Report: Kelly to limit Mar-a-Lago access
If you’re one of the select few who can pony up for a membership to President Donald Trump’s Mar-aLago (which starts at $200,000 with a one-time initiation fee plus thousands in annual dues), hoping to get a glimpse of the president or maybe even a selfie, you may not be in luck this season.
According to Vanity Fair, Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, has developed a “Mar-a-Lago strategy” to prevent Trump from getting advice from club members and friends. The plans, according to sources, include trying to keep Trump “out of the dining room.”
Trump has visited Palm Beach nine times since November, many of the visits coming in the heart of season. He was president during seven visits and president-elect for two of them.
Trump and first lady Melania at times popped in on fundraisers at the club, or chatted with club members.
During one memorable dinner, on Feb. 11, as the president and first lady were hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife on the terrace at Mar-aLago, it was learned that the North Koreans had launched a missile.
As staff members and heads of state huddled at the table, printed reports were passed around and examined by the light of cellphones or flashlights. The scene played out in front of at least 100 people, members or guests of the club. The Washington Post referred to the incident as an “open-air situation room.”
One member of Mara-Lago even took a selfie with the man who apparently held the “nuclear football,” a briefcase that holds information the president would use to authorize a nuclear attack.
At a dinner with President and Mrs. Trump at The Mar-a-Lago Club in February, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (seated) is surrounded by aides huddled around reports after he and the president (blocked from view) learned of a missile launch by North Korea.