Trump's Mar-a-Lago Move Draws Criticism From Some Wealthy Neighbors In 'Extremely Democratic' Palm Beach


Tuesday, January 19th 2021, 12:56 pm
By: CBS News


A moving truck were spotted outside President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida Monday, as President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to move into the White House. 

Even before he was president, Mr. Trump's Florida club had been a lightning rod for controversy between his family and some of their wealthy neighbors. 

As CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez reports, that is unlikely to change when the president makes the permanent move Wednesday.

"West Palm Beach, where we are right now is extremely Democratic," Palm Beach Post senior political reporter Christine Stapleton said, adding that Mr. Trump's popularity in the town was fragile. 

"Since the Capitol riots, there has been a real shift in whether or not Mar-a-Lago will continue to be a venue that GOP and conservative groups want to have their events there," Stapleton said. "They may not want to."

A GOP fundraising event held at Mar-a-Lago in February brought in an estimated $25 million, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Mr. Trump purchased the property in 1985 and turned it into a private club, which has become his winter home during the last four years. 

However, neighbors are questioning whether it can become his permanent home. Nearby Palm Beach residents recently sent a letter to town leaders, citing a 1993 agreement they say prohibits anyone from living permanently on the property because it is a social club.

"I think Trump's defense will be that this is political," said Democrat Dave Aronberg, state attorney for Palm Beach County. "He may say in court that the town and everyone knew that he was living there and never sought to enforce this agreement until now when they started to disagree with his politics."

Politics aside, Aronberg said people in Palm Beach simply like their privacy.

"Even his supporters on Palm Beach, and there are many supporters on the island, but even they don't want the drama, the commotion that President Trump will bring to the island, because that's why they move there. They like their privacy. They like their quiet. And this will disrupt a lot of things on the island," he said.

But not everyone in the area agrees. 

"It's going to be massive, massive, there are going to be so many people that are going to come," supporter Annie Marie Delgado said. "They're going to welcome this president home, and it's going to be peaceful and it's going to be exciting."

When Mr. Trump returns to Palm Beach, Delgado plans to be front and center at the airport. She had previously been head of Trump Team 2020, a statewide group of Trump loyalists.

Asked if she thinks the president's move will make South Florida the heart of the GOP, she replied, "now now brown cow, you said the bad word in my book."

The "bad word" was GOP.

"I'm a Trumplican," Delgado said. "We have to do some serious clean-up work in the 'GOP,' especially in the state of Florida."