President Donald Trump has canceled an expected trip to his resort in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend amid the ongoing nationwide protests.
Instead, Trump will fly to Maine on Friday to visit a manufacturer of medical swabs used in coronavirus testing before returning back to Washington.
“The president’s looking forward to another working weekend,” said a senior administration official.
Trump had been planning to travel this weekend to his resort for his first overnight trip since the coronavirus outbreak in March, according to two Republicans familiar with his plans. But since he made those plans, thousands of Americans, including some just outside the White House, have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and entrenched racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed at the hands of Minnesota police.
Small protests sometimes take place near Bedminster when the president travels there, but Trump’s aides were bracing for larger ones this weekend.
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declined to discuss Bedminster’s security at a news conference in Trenton, N.J., on Thursday. But he acknowledged protests were likely this weekend.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about security as it relates to any of us, and that includes, certainly, the president,” he said. “Obviously, it’s something we take very seriously. It is not a first-time visit, so this is a regular reality since he’s been president and there is a rhythm associated with this — and I think we will leave it at that.”
Two weeks ago, Democrats blasted Trump for golfing at his Virginia club two days in a row during the pandemic, marking his first visits to one of his properties since March.
“Nearly 100,000 lives have been lost, and tens of millions are out of work,” Biden tweeted. “Meanwhile, the president spent his day golfing.”
Trump, who criticized Obama for golfing regularly, defended himself on Twitter. “They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months,” he tweeted.
Trump is scheduled to return to Bedminster next week for an in-person fundraiser for his reelection campaign.
Daniel Lippman and Carly Sitrin contributed to this report.