WEST PALM BEACH, FL – President Donald Trump is interrupting a vacation in Florida and returning to Washington on Thursday, a day earlier than expected for reasons not explained by the White House.
The White House announced a sudden change in the president’s schedule late Wednesday, hours after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Said he would raise objections next week at a congressional meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
It is a futile attempt to stay in power by Trump following the failure of a number of legal challenges to the election outcome of his campaign, including the Supreme Court.
The change in schedule also means Trump will miss the glittering New Year’s Eve party held every year at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.
Neither Trump nor the White House explained why he decided to shorten the vacation that was expected to end on Friday.
Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, arrived at his Mar-a-Lago home after dark on Dec. 23 and spent virtually the entire holiday focused on a futile attempt to undo the election he lost to Biden. This includes an effort by Republican lawmakers to challenge the January 6 vote in Congress to confirm Biden’s 306-232 victory in the Electoral College.
A group of Republicans in the House under Democratic control have already said they will oppose Trump’s name during the January 6 vote count. They needed at least one senator to join them to force a vote in both chambers, and Hawley stepped up.
The GOP’s objections, however, will not prevent Biden from taking the oath of office on January 20 and Senator Kamala Harris, a D-Calif., A black woman of South Asian descent, from becoming vice president.
During his vacation, Trump also tweeted daily to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and other election officials over his loss to Biden in that state.
While still focused on efforts to stay in power, Trump remained a mom at major events during the holiday break, including the Christmas bombing of Nashville, Tennessee, the discovery in California and Colorado of a new and seemingly more contagious variant of coronavirus, and Tuesday’s death of elected MP Luke Letlowa, R-La., From complications of COVID-19.
Ever since he lost the election and launched a campaign to demolish the outcome, the usually chatty Trump has avoided interacting with reporters, even those who followed him in Florida. He even managed to ban them with his remarks on Christmas to American troops, which is the kind of event the White House usually opens to the news.
Before leaving Washington, Trump stunned Capitol Hill by objecting to spending – much of it demanded by his own administration – in a government funding bill that was paired with a fresh round of needed coronavirus relief that included payments to $ 600 to most individuals.
Trump has jeopardized financial aid and flirted with a government shutdown scheduled for last Tuesday, implying he will not sign a comprehensive bill unless lawmakers increase payments to $ 2,000, an amount demanded by most Democrats and some Republicans.
Trump eventually signed the bill Sunday night after days of uncertainty in exchange for congressional votes on his demands. He also wants Congress to lift certain safeguards for social media and investigate his baseless allegations of election fraud.
Former Attorney General William Barr and other administration officials said they saw no evidence of fraud in such large numbers that they changed the outcome of the election.
The House voted this week to increase payments, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Nearly closed its doors Wednesday when he said Congress had provided enough aid for the pandemic. McConnell blocked attempts by Democrats to force a vote in that chamber on higher payments demanded by Trump.