Trump International Golf Club Sign Was Vandalized & The Secret Service Is Investigating
Just a 15-minute drive from where the president spent the weekend at Mar-A-Lago, vandals went to town attacking Trump property. The sign at the Trump International Golf Club was vandalized, splattered with red paint that partially covered up the lettering and dripped down over the surrounding stone.
A paint can was left at the scene. ABC News reported it was the sign at the left entrance to the club, as there are several. What time the crime occurred is a mystery, but two vans from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department had already arrived to the scene by 10 p.m. on Saturday night. The Secret Service will also investigate.
Trump was at the golf club on Saturday, though it's unclear whether or not he was golfing. The president likes to keep his golfing routine under wraps, but the Palm Beach Post often covers his whereabouts during his Florida visits.
Trump spent five and a half hours at the golf club on Friday and another seven hours on Saturday. Also reportedly at the club was Fox News' Sean Hannity. A CNN reporter also tweeted that Trump and Hannity had dined together at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night.
The paint was removed by golf club employees, and local media was able to see the lasting damage up close and personal. The paint seems to have come off the lettering more quickly, while more paint remains on the stone base of the sign.
While a bit dramatic, this is relatively good news regarding a Trump sign — at least when you compare it to recent headlines. In March, Trump's name was removed from a property in Panama City. That was after a 12-day standoff between the owners and the Trump Organization, which was managing the location's hotel.
"Our investment has no future so long as the hotel is managed by an incompetent operator whose brand has been tarnished beyond repair," the owner of the building wrote to his co-investors. The Trump Organization has claimed it would prevail in court.
Meanwhile in Chicago, before Trump was president, the sign on his hotel and condo building caused a large controversy. The sign was so big that the Mayor Rahm Emanuel took moves to prevent anything similar ever going up in Chicago. "Mayor Emanuel believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign," Emanuel's spokesperson said in 2014.
“I want to make sure that on a future basis that we have the planning development and all the ordinances in a way that reflect the city’s beautiful architecture,” Emanuel told The Chicago Tribune after it went up. “And if we have to tighten that up, I’ve asked my staff to look at it so a situation like this doesn’t emerge in the future.”
In Chicago, local activists did not use paint (the letters are 200 feet off the ground), but they did think of another way to hide it from view. A design firm has come up with a plan to float giant gold helium pig balloons in the Chicago River in front of Trump Tower. They would be hung just high enough to block the signage from view on the street level. The plan did not get the administrative go-ahead last year, but some still hope the art installation will go ahead in 2018.
If not, a sculpture placed nearby has plenty thinking that it might be a commentary on Trump. It is also gold and is called "Real Fake" with both words spelled out in capital letters. It's been placed just across the street from the tower, where many tourists flip off the building (and thus president) in selfies.
The Trump International Golf Club needs to think about moving its signs further up.