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S President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida
S President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, FloridaMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump may be forced to spend Christmas in Washington — but in Palm Beach, where he was scheduled to spend the holiday, the massive security apparatus that travels with him is already in place.
The security perimeter that surrounds Mar-a-Lago when the President is in residence has already been established, with traffic diverted along Ocean Boulevard away from the resort.
Dozens of Secret Service agents and officers are already on the ground, using dogs to screen vehicles and guests entering the club.
Some White House staffers have also traveled down ahead of the President, but are increasingly doubtful he will arrive here today — if at all.
At the White House, aides have protectively been preparing for a departure in case a deal can be struck.
The President and first lady’s suitcases have been packed, according to a person familiar with the matter, and some of the aides who were supposed to travel with Trump also arrived to the White House today prepared to fly this afternoon, just in case.
At Palm Beach International Airport, preparations for Air Force One’s arrival had begun, including lining up dozens of yellow school busses to create a security barrier.
A new billboard on the route from the airport to Mar-a-Lago has also been erected. From far away it looks like an official Trump sign, but when the words come into view it becomes clear it’s not: “Impeachment Now: Make America America Again.” It’s paid for by something called the Mad Dog PAC.
The black, red and gold Trump-branded Boeing 757 is parked on the tarmac, and some of Trump’s family is already here.
Donald Trump Jr. spoke on Thursday evening alongside his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle at Mar-a-Lago, which was hosting a gala event for Turning Point USA, the group for young conservatives. Rush Limbaugh, Charlie Kirk and Candice Owens also spoke.
Mar-a-Lago employees have been told to prepare for any contingency, a person familiar with the instructions said.
Planning had been underway for a Christmas Eve dinner followed by midnight mass at nearby Bethesda by the Sea church, along with Christmas dinner and a black tie New Years Eve party. On January 5, Trump has also been expected to attend the Policeman’s Ball at the club.
At Trump International Golf Course, across the bridge in West Palm Beach, police officers have already set up positions around the exterior where cameras have sometimes captured a glimpse of the President golfing. New signs have been posted along the fence warning “No Trespassing” in both English and Spanish.