President Trump and family fly to Camp David

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US President Donald Trump has flown to Maryland with his wife Melania and youngest son Barron to spend the Father’s Day weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

The Trumps set off on the 30-minute journey by helicopter from the South Lawn of the White House with the first lady’s parents, according to a White House press pool report.

It was the Trumps’ first visit to the retreat since the president took office.

Since becoming president in January, Trump has preferred to travel to his Mar-a- Lago resort in Florida or the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on weekends he did not spend in Washington.

Camp David, which is managed by the US Navy at an estimated annual cost of some $US8 million ($A10 million), is located in the wooded hills of Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland, some 100km north/north-west of the capital.

It has been used by many US presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated the retreat in 1942, including John F Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Barack Obama. In 1978, Middle East peace talks were held there.

Set in lush countryside, the remote location and simple, rustic charm of the cabins at Camp David stand in stark contrast to the more lavish style exhibited in Trump’s private membership clubs or his dazzling gold-laden, three-story 66th-floor New York penthouse apartment in Trump Tower.

‘Camp David is very rustic, it’s nice, you’d like it,’ the Washington Post quoted Trump as telling a European journalist in an interview just before taking office.

‘You know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.’