UPDATE 4:21 p.m.: Air Force One touched down at Palm Beach International Airport shortly before 3 p.m. today.
A group of supporters on the tarmac chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” when they saw the president. Although the president waved, he did not go over and shake hands, as he has done in the past.
The president exited the aircraft through a lower door of the 757 instead of through the usual, higher door, which requires he step down a much taller, red-carpeted staircase that is rolled up to the side of Air Force One. It is the second time he has used the much smaller, metal staircase.
Exiting behind the president were Chief of Staff John Kelly and Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller.
National Security Adviser John Bolton, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council exited from the rear of the plane.
First Lady Melania Trump arrived earlier in the day aboard an official 737, a smaller version of Air Force One, according to a White House official. That plane took off about an hour before Air Force One landed.
The president’s motorcade drove directly to Mar-a-Lago. The president is not expected to leave his private club for the rest of the day.
Hours before his arrival a billboard along the motorcade route that called for the president’s impeachment was replaced with a Panera Bread ad.
The lease on the billboard, put up by Mad Dog Pac, an anti-Trump committee, expired on Monday.
A billboard thanking the president, put up by Trump supporters, remains on the opposite side of the new Panera Bread billboard.
The new Panera Bread ad puts an end to the month-long billboard battle along the president’s motorcade route. However, the dueling billboards will be back.
Mad Dog PAC will again put up its impeachment billboard when the Panera Bread billboard lease expires in mid-May.
Mad Dog PAC co-founder Claude Taylor said the impeachment billboard will remain up along the motorcade route “until Trump is driven from office.”
UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: The President passes supporters and protesters along Southern Boulevard.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: President Trump has arrived at Palm Beach International Airport. It is his 17th visit to Palm Beach County since his tenure in the White House began.
UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: First lady Melania Trump has arrived at Palm Beach International Airport prior to the arrival of her husband, the president.
President Trump is expected at PBIA shortly.
Melania Trump has arrived at Palm Beach International Airport on a separate plane. The president flew in Air Force On w/ several top advisers to Miami this morning for a round table on taxes. @realDonaldTrump expected to arrive in Palm Beach about 3 pm. @FLOTUS @pbpost pic.twitter.com/49wB3WGTmb— Christine Stapleton (@StapletonPBPost) April 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Trump supporters and protesters have already begun to line Southern Boulevard in anticipation.
Supporters wait for @POTUS @realdonaldtrump motorcade from PBIA to Mar-a-Lago. Ruth Field Beck (r), suburban Lake Worth, says she and husband Ed try to get out for all the visits. pic.twitter.com/1qWPcXedVU— Eliot Kleinberg (@eliotkpbp) April 16, 2018
Rita Supp, of West Palm Beach, said she was never motivated to protest against a president until @Real DonaldTrump came along. “I have made a commitment to come out here every time he comes into town and protest,” she said while standing on Southern Boulevard. pic.twitter.com/1BXv43kPyi— Jorge Milian (@caneswatch) April 16, 2018
In Hialeah, President Trump pumped up the tax cuts he signed into law in December, saying the American economy is “starting to rock.”
The president also slammed Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, saying the Democrat was hostile to his cuts and aiming instead to raise taxes.
UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: President Trump has arrived in Hialeah for a roundtable discussion on tax cuts. He received a big cheer from the crowd when he said his administration had been “tough on Cuba.”
Also with the president are National Security Adviser John Bolton, Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
UPDATE 11:57 a.m.: Also traveling to Florida with the president today, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
Heading to Florida with @POTUS today to discuss the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at a small business roundtable. Looking forward to hearing from Floridians how tax reform is helping small businesses grow, increase wages, and hire more workers.— Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) April 16, 2018
UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Washington Post reporter David Nakamura offers some insight into Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago this week.
I was asking a Japan expert in Washington about whether Tokyo felt the Trump-Abe summit in Mar-a-Lago next week would have been better held at the WH. He responded that a Japanese official told him: "18 holes of golf offer 18 opportunities to reinforce key points on North Korea."— (@DavidNakamura)Apr 13 2018
UPDATE 11:31 a.m.: Preparations are underway for the president’s visit today to Miami-Dade County.
Everything has a Palm Beach connection if you look hard enough. #sixdegreesofPB
UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: President Trump began his tweeting today taking aim at former FBI Director James Comey.
Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018
UPDATE 9:58 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an alert to pilots for VIP travel to Key West on Thursday.
The alert does not name the VIP but closes airspace in the area between 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
UPDATE 9:53 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration extended its VIP alert to pilots this morning, indicating the president will remain in Palm Beach through Sunday, April 22.
According to the alert, the president will likely leave by 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Town of Palm Beach has also issued a travel alert about road closures near Mar-a-Lago through Sunday.
President’s next visit
President Donald Trump will arrive in Palm Beach this afternoon and brings with him the most controversial issues of his presidency: the firing of ex-FBI director James Comey, his relationship with adult film star Stormy Daniels and Russia.
After a short round-table discussion on tax reform in Miami, Air Force One is expected to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport at about 3 p.m. for what is expected to be a 4-day visit.
Although Federal Aviation Administration notices indicate the president will leave on Thursday, traffic alerts from the Town of Palm Beach indicate he may stay until Sunday.
While the president is en route to Mar-a-Lago his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, will appear at a federal court hearing related to the FBI’s raid last week of his office and home.
Cohen is the target of a criminal investigation pertaining to $130,000 hush money he paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the November 2016 election to prevent her from talking about her alleged relationship with the president.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Donald Trump in Palm Beach
Also today, will the president respond to former FBI Director James Comey’s claim that he is morally unfit to be president? Comey made the assertion during an hour-long interview on ABC news that aired Sunday night.
Comey’s tell-all book about his time as FBI Director under Trump will be released on Tuesday. But already the president has lashed out at Comey, calling him a “slimeball” and “liar” in tweets over the weekend.
Meanwhile in Washington, Congress is expected to react to airstrikes in Syria late Friday that targeted the chemical weapons facilities near Damascus.
United States' Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday the Trump administration will announce more sanctions against Russia as soon as Monday - in response to its support of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump are still scheduled to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort Tuesday and Wednesday. Sources said the Abes also are to depart Thursday.
This week’s visit is president’s 17th to Mar-a-Lago since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.