Trump cancelled his annual plan to spend Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, as aides describe a ‘bunker mentality’ at the White House

donald trump peas turkey pardon.JPG
President Donald Trump pardoning a turkey at the White House's National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation in November 2019.
  • President Donald Trump has cancelled his annual plans to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago resort, instead choosing to remain in the White House.
  • The scheduling update was announced Tuesday by Stephanie Grisham, the spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump.
  • Trump has repeatedly refused to concede the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, claiming without grounds that voter fraud was widespread. Trump's term ends on January 20.
  • Since his defeat, Trump has confined himself to the White House, watching cable news, stewing over his future, and firing a slew of senior officials.
  • Trump aides told The New York Times that the president's "mood is often bleak," and a White House official told CNN before the Thanksgiving plan was announced: "It feels like bunker mentality."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has cancelled his annual plans to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago resort, as aides described a "bunker mentality" in the White House.

Trump has kept a low profile since his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, making few public appearances but maintaining his customary stream of tweets.

Trump was scheduled to travel to Florida next week, but late Tuesday, Stephanie Grisham, the spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, tweeted that the Trumps had chosen to remain at the White House for the holidays.

"Holiday Scheduling Update: The @POTUS &  @flotus will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday at the  @WhiteHouse this year," she wrote.

 

Trump has refused to concede the election, claiming without grounds that voter fraud was widespread. Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the election for Biden on November 6, while other news outlets made the same call on November 7.

Numerous reports have detailed how Trump has confined himself to stew in the Oval Office and White House, relentlessly watching the news, and publicly claiming that he had won.

Trump's schedule on Wednesday showed "no public events" — the 11th day since the election that it has done so.

Trump aides told The New York Times that the president's "mood is often bleak," and a White House official told CNN before the new Thanksgiving plan was announced: "It feels like bunker mentality."

Mar-a-Lago resort
Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

The Trump campaign has filed several lawsuits challenging the election result in many states, with Trump maintaining that it will uncover what he claims is electoral fraud. It has won just one lawsuit so far, in Pennsylvania, and his lawyer has said that the litigation will not affect Biden's victory.

Trump believes his supporters want him to "keep fighting" the result, an aide told The Washington Post.

"He is more dug into his position than he was at the beginning," the person said. "He thinks this is his base for 2024, and that half the country are warriors fighting for him, and that he's got to keep fighting." 

Trump usually spends Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago with his family, and often plays golf while there. Last year he travelled to Afghanistan in secret to spend Thanksgiving eve with US troops, despite his official schedule placing him at his resort.

The same weekend, Trump claimed that liberals were trying to rename Thanksgiving, but promised "we're not changing it."

"You know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving," Trump told a rally in Sunrise, Florida, at the time. "They don't want to use the term 'Thanksgiving.'"

Trump's term as president ends on January 20, at which point Biden will be inaugurated and commence his term. However, concern is abounding that he may refuse to leave.

Former Secret Service officials told Insider's Robin Bravender that a scenario in which a sitting president refuses to leave at the end of their term was not among the long list of incidents they had ever had to prepare for.

Top administration officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have said they are preparing for a second Trump term.

However, Robert O'Brien, Trump's national security advisor, said Monday that Biden "obviously" appears to have won the election.

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