- Wayne Washington Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The administration again provided no details on whether the president golfed or simply relaxed at Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated Palm Beach County. No readout, however, was necessary to know what was on Trump’s mind at various points during the day Thursday.
After he left his Mar-a-Lago estate Thursday on Palm Beach for a quick, uneventful trip to Trump International, Trump tweeted out a shot at Vanity Fair, blasting the magazine, which recently apologized for a video about the president’s bete noire, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In doing so, the president used an abbreviation for the “Crooked Hillary” nickname he frequently uses for the rival he vanquished nearly 14 months ago. Trump also took a shot at a former Clinton donor he described as Vanity Fair’s editor, Anna Wintour.
“Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!” Trump tweeted.
“CH” – Trumpian abbreviation for Crooked Hillary – might well have considered Wintour, a native of Great Britain, for an appointment had Clinton won the presidency. High-profile donors to successful presidential campaigns often get plum diplomatic posts. (Trump selections for ambassador to Canada, Italy, Belgium — and Britain — donated to his campaign, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times.)
Vanity Fair did apologize for a New Year’s video of Clinton it said “missed the mark.”
But it wasn’t Wintour who was “begging for forgiveness.” She is the editor of Vogue, not Vanity Fair.
Another presidential tweet, this one issued at midday, found the president taking aim at China.
“Caught RED HANDED — very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea,” the president tweeted. “There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping during a much-heralded summit at Mar-a-Lago in April.
As a candidate, Trump made China a frequent target for his barbs, saying it had taken advantage of the U.S. in trade and that, upon his election, the one-sided business relationship would end.
At the Mar-a-Lago summit with Xi, however, it wasn’t a table-pounding deal-maker who greeted Xi. That tact isn’t unusual; presidents typically don’t host world leaders to browbeat them, a major diplomatic no-no.
But Trump’s response to Xi at Mar-a-Lago was striking largely because of how, as a candidate, he had portrayed China to be a smart bully that had manhandled a hapless U.S.
“We have developed a friendship,” Trump said after meeting Xi at his Palm Beach estate, according to multiple press reports. “I can see that. I think, long term, we are going to have a very, very great relationship, and I look very much forward to it.”
Later, when the Chinese pulled out all of the stops to impress him during a Trump trip to Beijing in November, he was effusive in his praise of Xi, who had not long before given himself more power over his vast nation.
If a recent report from a South Korean newspaper is to be believed, Trump’s comments in Palm Beach County and Beijing have not bought Chinese compliance in observing sanctions imposed against North Korea because of its burgeoning nuclear program.
The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo has reported that U.S. spy satellites observed Chinese ships transferring oil to North Korean ships in violation of U.S.-backed United Nations sanctions.
China is North Korea’s principal trading partner, and geopolitical experts have said its support is essential if the sanctions are to be effective in changing North Korean behavior.
Whether they are poking Clinton or prodding China, Trump’s tweets are part of what endears him to his base.
Some members of that base lined a portion of the Southern Boulevard bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on Thursday afternoon as Trump’s motorcade brought him back from his golf club to Mar-a-Lago.
Supporters waved, cheered and held aloft signs indicating their backing of the president, whose motorcade slowed markedly as it approached them.
Trump smiled and waved before returning to Mar-a-Lago for the evening, when he tweeted about the cold wave hitting the Eastern U.S. and global warming shortly after 7 p.m.