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

Trick-or-treaters, and everyone else, welcomed to the Crescent

Victoria Crescent neighbourhood partners with City of Nanaimo on new welcome signs

Regional District of Nanaimo board will be almost all new

Only 3-4 directors out of 19 returning to RDN board table

Premier promises Nanaimo byelection before February budget debate

Historically safe NDP seat will be vacated by longtime MLA Leonard Krog

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Northfield intersection realignment won’t improve traffic flow

Is the new design actually any better, asks letter writer

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Time running out for TV debate on proportional representation

B.C. Liberal leader spars with Premier John Horgan over timing

Cougar spotted after Vancouver Island resident finds his decapitated cat

Reports of conservation officers actively looking for the predator in Port Hardy Tuesday afternoon

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Most Read