Nearly four years ago, when he took the oath of office, President Trump was not spending his Thanksgiving for the first time at a resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Although the president initially traveled to Palm Beach for the vacation, Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s first lady spokeswoman, tweeted last week that the Trumps had decided to stay in the White House instead.
“Update holiday schedule: @POTUS & @flotus is celebrating Thanksgiving this year at @WhiteHouse,” he wrote.
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In 2017 and 2018, Trump remained in Mar-a-Lago during the Thanksgiving celebration, calling troops to overseas bases and visiting the local coast guard station. In 2019, he also stayed at Mar-a-Lago and flew from there to Afghanistan for a surprise visit with the troops.
Trump, who has been mostly low-profile since Joe Biden was declared the November 3 election winner, continues the tradition of calling White House troops in the late afternoon by teleconferencing video calls with members of the Army in the late afternoon.
“This season of gratitude, we also recognize those who cannot be with their families. This includes brave American patriots in our armed forces who selflessly defend our sacred freedom at home and abroad,” Trump said in Wednesday’s annual Thanksgiving manifesto.
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He continued: “We take a break to remember the victims of our law enforcement staff and first aiders. We are deeply grateful for all those who continue to watch over the holidays and keep us safe as we celebrate and give thanks for the blessings of our lives.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a Wednesday morning interview with “Fox & Friends” that Trump changed his plans because he was “working hard.”
“The president is working hard at COVID, including reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing men and women home,” he said. “She’s working hard, so she’s staying here in the White House, and it’s going to be a nice Thanksgiving for her and the first lady here in the White House.”
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In the weeks since the election, Trump has refused to let the election into Biden and has made a number of legal challenges in key battlefield states against the election results.
Meanwhile, last week, the president-elect said he would hold a Thanksgiving celebration for three people.
“I have a large family you’ve probably heard a lot about.” We’re doing everything together, ”he said in a virtual meeting with healthcare workers, adding,“ Well, we’re just not going to be three. ”