Trump to return to White House early from Florida vacation

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

President Donald Trump rides in a motorcade vehicle as he departs his Mar-a-Lago resort, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump is en route to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Donald Trump is cutting short his Florida holiday vacation and returning to Washington on Thursday, one day earlier than expected for reasons the White House didn't explain.

The White House announced the abrupt change in the president's schedule late Wednesday, hours after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he will raise objections next week when Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

It's a futile attempt to remain in power that Trump has been pushing following the failure of scores of legal challenges to the election outcome by his campaign, including at the Supreme Court.

The schedule change also means Trump will miss the glitzy New Year's Eve party held annually at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

Neither Trump nor the White House explained why he decided to shorten a vacation that had been expected to end on Friday.

Trump, accompanied by his wife, Melania, arrived at his Mar-a-Lago home after dark on Dec. 23 and spent practically the entire vacation focused on the futile attempt to overturn the election he lost to Biden. That includes the effort to have Republican lawmakers challenge the vote when Congress meets Jan. 6 to affirm Biden's 306-232 win in the Electoral College.

A group of Republicans in the Democratic-controlled House already had said they will object on Trump’s behalf during the Jan. 6 count of electoral votes. They needed at least one senator to join them to force votes in both chambers, and Hawley stepped up.

The GOP objections, however, will not prevent Biden from being sworn in as president on Jan. 20, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a Black woman of South Asian descent, from becoming vice president.