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Trump cuts vacation short without explanation

The change in plans came just hours after Sen. Josh Hawley announced he would take up Trump's demand for Republicans to challenge the election results.
President Donald Trump and the first lady board Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., as they return to Washington on Thursday.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

President Donald Trump is cutting his Florida vacation short and traveling back to Washington on Thursday, but the White House offered no explanation for why he was ending the holiday trip to his private resort a day earlier than planned.

The announcement of Trump's return to Washington came just hours after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he would object to the certification of some states' Electoral College results Jan. 6 in a final, futile attempt to overturn the results of the election.

The president's daily public schedule released Wednesday night said only that he "will be leaving Florida for the White House tomorrow at 11:00AM." Although the White House did not provide a reason for Trump's early return, the president has continued to push his unsupported election fraud claims while away, questioning without evidence the results in key battleground states and attacking Georgia's Republican governor and secretary of state.

Trump has also fixated on Jan. 6, the day Congress meets to accept the results of the presidential election, after the lawsuits he filed in an attempt to overturn the results in key battleground states were unsuccessful.

"JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!" Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

The attempt by some Republicans in Congress to keep Trump in power is unlikely to go anywhere. For an objection to the Electoral College results to be sustained and a state's presidential vote thrown out, a majority in each chamber has to vote to agree to the objection. Democrats hold a majority in the House, and while the GOP has a slim majority in the Senate, a number of moderate Republicans have already said they would not vote to toss out a state's votes.

Along with Democrats, some GOP lawmakers have slammed the move as an effort by some ambitious Republican members to curry favor with the president and his base and fundraise.

Trump’s early return also comes amid escalating tensions with Iran following a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-supported Shiite militia groups earlier this month. Although no one was killed, Trump said afterward that Iran was on notice.

Trump's early departure means he and first lady Melania Trump will miss the annual New Year's Eve gala at Mar-a-Lago. In 2018, the president missed his New Year's Eve black-tie event because of the government shutdown, and Melania Trump hosted the party without him.