Trump's Easter visit to Mar-a-Lago

» Photos: Tax March in West Palm Beach 

After spending about 4½ hours at his nearby Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach, the president’s motorcade did not return to Mar-a-Lago via its customary route along Southern Boulevard, where protesters were chanting and waving signs on Bingham Island.

Instead, Trump’s motorcade crossed into Palm Beach farther north, then went south on Ocean Boulevard to ferry him to Mar-a-Lago at 1:50 p.m.

“We’re very disappointed,” Sharon Adams of West Palm Beach said as it became apparent the president wouldn’t see the protest. “He’s scared. He’s avoiding everybody. He is avoiding taking responsibility.”

Adams and her friend, Paula Ferrari of Jupiter, said they plan to show up Sunday to catch the president’s motorcade to Palm Beach International Airport when he leaves town.

“He’ll see us. He’ll see our signs,” Adams vowed.

Saturday’s nationwide “tax marches” were scheduled to coincide with the traditional April 15 deadline for filing federal income taxes, though this year’s deadline is Tuesday. The West Palm Beach demonstration began outside the Trump Plaza towers on South Flagler Boulevard — buildings Trump hasn’t owned for more than 20 years but that still bear his name.

Trump supporters in a garish “Trumpmobile” made from two Mercedes Benz station wagons drove by the protesters a few times, drawing boos as the march began.

“No more secrets, no more lies. Show us your taxes, show us your ties,” demonstrators chanted near the beginning of the march.

“He needs to be transparent in his business dealings. We want to know what his conflicts really are,” said Kathleen Norris of Stuart. “I think there are dealings with foreign governments he needs to come clean with.”

While Trump’s tax returns were the stated cause of Saturday’s rallies, protesters aired a wide array of grievances.

“I have a litany of issues with this administration and showing his taxes is just one,” said Joan Friedenberg of Boynton Beach.

She mentioned Trump’s Cabinet picks, his opposition to federal funding for Planned Parenthood, his pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, his stance on immigration and his campaign vow to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

“While he is out on the golf course, we are trying to demonstrate and make ourselves heard,” said Ed Hertzberg, 88, of Boytnon Beach. “The tax issue is one thing, but his whole outlook — it is 18th century thinking.”

Related: Only incident came in West Palm when Trump supporter threw eggs at protesters

Diane Rice of Wellington and Al Scharnitz of Palm Beach Gardens helped carry a sign protesting the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline. Mitzi Kaitz of Delray Beach carried a “Where is Marco?” sign to criticize Sen. Marco Rubio for avoiding town hall meetings with constituents.

Trump arrived Thursday without top White House aides and did not have public events on his schedule Friday or Saturday.

The president golfed at Trump International on Friday and, while the White House did not reveal what he was doing there Saturday, a heavy security presence on the course appeared consistent with presidential time on the links. Saturday’s outing appeared to be the 16th time Trump has played golf since taking office — a rate of once every 5.4 days.

Former President Barack Obama, whose golf habits were frequently criticized by Trump, played an estimated 333 rounds of golf as president — a rate of once every 8.8 days he was in office.


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