Re­port: Kelly to limit Mar-a-Lago ac­cess

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

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.

Shan­non Don­nelly / Daily News

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.


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