Trump in Palm Beach: President rips Democrats, briefed on Hawaii missile mishap


Tweeting from his Mar-a-Lago estate and from his motorcade on the way to his golf club on Saturday, President Donald Trump tried to regain the initiative in immigration talks with Democrats after his vulgar disparagement of Haiti and Africa caused an international uproar.

The president, spending the three-day Martin Luther King Day weekend at his tropical White House, was also briefed on the false missile alert in Hawaii and received an “in-depth update” on China and other trade issues from U.S. Trade Representative and Palm Beach resident Robert Lighthizer, the White House said.

Trump spent about four hours at Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach on Saturday. While he was there, a text alert from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency told residents to seek shelter because of an incoming ballistic missile.

Within 11 minutes, Hawaii emergency managers confirmed the threat was false and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard alerted Twitter followers that it was a false alarm.

“The president has been briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Trump met with Lighthizer or when he was briefed on the Hawaii false alarm. The White House didn’t reveal whether Trump played golf, but the president was wearing a red USA baseball cap and white polo shirt when he returned from his golf club.

This 11th Palm Beach visit of Trump’s presidency comes after immigration talks in Washington broke down on Thursday and attendees of an Oval Office meeting said Trump questioned why the U.S. should accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa.

On Saturday morning, Trump twice accused Democrats of being “all talk and no action” on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a key piece of immigration discussions and a potential sticking point in a spending deal to keep the federal government running beyond Saturday.

DACA, created by a 2012 executive order by former President Barack Obama, shields from deportation an estimated 800,000 young non-citizens who were brought to the U.S. as minors. Trump cancelled the Obama executive order in September and gave Congress until March to come up with a legislative solution for the people now protected by DACA.

In exchange for a DACA extension, Trump wants Congress to approve heightened border security, an end to a visa lottery aimed at increasing immigrant diversity and limits to immigrants’ ability to sponsor family members to join them in America.

“I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA,” Trump tweeted from Mar-a-Lago at 8:14 a.m. “They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!”

While his motorcade was making the 4½-mile trip from Mar-a-Lago to Trump International at 9:20 a.m., Trump hurled the accusation again on Twitter.

“The Democrats are all talk and no action. They are doing nothing to fix DACA. Great opportunity missed. Too bad!” Trump tweeted.

The president arrived at the golf club at 9:26 a.m. and left at 1:38 p.m. He returned to Mar-a-Lago shortly before 2 p.m. and was expected to remain there the rest of Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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