President Donald Trump called off his weekend trip to his Bedminster golf club on Friday, just hours before he was to depart aboard Air Force One, saying he wanted to “make sure law and order is enforced” in the nation’s capital.”
“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” he tweeted. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe — and these people will be brought to Justice!”
Trump has highlighted the outbreaks of violence following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, even though most of the protests were peaceful and polls said they were strongly supported by majorities of Americans.
He has threatened to veto House-passed legislation that responds to the Floyd killing and the deaths of other unarmed Blacks at the hands of police by making it easier to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions, bans racial and religious profiling and prohibits chokeholds.
The White House initially did not give any reason for the cancellation, which was announced in an updated schedule.
But spokesman Judd Deere said the decision had “nothing to do” with Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to quarantine visitors arriving in the Garden State from coronavirus hot spots, according to White House pool reports.
Murphy joined Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Ned Lamont of Connecticut on Wednesday in requiring from nine other states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The list included Arizona, where Trump held a campaign rally on Tuesday.
Deere earlier said the order would not apply to Trump, who regularly is tested for the coronavirus with his aides and anyone else in close proximity.
“The president of the United States is not a civilian,” he said. “With regard to Arizona, the White House followed its COVID mitigation plan to ensure the president did not come into contact with anyone who was symptomatic or had not been tested.”
Murphy agreed that Trump was not included in his order.
“There is a carve out for essential workers and I think by any definition the president of the United States is an essential worker,” the governor said on CNN. “And I know the folks get tested around him all the time.”
At his daily coronavirus briefing Friday, the governor repeated his earlier assertion and said he did not know why Trump canceled the trip.
This is the second time Trump has called off a planned trip to Bedminster at the last minutethis month. He also canceled a weekend visit on June 5.
Since becoming president, Trump has spent many weekends in Bedminster during the warmer months and at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, during the colder months.
He has spent 94 days at Bedminster during his presidency, behind only the 133 days at Mar-a-Lago, according to NBC News.
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