When President Trump arrived in Palm Beach, Florida in the 1980s, he wasn’t accepted into any of the city’s prestigious private clubs — he was “arrogant and pushy and he didn’t care that locals thought he was loud and vulgar,” The Washington Post recounted.
So Trump opened Mar-a-Lago, the estate he scored for $10 million, as a private club in 1995. Mar-a-Lago was open to anyone, which was new in that time — several clubs did not admit Jewish members, and another only admitted wealthy Jews.
Now, many of the club’s original members, most notably Jewish Democrats, have left, the Post noted.
Although Palm Beach is known for providing residents with privacy, with most people keeping their political affiliations to themselves, some members said they are just not comfortable affiliating with a Trump-owned property. And the president’s presence has become an inconvenience, between security measures and closed-off golf courses.
“It’s a better energy when he’s not here,” said one business owner, one of two dozen locals interviewed by the Post. “It’s like the clouds lifted and everybody goes about their business.”
The original members have been replaced by business executives, socialites and groupies, the Post reported.
Laurence Leamer, author of the forthcoming book “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” said while the new members are “very different,” this may not necessarily be a bad thing.
“It’s the most fun of any of the clubs because there’s this range of humanity,” he said. “There are people who are unspeakably vulgar and loud and fairly disgusting, and elegant people. It’s lively.”