WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had planned to spend this weekend in New Jersey at his Bedminster golf resort, but the White House opted to change course and cancel the trip a few days ago in large part due to the potential for “bad optics” of the president at one of his private clubs as national protests continue, according to two people familiar with the decision-making.
The original idea was to travel from Maine — where he visited a plant manufacturing coronavirus testing supplies — to New Jersey on Friday and spend it as “working weekend,” but the president ultimately agreed with his advisers that the plan could be problematic as thousands of demonstrators descended on the White House on Saturday for another day to protest the killing of George Floyd in police custody, the people familiar with Trump's choice said.
This would have been the president’s first time back at Bedminster since last August. Trump is currently scheduled to be there, at least for one day, next weekend when he is slated to host an in-person fundraiser for his reelection effort.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Trump returned to one of his private properties for the first time in about 11 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, which marked the longest stretch of his administration without spending time at one. He golfed two days in a row at his course in Sterling, Virginia, that weekend.
Last Saturday, the morning after the protests first gained steam in Washington and directly outside the White House, Trump tweeted that they could have been "greeted" with "vicious dogs" and "ominous weapons" if they had breached the fence before traveling to Florida to spend much of the day at the SpaceX launch.
There’s currently no events scheduled for Saturday or Sunday and the White House already indicated they don't expect any appearances from the president for the rest of the day.