Trump escapes chill of Washington for Christmas in Florida

By Associated Press Reporters
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Trump escapes chill of Washington for Christmas in Florida

Donald Trump has escaped the chill of Washington and his impeachment to celebrate Christmas and new year in sunny Florida with family and friends.

One thing he is not celebrating is the delay in his Senate impeachment trial, which has got him “mad as hell”, according to one ally.

The Senate adjourned until January with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer unable to agree on trial procedure.

House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wants to know how the trial will be handled before she sends two articles of impeachment against Mr Trump to the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

The president, who flew to his private Palm Beach resort late on Friday, has been looking forward to a trial in the friendlier Republican-controlled Senate and is riled about the delay, according to senator Lindsey Graham.

“He’s mad as hell that they would do this to him and now deny him his day in court,” Mr Graham said after meeting Mr Trump at the White House on Thursday night.

A likely avenue for Mr Trump to vent his frustration over being impeached will be his scheduled address on Saturday to conservative student activists attending the Turning Point USA conference in West Palm Beach.

The House voted on Wednesday to impeach Mr Trump for withholding military aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a gas company there while the elder Biden was vice president.

Joe Biden (Chris Carlson/AP)

The House also said Mr Trump sought to obstruct its investigation.

While on the plane to Florida, the president signed off on nearly 1.4 trillion dollars (£1 trillion) in spending that will keep the government funded until September 30, dodging the possibility of a shutdown ahead of what is expected to be a contentious election season.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Mr Trump signed the legislation aboard Air Force One as he travelled to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

The spending measures, which will add roughly 400 billion dollars (£300 billion) to the deficit over 10 years, include money for the president’s Mexico border fence, pay rises for military and civilian federal workers, and federal funding for election security grants.

The massive spending measures headed off a repeat of last year’s end-of-year impasse that led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, stemming from Mr Trump’s demand that Congress sign off on nearly 6 billion dollars in funding for the border wall.