President Donald Trump touted the cost savings of avoiding New York City Friday morning.
Citing the possibility of a “big disruption” in the Big Apple, the dispatch came in a presidential tweet:
Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C., I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend. Also saves country money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2017
However, it’s unclear if Trump ever planned to spend the full weekend in New York City. The Palm Beach Post, veteran trackers of the President’s flight schedule, reported Monday that the Federal Aviation Administration had posted two notices that morning indicating Trump would spend the weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he owns a private golf club.
And the Apr. 25 press release announcing his schedule in New York on Thursday night didn’t mention any other events in the city scheduled for the weekend.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about cost savings.
According to pool reports, Trump arrived at Bedminster late Friday night, after having celebrated House Republicans’ passage of their health bill, and after telling Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australia — with its universal government-funded health care — had “better health care than we do.”
Trump’s first visit back to his hometown was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET and last six hours, the New York Times noted Thursday. His celebration with House Republicans turned it into a brief stopover at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Democrats have criticized the price of Trump’s near constant weekend trips to his name-branded resorts, and their secrecy. Some in Congress have advocated passage of the “Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness” (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, which would require the White House to release visitor logs for any location the President or Vice President Mike Pence regularly conduct official business.
Trump interviewed now-prominent members of his administration at Bedminster ahead of his inauguration. In one leaked tape recorded in November, he is heard bragging to the club’s deep-pocketed members: “We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything,” and, “It’s going to be an unbelievable day. So you might want to come along.”