Trump plans to live at Mar-a-Lago, employ some current aides

Jennifer Jacobs and Saleha Mohsin
Bloomberg

Donald Trump plans to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida the morning of Joe Biden’s inauguration, where several current White House staff are expected to work for him or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, after his presidency, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump intends to live at the Palm Beach resort, the people said, though some of his future neighbors are trying to stop him from taking up permanent residence.

In this April 2, 2020, file photo, White House adviser Jared Kushner listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a White House press briefing in Washington.

The White House is considering holding a send-off event for Trump before he leaves Washington, according to a person familiar with the planning. But no final decisions have been made about the format or the location of the event, the person said. Former President Barack Obama delivered farewell remarks in 2017 at Joint Base Andrews before his final flight on the presidential aircraft.

This week, the State Department extended an invitation to Biden and his wife, Jill, to stay at Blair House, a historic home near the White House, the night before the inauguration on Jan. 20, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Donald Trump speaks to White House special assistant to the president Nick Luna, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The Bidens have accepted, people familiar with the matter say, continuing a tradition for presidents-elect.

Special Assistant to the President and Oval Office Coordinator Molly Michael walks to join President Donald Trump as he departs the White House, Friday, May 1, 2020, in Washington.

There has been uncertainty in the White House about where Trump would go after his presidency. Aides had assumed Mar-a-Lago, but the president hadn’t told them his plans or said publicly what he’ll do after leaving the White House, the people said.

Kushner plans to live at least part of the time in Miami with his wife, Ivanka Trump, the people said.

Trump aides who may work for him after the White House include Nick Luna, the director of Oval Office Operations and Trump’s “body man;” Molly Michael, a deputy assistant to Trump; and Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the people said. Luna’s wife, Cassidy Luna, a deputy assistant to the president, may work for Kushner.

The people asked not to be identified because he hasn’t made them public and might change his mind.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and White House legislative aide Cassidy Hutchinson dance to the song YMCA as President Donald Trump ends a campaign rally at Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Swanton, Ohio.

After some speculation among aides that he might leave earlier, Trump now plans to depart Washington for Florida the morning of Jan. 20, according to two people familiar with the matter. The president on Jan. 8 announced he would not attend Biden’s inauguration, after his false claims that the election was stolen from him inspired a bloody riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

It was his last tweet before Twitter permanently suspended his account over concerns he could use it to spark more violence. Vice President Mike Pence – who angered Trump by refusing to go along with his bid to overturn the election and was furious with the president following the riot – will attend Biden’s inauguration.

Presidents are not constitutionally required to attend the inaugurations of their successors, but they traditionally do so to symbolize the importance of transferring power peacefully.

Boxes, Stuffed Pheasant

A lawyer representing several of Trump’s neighbors has demanded that Palm Beach declare that the outgoing president can’t live at Mar-a-Lago, citing an agreement he made with the city in the early 1990s when he converted the property from a private residence to a private club, according to the Washington Post. So far, the city is not known to have done anything that would prevent Trump from living there.

Trump’s staff have begun to vacate the White House. On Wednesday, a photographer for Reuters snapped the president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, carrying a large, framed photograph of one of Trump’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping out of the White House. Photographers also saw Meadows’s wife, Debbie Meadows, packing a stuffed pheasant into the trunk of a car along with boxes.