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

The Coast Guard monitors a waterway near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Dec 29, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (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, Mr Jared Kushner, after his presidency, according to people familiar with the matter.

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

In Washington, the State Department extended an invitation to Mr 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.

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

There has been uncertainty in the White House about where Mr 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 would do after leaving the White House, the people said.

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

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

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

After some speculation among aides that he might leave earlier, Mr Trump now plans to depart Washington for Florida next Wednesday morning (Jan 20), according to two people familiar with the matter. The President on Jan 8 announced he would not attend Mr Biden's inauguration, after his false claims that the election was stolen from him inspired a bloody riot by his supporters at the US 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 Mr Trump by refusing to go along with his bid to overturn the election and was furious with the President following the riot - will attend the inauguration.

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

Boxes, stuffed pheasant

Workers move boxes out of the Eisenhower executive office building on the White House grounds on Jan 14, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

A lawyer representing several of Mr Trump's neighbours has demanded that Palm Beach declare that the outgoing president cannot 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 Mr Trump from living there. His staff have begun to vacate the White House. On Wednesday, a photographer for Reuters snapped the President's trade adviser, Mr 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 Mr Meadows' wife, Debbie, packing a stuffed pheasant into the trunk of a car along with boxes.

White House adviser Peter Navarro leaves the West Wing of the White House with a photograph of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan 13, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

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