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

Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka counties launch agricultural plastics recycling program

The three counties signed an agreement with Merlin Plastics

Bashaw council declines penalty forgiveness request from Bashaw Motel owners

The motel was destroyed in the 2016 fire; owners owe $46,000 in fire services, taxes and penalties

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Ponoka County residents divided on farmland uses

There were about 150 people at the county’s meeting related to reducing confined feeding operations.

Ponoka County slows changes to CFO plans

Residents speak their concerns over the potential of changing areas allowing CFOs

UPDATED: Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Ponoka RCMP investigate commercial break and enter

Other RCMP files include suspects photographing rural properties and other theft files

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Multiple quakes kill at least 12 on Indonesian islands

A shallow magnitude 6.9 quake that hit about 10 p.m causing landslides

Most Read