File photos: Bloomberg photo by Al Drago.

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

President Donald Trump had hoped to spend the weekend celebrating the one-year anniversary of his inauguration amid friends at his opulent Palm Beach, Florida, estate. Instead, he’s facing a government shutdown.

Trump scrapped plans to depart Friday for his Mar-a-Lago club, where he’d been set to attend a high-dollar fundraiser Saturday night to commemorate his first year in office.

Instead, he spent the afternoon in the Oval Office, trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He spent the evening in the White House residence, watching television and calling up friends, insisting Democrats would be blamed if the federal government shut down at midnight, according to a person familiar with the president’s conversations but not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Elsewhere in the White House, the press offices had emptied out even before the Senate had voted on — and failed to pass — a short-term funding bill.

While White House aides did not respond to questions, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters he didn’t expect Trump to go to Florida Saturday.

“No, I don’t,” he said. “I think the president’s been very clear: He’s not leaving until this is finished.”

But the timing was undeniably unfortunate for a president trying to steer the conversation away from controversy and back to his first-year accomplishments.

“We hope that everyone comes together and keeps the government open,” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters moments before Schumer left the White House after meeting with Trump on Friday.

Trump was originally scheduled to attend a “Trump Victory Dinner” Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago, with proceeds going to a joint fundraising committee for his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee. That was up in the air as the budget negotiations dragged on.

If a deal isn’t reached by midnight, the reverberations will be felt across Washington, all over the nation — and within the White House residence.

According to federal stipulations, just 21 of the 96 members of the White House residential staff would report to duty on any day of a shutdown.

“Essentially, our core group of residence staff would still report to work to ensure that basic services are still provided to the first family,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump.

Electricians and engineers would also report for duty “to ensure the safety of the facilities in the mansion,” Grisham said.

___

Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report. Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj

Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Just Posted

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read