Donald Trump will officially be home for the holidays.
Late on Saturday, the White House announced that Trump had canceled his Christmas vacation to his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and will remain in Washington as the government shutdown is set to last through the holiday. Trump changed course late in the week, going back on signals that he would sign a measure keeping the government open and instead demanding funding for his border wall and leading to a partial shutdown of the federal government. As The Hill noted, the shutdown will put hundreds of thousands of government employees out of a job and will cost Trump one Christmas vacation.
“Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the first lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
There had been speculation that Trump would still jet down to Florida to spend the holiday with his family if the shutdown were to extend indefinitely. That does appear to be the case, with no end in sight as Democrats in the Senate have refused to fund the border wall — many pointing out that Trump promised he would make Mexico pay for the wall — and Trump not appearing to offer any kind of a deal.
Senators will not return to Washington until December 27, ensuring that the shutdown will go on until Thursday at the earliest. But with no solid deal in the works, and both sides not showing willingness to budge, some believe it could stretch on much longer.
Many had wondered if Donald Trump would be away from his family on Christmas. Earlier in the week, first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s son, Barron, flew down to Mar-a-Lago to begin their Christmas vacation. As the first lady’s spokeswoman said, Melania was not one to break the family traditions.
“It has long been the family’s tradition to spend their Christmas holiday at Mar-a-Lago. Her plans to travel with her son to their Florida home for his winter break have not changed this year,” said Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, via CNN.
First lady Melania Trump is returning from Mar-a-Lago to spend Christmas with President Trump in Washington after he canceled his trip due to the shutdown https://t.co/vsqGl6epuP pic.twitter.com/w3NUDcAzUp— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 23, 2018
Though the family spent last Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, it would not have been the first time that Donald Trump has been apart from Melania and his youngest son. When he first took office, Melania remained in New York for several months, living in Trump Tower until Barron completed his school year.