Trump headed to Mar-a-Lago for third straight weekend, obliterating campaign promise

Trump to spend yet another weekend hobnobbing with rich folks who pay for access.

President Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on February 10. CREDIT: MPI10 / MediaPunch/IPX
President Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on February 10. CREDIT: MPI10 / MediaPunch/IPX

On February 17, President Trump will head to his $200,000-per-membership Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach for the third consecutive weekend, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Each trip reportedly costs taxpayers upward of $3 million.

Trump’s reluctance to spend a weekend in Washington stands in contrast to what he promised during the campaign, when he said he’d “rarely leave the White House.”

“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump told a reporter in 2015. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off.”

Trump would argue that he’s working during his weekend getaways to Mar-a-Lago, but he might be doing more harm than good.

On Saturday, the president had to deal with an international crisis during a dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, creating a situation where members of the club and wait staff were able to watch and listen in as the two heads of state grappled with matters of war and peace. Aides reportedly used their cell phones to illuminate sensitive documents on a dimly-lit terrace.

Earlier Saturday, Trump played golf with Abe — marking the second time he hit the links since his January 20 inauguration. Trump repeatedly criticized President Obama for golfing during his presidency:

Last month, the Trump Organization announced that initiation fees for Mar-a-Lago membership were doubling to $200,000. For that price, members get access to the president, including the opportunity to take selfies with senior White House staff.

And the chance to publicly identify one of the people who carries the nuclear football for the president.

Members even have opportunities take an iconic shot of Trump, with Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn in the frame.

https://twitter.com/7im/status/831015242310119424

Meanwhile, Trump has canceled a planned trip to Vienna, Ohio. He was scheduled to depart Thursday. The president reportedly was going there to deliver a speech and sign a bill reversing an Obama administration rule meant to keep coal mines from dumping waste in streams.

While Trump’s reckless handling of Saturday’s North Korea missile test crisis from a dining table at Mar-a-Lago raised concerns, one club member — Richard DeAgazio, the guy who snapped the above photos with Bannon and Trump’s nuclear football handler — applauded his conduct.

“He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” DeAgazio told the Washington Post.

UPDATE (2/15, 3 p.m.): Trump has now confirmed he’ll be in Florida this weekend.

It was just a few months ago that Trump criticized then-President Obama for spending his time speaking at rallies instead of focusing all his energy on presidential duties.