Trump rings in ‘fantastic’ new year at Palm Beach club
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump predicted a “fantastic 2018” on Sunday night as he strolled down a red carpet to bid farewell to 2017 with an exclusive bash at his private club.
Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and son Barron, a tuxedoed Trump spoke to reporters as he entered the gilded ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. He said the stock market will continue to rise and that companies are going to continue to come into the U.S.
Asked for his reaction to North Korea leader Kim Jon Un’s remarks about having a nuclear button on his desk, Trump responded by saying, “We’ll see.”
Guests gathered in the ballroom included senior White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Earlier in the day, Trump capped 2017 with a video self-tribute touching on what he sees as the high points of his achievements and rhetoric from his first year in office. He gave a plug to American exceptionalism, too.
In the video running 3½ minutes, scenes of Trump with military personnel, Border Patrol agents and other world leaders are set to a stirring soundtrack as he declares of his country: “We gave birth to the modern world and we will shape tomorrow’s world with the strength and skill of American hands.”
Trump cited his success in placing a justice on the Supreme Court, his efforts to cut regulations and his big win on overhauling taxes, which he falsely described as the “largest tax cut in the history of our country.”
Trump offered the video with a New Year’s Eve message: “What a year it’s been, and we’re just getting started. Together, we are MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Happy New Year!!”
He later offered another Twitter message, loaded with his signature bombast: “As our Country rapidly grows stronger and smarter, I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year. 2018 will be a great year for America!”
The White House said Trump been briefed on New Year’s Eve security precautions around the country and will continue to monitor those efforts.
Trump offered his condolences Sunday to the victims of a shooting in suburban Denver that killed one sheriff’s deputy and wounded six other people, including four deputies. He tweeted: “We love our police and law enforcement - God Bless them all!”
Trump had lunch with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday. The White House said they discussed hurricane recovery efforts, the need to improve infrastructure “and many other matters important to the people of Florida.”
The governor came with some specific concerns: the need for repairs to the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee and the recovery of Florida’s citrus industry from Hurricane Irma, said his spokesman, John Tupps.
Trump has encouraged Scott to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, in 2018. Scott said in December that he had not made up his mind, though there have been multiple signs he is considering a run.
Associated Press writer Gary Fineout contributed from St. Augustine, Florida.