- By George Bennett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
President Donald Trump hosted a re-election fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday — his second event with political donors in less than 24 hours — before returning to Washington in the afternoon with first lady Melania Trump.
Trump’s visit to Palm Beach lasted a little less than 24 hours, making it the briefest of his 14 Mar-a-Lago trips as president. Air Force One arrived at 3:08 p.m. Friday and departed at 2:38 p.m. Saturday.
Though truncated, the trip still featured most of the elements of a typical Trump visit to Palm Beach: a side trip to nearby Trump International Golf Club, some grenade-lobbing on Twitter and cheers from the familiar band of supporters who gather along Southern Boulevard to greet his motorcades.
Trump, who arrived Friday after attending the Rev. Billy Graham’s funeral in North Carolina, spoke to about 200 Republican National Committee donors at Mar-a-Lago Friday night. According to social media posts, attendees included Florida Crystals President and Palm Beach resident Pepe Fanjul and Pastor Mark Burns, the South Carolina evangelist who has been a prominent Trump supporter and is running for Congress in his home state.
On Saturday morning, Trump left his estate at 8 a.m. — a little earlier than is his custom — to make the 4½-mile trip to his golf club in unincorporated West Palm Beach. The presidential motorcade arrived at the golf club at 8:16 a.m.
According to tracking by NBC News and by CNN, Saturday’s visit to Trump International marked the 100th day in office that the president has visited a Trump-branded golf property. The outings have been to four sites: Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., his club outside Washington in Sterling, Va.; Trump International on Summit Boulevard and Trump National in Jupiter.
Trump spent about three hours at the golf club Saturday and returned to Mar-a-Lago at about 11:30 a.m. wearing a red USA hat and white golf shirt.
Before dropping in on a 1:15 p.m. “Trump Victory reception,” Trump retweeted son Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet quoting conservative commentator Mark Levin, who said the media’s attacks on Trump and his family are “unparalleled in American history.”
The president added: “Mainstream Media in U.S. is being mocked all over the world. They’ve gone CRAZY!”
Trump also tweeted twice from Mar-a-Lago to defend his call for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and to threaten a tax on European cars if the European Union retaliates against the U.S. tariffs.
Trump’s midday fundraiser was a joint effort between his 2020 re-election campaign and the RNC, with tickets starting at $2,700 per person. The event was originally scheduled for the evening, but was pushed to the daytime after Trump made plans to attend Saturday night’s Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington.
Trump stayed longer than expected at his fundraiser, which was closed to the press. He left Mar-a-Lago at 2:19 p.m..
Dozens of Trump supporters — and one critic holding a sign that said “Russian Stooge” — lined Southern Boulevard as the motorcade sped toward Palm Beach International Airport. “The Best President In U.S. History,” said one sign. “Thank You,” said another. A truck near Southern and South Dixie Highway featured large LED images of a smiling Trump and a waving American flag.
FULL COVERAGE: Trump in Palm Beach
The White House has not announced when Trump will next visit Palm Beach. He is scheduled to attend a campaign rally in Pittsburgh next Saturday evening.