Donald Trump’s New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago: Who Was There?

  • In attendance: Giuliani, the guy from My Pillow and his son Eric
  • Absent: Ivanka and her son Don Jr.

PALM BEACH — Former President Donald Trump celebrated the New Year on Saturday night with hundreds of Mar-a-Lago members and a few political pals, capping a year that has seen several notable setbacks for the former president in the legal worlds. and politics. .

For the past few years, Hollywood celebrities have attended Trump’s annual New Year’s Eve party at the Palm Beach club. But this year, the most notable figures present at the opulent black tie and long dress gala were from the former president’s political orbit, including pollster Dick Morris, legal adviser Rudy Giuliani and the pillow maker Mike Lindell. All walked the red carpet but made no comment on Trump or their expectations for 2023.

Trump’s second oldest son, Eric, and his wife, Lara, were also present. However, it did not appear that two other adult children who figured prominently in Trump’s political efforts, Donald, Jr., and his daughter Ivanka, were present at the event.

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What did Trump say at the event?

Trump, who declared his candidacy for the White House in 2024 in November, spoke briefly to the media as he and Melania Trump made their way to the ballroom.

Trump said he hoped the Russian-Ukrainian war would “recover very quickly” and said he was optimistic about his campaign in 2023, adding that he had received polling numbers that looked “fantastic” but didn’t offered no details. It also sounded familiar themes.

“We need a strong border and we need it now,” he said, before adding, “We also need to bring the economy back… with inflation destroying our country.”

But Trump notably avoided questions about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call for an investigation into COVID vaccines, a key legacy of Trump’s one-time tenure in the White House, and whether he supported a nationwide ban on abortion. . He also waived a question about how this week’s second anniversary of the Jan. 6 violence and the alleged coup attempt at the United States Capitol should be observed.

What was the event like?

Former President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, approach the Mar-A-Lago Ballroom on the red carpet on New Year's Eve on Saturday, December 31, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Former President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, are seen inside the Mar-A-Lago Ballroom on New Years Eve Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.
Former President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, stop to speak to the media at Mar-A-Lago on New Years Eve Saturday, December 31, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

What else is going on with Trump?

The festivities capped off 2022, which for Trump ended in a series of significant setbacks and defeats.

The former president has been blamed for the Republican Party’s failure to secure a majority in the US Senate, take control of the US House with a slim and fragile majority and lose coveted governorships. A jury in New York also found his company guilty of tax evasion and other charges.

A week after launching his campaign, Trump sparked a political storm by having dinner with Kanye West, now known as Ye, and a white supremacist denier, Nick Fuentes. West recently made a series of explicitly anti-Semitic remarks.

The House panel investigating the January violence concluded its work in late December with a lengthy report, releasing transcripts of its witness interviews – all following a series of televised hearings that proved deeply damaging to Trump in the second half of the year. Then a separate House committee released Trump’s tax returns that showed he paid minimal taxes in the first and last years of his presidency.

Other investigations continue to swirl around Trump, including a Justice Department investigation into why the former president kept government documents, including top-secret files at Mar-a-Lago, and his efforts to pressure Georgia election officials to find him thousands of votes after the 2020 election.

How is Trump doing with voters heading into 2023?

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released last month showed that 61% of Republican voters polled said they wanted someone other than Trump to be the party’s 2024 nominee. plus DeSantis, Trump’s former political ally, who edged Trump 56% to 33%.

Last week, Trump fueled talk of a third-party bid, should he not win the GOP nomination next year, by sharing a post on his Truth Social titled “The Coming Split” that called on him to run for president as a non-Republican.

Go further

Trump in trouble:Republican support for his 2024 candidacy falls amid political and legal setbacks

To sum up:What we know about Trump’s 6,000 pages of tax returns, the Republican response and more

Read the Trump tax pdfs:Donald Trump’s tax returns released; see dozens of files here

January 6 transcripts:Ginni Thomas regrets election conspiracy texts, Proud Boys leader visited White House

Antonio Fins is a political and economics editor at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

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