Trump is now set to leave Palm Beach before his annual New Year’s Eve party, although guests have already gathered at his South Florida club and been told Trump will be in attendance, according to three people familiar with the matter. The president usually enjoys being on the red carpet in front of the press and his friends, but he’s ditching the event altogether this year in what would be an extraordinary move.
In the president’s daily general schedule for Thursday, the White House announced that the president and first lady Melania Trump will leave Florida at 11 a.m. ET to return to the White House.
He has been in temper for most of the trip and angry at everything from the election result to the renovations of First Lady Melania Trump to his private residences, according to several people who spoke with him.
At one point, Trump also said he was concerned that Iran might respond in the coming days to the US drone strike that killed the Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, a year ago. Someone’s speculation could have been a contributing factor to his early departure. Trump was on Mar-a-Lago when he ordered the strike on Soleimani on January 3, 2020.
Before departing for Palm Beach, he learns of Vice President Mike Pence’s role in the certification procedure on Capitol Hill, which is often ceremonial. While he was traveling to Florida for his vacation, Trump retweeted a call from one of his Pence supporters refusing to endorse the January 6 Electoral College count.
While in Florida, Trump has repeatedly raised the date January 6 with members of Congress and other partners, according to people familiar with the talks. He pressed the senators over whether to approve the Conservative House of Representatives to veto the results.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley, Missouri, became the first senator to say Wednesday he would object, which would delay – but not alter – the election results of the election commission.
Trump also tweeted to his supporters that he would see them in Washington on that date, referring to large protests planned in the capital.
In Florida, Trump has been surrounded by people who mostly support his futile election efforts, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. Even while fighting the results publicly, one of the questions he polled repeatedly was whether he should attend Biden’s inauguration.
Trump recently told people that Pence is not doing enough to fight for him as his presidency expires, and he recently cared about the traditional role of Pence while endorsing. As President of the Senate, Pence chairs the proceedings.
Sources say that, prior to his leave, Trump brought the matter up to the vice president and was “confused” about why Pence was unable to cancel the January 6 election results. Pence and his aides at the White House tried to explain to him. His role is more formal and he cannot unilaterally reject the Electoral College votes.
Pence had once planned to go abroad shortly after his January 6 certification. But people familiar with the matter said plans for a trip to the Middle East and Europe have now been put on hold.
Pence spent the Christmas holidays on vacation in Vail, Colorado.