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Trump in Palm Beach: Roy Moore support, media scorn, no golf

President Donald Trump, spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate, reiterated his support for Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s controversial Senate bid on Saturday and hammered the media over a pair of high-profile erroneous stories while also fitting in a side trip to Mississippi.

Trump also shattered precedent by not visiting one of his golf courses — the first time in nine presidential weekends at Mar-a-Lago that he hasn’t taken a Saturday trip to either the Trump International Golf Club outside West Palm Beach or Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

>>This weekend’s photos: Trump visits Palm Beach

Trump arrived at Mar-a-Lago just before midnight on Friday after appearing at a rally in Pensacola. In a packed arena only 15 miles from the Alabama state line, Trump urged voters in Tuesday’s special election to support Moore, who has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 and pursuing relationships with other teenagers when he was in his 30s.

Trump followed up from Mar-a-Lago on Saturday morning with a tweet that said he had seen a “big contingent of very enthusiastic Roy Moore fans” in Pensacola. He branded Democrat Doug Jones a “Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Democrat” and added: “Need your vote to Make America Great Again! Jones will always vote against what we must do for our Country.”

>> Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

Trump also tweeted condemnation for CNN and ABC News for recent reports that suggested collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia before the networks admitted they were in error.

“Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday,” Trump tweeted at 8:02 a.m. Saturday. “They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his ‘mistake’). Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?”

Less than an hour later, Trump left Mar-a-Lago to take Air Force One to Jackson, Miss., to attend the openings of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

» Follow our Trump in Palm Beach Facebook page

The president returned to Mar-a-Lago at 2:37 p.m. after personally telling reporters on Air Force One that there would be no other events to cover for the rest of the day. Trump told Twitter followers he planned to watch the annual Army-Navy football game, which began at 3 p.m. in snowy Philadelphia.

Trump’s rain-soaked motorcade to Palm Beach International Airport in the morning and his afternoon trip from PBIA to Mar-a-Lago drew a few supporters and protesters along Southern Boulevard while others were merely there by happenstance.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Trump in Palm Beach

Jose Perez was visiting La Familia Coin Laundry on Southern Boulevard when he stepped outside to watch the procession of more than 30 vehicles roll by. Perez said he’s not interested in politics, but was taken by the motorcade.

“It’s impressive,” Perez said.

Trump supporter Albert Nosaris stood nearby wearing a Make America Great Again cap and waving a red, white and blue banner proclaiming, “President Donald Trump Make America Great Again.”

Jason Brockman said he liked that “Trump is who he is. … You get him. It’s as honest as it gets.”

But Brockman said he sometimes cringes at Trump’s tweets.

“Just because we have the technology doesn’t mean you have to use it,” Brockman said. “Sometimes, when he’s blowing off steam, he should just blow it off on the wall or into the mirror.”

Some Trump opponents gathered farther west to watch the motorcade.

Century Village resident Richard Jackson, making his first visit to a Trump motorcade, held a sign urging the president to resign. His friend Alan Hunter of Palm Beach Gardens, a veteran of two previous protests, held a sign that read: “Traitor? Or Just A Dupe?”

Trump plans to wrap up his Mar-a-Lago visit Sunday and return to Washington late in the day.

Staff writers Chelsea Todaro and Jane Musgrave contributed to this story.

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