LATEST: Trump leaves Palm Beach after holiday of golfing, tweeting


A new year that President Donald Trump predicts will be “fantastic” and “tremendous” began Monday with the president conducting some Twitter diplomacy and visiting his nearby golf club before heading back to Washington.

Trump wrapped up a 10-day stay at his Mar-a-Lago estate, boarding Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport at about 4:20 p.m. with first lady Melania Trump and son Barron following him up the stairs into the plane.

Daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and their three children boarded shortly after the president. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer — both Palm Beach residents — were also aboard the flight to Washington, as was Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin.

Hundreds of people lined Southern Boulevard to watch Trump’s afternoon motorcade. Trump supporters — some of whom were rewarded Saturday with an invitation to meet the president — far outnumbered opponents.

Supporters displayed Trump campaign flags, hand-lettered pro-Trump signs and a few signs condemning “Fake News.” One woman waved an Israeli flag and a small truck displayed a large LED sign thanking Trump for supporting Israel. A group of six women dressed as handmaids from the novel and TV series “A Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts a Christian theocracy that subjugates women, stood along the route between signs that said “Resign” and “Phony.”

Trump rang in 2018 at Mar-a-Lago, where hundreds of tuxedoed and begowned guests who paid $600 to $750 a ticket entered the main ballroom on a red carpet and dined from a menu that included “Trump Iceberg Wedge,” Maine lobster ravioli, sliced tenderloin and sea bass and baked Alaska.

Trump, first lady Melania Trump and son Barron entered the ballroom around 9:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The president was quickly encircled by supporters, many hoisting smartphones to get a picture of him.

Before entering the gala, Trump paused on the red carpet to speak to reporters and predict a “fantastic 2018.”

He pointed to provisions in the tax bill that he signed in Washington on Dec. 22 before heading to Palm Beach

“We’re off to a very good start with the great tax cuts, ANWR (lifting a 40-year ban on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wilderness Reserve), getting rid of the individual mandate, which was very, very unpopular,” Trump said.

“We’re going to have a tremendous year. The stock market, I think, is going to continue to go up. Companies are going to continue to come into the country. And they’re doing it now, soon to be a record clip.”

On Monday, Trump’s first tweet of 2018 criticized Pakistan, which is seen by the Trump Administration as failing to do enough to combat terrorism. The New York Times last week reported the U.S. might withhold $225 million in aid to Pakistan.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump told Twitter followers at 7:12 a.m.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja M. Asif tweeted back: “We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah…Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction.”

Trump also continued to tweet in support of the large anti-government protests in Iran.

“Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration,” Trump tweeted at 7:44 a.m. “The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”

Trump then boarded his motorcade and headed, for the eighth straight day, to Trump International Golf Club on Summit Boulevard in unincorporated West Palm Beach. He arrived shortly before 9 a.m. and was joined by PGA Tour member Fred Funk and Funk’s son, golfer Taylor Funk.

The Funks completed an impressive roster of golfers who joined the president during his latest South Florida trip. Trump played with professional golfers Daniel Berger, Jim Herman and Justin Thomas on Dec. 23 and PGA Tour member Bryson DeChambeau and former professional golfer Dana Quigley on Dec. 26.

The president returned to Mar-a-Lago from the golf outing shortly after 2 p.m., then left about two hours later for the airport.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Migos producer arrested, accused of driving 125 mph on Georgia freeway
Migos producer arrested, accused of driving 125 mph on Georgia freeway

A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta, Georgia, police. Dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday. Thomas...
Tsunami warning issued after 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska coast
Tsunami warning issued after 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska coast

A tsunami warning is in effect after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska. >> Read more trending news 
Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet
Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said. Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that...
Woman who killed two children in murder-suicide had no history of ‘mental problems’
Woman who killed two children in murder-suicide had no history of ‘mental problems’

Dozens of people gathered Sunday night in northwest Charlotte to remember three lives lost. Mourners lit candles and prayed for Isaiah and Iliyah Miller, as well as their mother, Christina Treadway, near their home on Sebastiani Drive. Police said Treadway killed her two children before killing herself along Interstate 485 earlier this month...
Here’s what the children in the California torture house did to cope with the abuse
Here’s what the children in the California torture house did to cope with the abuse

Authorities are releasing more information about the California “torture house” where over a dozen children were kept in subhuman conditions by their parents, including that the victims kept journals. >> Read more trending news  Though the children in the home, ages 2 to 29, were only allowed to bathe twice a year and...
More Stories