Monday, January 18, 2021
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Trump to return to White House early from Florida vacation


WEST PALM BEACH, #Fla. (AP) — #President #Donald #Trump is cutting short his #Florida holiday vacation and returning to #Washington on #Thursday, one day earlier than expected for reasons the #White #House didn’t explain.

The #White #House announced the abrupt change in the president’s schedule late #Wednesday, hours after #Sen. #Josh #Hawley, R-Mo., said he will raise objections next week when #Congress meets to affirm #President-elect #Joe #Biden’s victory in the #November election.

#It’s a futile attempt to remain in power that #Trump has been pushing following the failure of scores of legal challenges to the election outcome by his campaign, including at the #Supreme #Court.

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The schedule change also means #Trump will miss the glitzy #New #Year’s #Eve party held annually at his private #Mar-a-Lago club in #Palm #Beach.

#Neither #Trump nor the #White #House explained why he decided to shorten a vacation that had been 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 practically the entire vacation focused on the futile attempt to overturn the election he lost to #Biden. #That includes the effort to have #Republican lawmakers challenge the vote when #Congress meets #Jan. 6 to affirm #Biden’s 306-232 win in the #Electoral #College.

A group of #Republicans in the #Democratic-controlled #House already had said they will object on #Trump’s behalf during the #Jan. 6 count of electoral votes. They needed at least one senator to join them to force votes in both chambers, and #Hawley stepped up.

The GOP objections, however, will not prevent #Biden from being sworn in as president on #Jan. 20, and #Sen. #Kamala #Harris, D-Calif., a #Black woman of #South #Asian descent, from becoming vice president.

#During his vacation, #Trump also took near daily swipes on #Twitter at #Georgia #Republican #Gov. #Brian #Kemp and other state elections officials over his loss to #Biden in that state.

#While he has remained focused on the effort to stay in power, #Trump has stayed mum on major developments during the holiday break, including a #Christmas #Day bombing in #Nashville, #Tennessee, the discovery in #California and #Colorado of a new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus, and #Tuesday’s death of #Rep.-elect #Luke #Letlow, R-La., from COVID-19 complications.

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#Since losing the election and beginning a campaign to overturn the outcome, the usually chatty #Trump has avoided engaging with reporters, even those who accompanied him to #Florida. #He went as far as barring them from his #Christmas #Day remarks to U.S. troops, which is the type of event the #White #House typically opens for news coverage.

#Before he left #Washington, #Trump stunned #Capitol #Hill by objecting to spending — much of it sought by his own administration — in a government funding bill that had been paired up with a fresh round of needed coronavirus relief that included $600 payments to most individuals.

#Trump jeopardized the financial aid and flirted with a government shutdown slated for last #Tuesday by implying that he wouldn’t sign the sweeping legislation unless lawmakers increased the payments to $2,000, a sum sought by most #Democrats and some #Republicans.

#Trump eventually signed the bill #Sunday night after several days of uncertainty in exchange for congressional votes on his demands. #He also wants #Congress to lift certain protections for social media companies and investigate his unfounded claims of fraud in the election.

#Former #Attorney #General #William #Barr and other administration officials have said they saw no evidence of fraud on a scale massive enough to have changed the outcome of the election.

The #House voted this week in favor of increasing the payments, but #Senate #Majority #Leader #Mitch #McConnell, R-Ky., all but shut the door #Wednesday when he declared that #Congress had provided enough pandemic aid. #McConnell blocked attempts by #Democrats to force a vote in that chamber on the higher payments sought by #Trump.

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[ source link ]
https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-josh-hawley-florida-8dbd7a2d46e78d720499c2c6854391aa

##Trump #return ##White ##House #early ##Florida #vacation

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