Before the federal government shutdown at midnight Saturday, President Donald Trump privately vented frustrations that the political impasse would possibly keep him from attending a glitzy inauguration anniversary bash and fundraiser set for Saturday at his Florida getaway Mar-a-Lago.
Two sources close to the president, one a White House official and the other a longtime confidant, told The Daily Beast how excited he was for the event and relayed his growing concern that the potential failure to strike a deal to keep the federal government open could keep him from “my party,” as the president has said.
A different source who spoke to Trump earlier this week previously told The Daily Beast that the president had joked that it would be a “shame” if a government shutdown were to occur on, or overshadow, the first anniversary of his inauguration as president.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on the record for this story.
The White House officially cancelled Trump's trip to Florida that was scheduled for Friday afternoon, and he spent the day attempting to help congressional leaders reach a deal to forestall a shutdown.
Administration officials who briefed reporters on the logistics of the impending shutdown on Friday said the expiration of government funding would not necessarily impede the president's travel plans to Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere. In particular, one official said, Trump will still be free to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, though the White House did not say whether the shutdown would affect Trump's plans to attend the glamorous gathering of globalists.
But sources didn't report Davos coming up on Friday. For the president, it seems, the weekend's party at his Florida estate was the more pressing engagement.
The Saturday gala is set to be hosted by Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and businessman Steve Wynn, and proceeds will go toward the RNC and the Trump re-election campaign.
The event, which the president had been scheduled to headline, was a hot ticket in Trump-world. Ticket prices started at $100,000 a pair, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg, with that sum paying for dinner and a photo op with President Trump. High-rollers forking over $250,000 get to participate in a roundtable.
Instead, he might have to settle for tweeting his displeasure from afar on his one-year anniversary as president.