Trump’s New Year’s Eve Plans Have Changed & Mar-A-Lago Members Probably Aren't Going To Like It
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump was planning a holiday trip to Mar-a-Lago that was supposed to be his longest stay at the club since getting inaugurated. But the government shutdown has majorly disrupted his plans. On Friday, incoming Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox & Friends that Trump won't go to Florida for New Year's Eve and will instead stay in Washington D.C.
"He's canceled his plans for Christmas. Now he's canceled his plans for New Year's," Mulvaney said, per CNN. "He's staying in Washington, D.C. over New Year's." Bustle has reached out to the White House for confirmation that this is Trump's new plan.
It's bad news for Mar-a-Lago guests: The club had been planning a lavish ball that would let them, as the Portland Press Herald puts it, "party with the president on New Year's Eve." According to the Herald, Mar-a-Lago dramatically increased the prices of tickets this year for the occasion. Members will have to pay $650, and non-members, $1,000. There's also a hefty tax and gratuity that boosts the prices even more.
As it turns out, guests may have handed over that money only to lose the opportunity to spend time with Trump. Unless, of course, he changes his plans again.
Speaking to the Palm Beach Daily News, a source said of the president: "It's his event. ... I think a lot of people will be upset if he's not there." Others thought that the presence of other Trumps and members of the administration would help satisfy partygoers. Melania Trump arrived at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, for example, as WPTV reports.
Trump's original plan had him vacationing in Florida for 16 days, which would have been his longest stay there since becoming president, according to The Palm Beach Post. He would have left Dec. 21 and returned Jan. 6. Instead, he's been in D.C. this whole time to deal with the ramifications of the government shutdown.
"The president's been here, by the way, all weekend, all Christmas," Mulvaney told Fox & Friends on Friday, adding that he is "very heavily engaged on [the shutdown negotiations] on a minute-by-minute basis."
Even if Trump doesn't attend his gala, the shutdown hasn't changed the fact that taxpayers have been handed a steep bill for security at the event. Quartz reports that one security cost is a $54,020 charge for tents for the Secret Service.
Many budgets have been disrupted by the shutdown, though, including the ones responsible for paying about 800,000 federal employees, according to The New York Times. Although their tents will be paid for, the members of Trump's Secret Service team will not be receiving salaries until the shutdown is over, according to HuffPost.
Trump does not seem thrilled about staying in D.C. for the holidays. CNN reports that he was "looking forward" to the New Year's Eve ball and that he attends it almost every year. On Monday, the president tweeted about being "all alone" in the White House, adding: "poor me."