Trump breaks weekend streak with visit to Camp David

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President Trump broke from a self-established tradition on Saturday, foregoing a trip to one of his palatial properties and opting instead for a weekend at Camp David.

The mountain retreat, which has long served as the backdrop for many presidential getaways, is located about 70-miles northwest of the White House. But in his first months, Trump had yet to follow in the footsteps of many of his predecessors.

Trump, however, is said to be wary of venturing too far from his own properties.

Instead, he has been keen to visit his own estates, and Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., a property he has dubbed the “Winter White House,” has been his preferred location for weekend trips.

In his first months in office, the president has used the Florida property to host world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

But the private club has also become fodder for controversy.

Watchdog groups and journalists have repeatedly questioned the costs of the excursions, and security concerns were raised in February, when diners at Mar-a-Lago posted photos of Trump and his top aides huddling on the club’s terrace to discuss the administration’s response to a North Korean missile test.

While Mar-a-Lago has been the site of most of his weekend retreats, it is not the only one. Since the club closed for the season, Trump has paid visits to his golf course in Bedminster Township, N.J. and has dropped by the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, just outside of Washington. 

In all, according to a tally by The New York Times, Trump has spent 42 days visiting his own properties since taking office.

On Saturday, however, Trump, joined by First Lady Melania and his youngest son Barron, boarded Marine One and departed Washington for Camp David, a woodsy, secluded property owned by the government and run by the Navy.

The president will bring with him an entourage of family members, including the first lady’s mother. It remains unclear, however, what’s in store for the family over the weekend.

The property was first carved out as a presidential retreat by President Franklin Roosevelt, who hosted British Prime Minister Winston Churchill there while their countries were embroiled in World War II.

President Dwight Eisenhower brought Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev to Camp David. And it was where President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace deal between Egypt and Israel in 1978. 

President Ronald Reagan visited the camp 186 times, and George W. Bush paid 149 visits to the property. President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaRubio: Everyone is going to weigh in on healthcare Russia: Trump’s position on Cuba echoes ‘Cold War rhetoric’ Trump breaks weekend streak with visit to Camp David MORE, on the other hand, went just 39 times, according to a tally by CBS News’ Mark Knoller.

Trump and his family are expected to return from their visit at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.