After 18-day hiatus, president returns to Palm Beach on Friday


President Donald Trump will return to Palm Beach this weekend after an 18-day, golf-less hiatus he filled with a business summit in Switzerland, a government shutdown, nationwide protests and the fallout from an alleged affair with a porn star.

The president is expected to arrive Friday around 6:15 p.m. and return to Washington, D.C., on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. There is no word on whether the First Lady Melania Trump, the couple’s 11-year-old son Barron or or other family members will also visit.

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The establishment of checkpoints and road closures in and around Mar-A-Lago, the president’s private club, will begin Friday, by 6 a.m. Traffic delays and road closures are expected through Sunday, Feb. 4.

It’s likely the president will play golf at one of his two courses in Palm Beach County. As for where he will watch the Super Bowl, the president traditionally watches the game  at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach including last year, just two weeks into his presidency.

GALLERY: Browse photos from the presiden’t 2017 Super Bowl part at Trump International 

His attire at this past year’s event was more formal than worn to most Super Bowl parties — a dark blue suit and bright red tie. His former chief of staff, Reince Preibus, wore the same outfit and brought his family along. Guests sat at round tables with blue table clothes rather than couches and Lazy-Boys and sipped ice water and tea from glasses rather than beer from bottles and red cups.

The Palm Beach Central High School band greeted the president and first lady before they joined a few hundred guests — many members of Mar-a-Lago and the golf club. But he left the party during the third quarter, missing the Patriots’ stunning fourth-quarter comeback, sending the game into overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history, then driving for a touchdown to win the game 34-28.

Trump has not revealed whether he will root for the Patriots, owned by close friend Robert Kraft, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Kraft has said that he and Trump forged a stronger friendship when Kraft’s philanthropist wife of nearly 50 years, Myra, died of cancer in 2011 at 68. Her death devastated Kraft, and Trump and his wife Melania expressed a continuing concern for him and his family.

Kraft even gave Trump a Super Bowl LI ring after his Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl this past year. But the men have found themselves at odds over the president’s vehement condemnation of NFL players who kneel during the playing of the national anthem before games as a sign of solidarity for what they perceive as unfair treatment of minorities in the country.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Kraft went so far as to issue a statement saying he was “deeply disappointed” by the tone of the president’s 

comments: “I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

As for golf, the president last played at his West Palm Beach course over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 12-15. The president had planned to visit the following weekend but he canceled when the government shut down. Not only did he miss golf, but also a big-ticket fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago honoring his first year in office.

This past year the president spent three consecutive weekends in February in Palm Beach.

cstapleton@pbpost.com

@stapletonpbpost on Twitter



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