President Donald Trump’s luxury Mar-a-Lago resort isn’t the type of establishment you expect to invite much controversy. However, now that the owner is also the leader of the free world, that’s exactly what happened. While Trump was at the resort with his wife Melania and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this weekend, a patron snapped an alarming photo, prompting the Secret Service to quickly become involved.
A visitor to the resort spied Trump, along with his Secret Service detail during his stay, and proceeded to post two pictures to Facebook, which he tagged at “Donald Trump Palm Beach Home.” In the post, which appears to have been removed now, the social media user identified the agent he believed to be responsible for carrying the black bag which contains the nuclear launch codes for the President of the United States.
“This is Rick…He carries the ‘football’ The nuclear football (also known as the atomic football, the President’s emergency satchel, the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the button, the black box, or just the football) is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room,” read the caption of the photograph, which has since been made unavailable for obvious reasons.
“It functions as a mobile hub in the strategic defense system of the United States. It is held by an aide-de-camp. [A]nd Rick is the Man,” continued the caption, according to The Hill.
The same Mar-a-Lago guest posted other photos of the president and First Lady, as well as pictures of Trump and Abe reportedly discussing a North Korean missile test in the public dining room of the president’s establishment.
“HOLY MOLY !! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan,” Richard DeAgazio posted on Sunday afternoon, along with pictures of Abe sitting at a table and Trump on the telephone. “The Prime Minister Abe of Japan huddles with his staff and the President is on the phone with Washington DC. the two world leaders then conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference. Wow…..the center of the action!!!”
That Mar-a-Lago member deleted his FB post with photos of Trump's team apparently reading North Korea docs by iPhone flashlight. Screenshot: pic.twitter.com/JSBukvlP0Z
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) February 13, 2017
Since Trump won the presidency, Mar-a-Lago regulars have seen their annual membership fee double to $200,000, and the media has raised questions about the access to POTUS these patrons receive in return. It is in these media reports that we witness a glaring double-standard between the way Republican presidents are treated versus their Democratic counterparts.
During the Obama administration, the First Family spent many weekends away, though no one ever questioned that people might have too much access to the president just because he wasn’t working from the White House. Heck, he wasn’t even working at all! Meanwhile, Donald Trump spent his weekend building important ties with a major world leader. After eight years of Barack Obama wreaking havoc on our foreign relations, I’d say that’s quite refreshing.