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Trumps cancel Mar-a-Lago Christmas amid shutdown

The first family won’t holiday in Mar-a-Lago for Christmas after all.

President Donald Trump announced he will cancel a scheduled Christmas vacation in Florida, the White House announced yesterday.

“Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the first lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Trump later announced he will stay in the White House while negotiations continue about a now-underway partial federal shutdown.

The president previously planned a 16-day trip to Mar-a-Lago over the holiday season. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert that originally stretched from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6, as reported by the Palm Beach Post. That’s six days longer than his Christmas vacation in Florida last year.

Trump has called Mar-a-Lago his second home — behind Manhattan.

CBS-12 reports First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron had arrived in Florida on Friday with plans to spend Christmas in Mar-a-Lago, a tradition that predates Trump’s time in the White House.

Now, the family will return to Washington, D.C. to have Christmas in the nation’s capital.

Officials say they have continued negotiations around a shutdown, but the Senate broke from a rare Saturday session without a deal, and senators do not expect to return until at least Dec. 27.

Hours before announcing his Florida trip had been canceled, Trump wrote that news of an enduring shutdown was “fake.”

“We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago provide plusses and minuses now that he’s president. The club profits from stays, including through massive golf cart rentals. But costs to law enforcement have been in the millions, with only a portion of that being reimbursed by the federal government.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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