Donald J. Trump didn’t just fight Palm Beach, Florida officials to make Mar-a-Lago a welcoming club for everyone, regardless of race or religious preference, he also fought officials to allow him to fly the American flag on his property. Although the media has done its best to keep it a secret, prior to becoming a presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump was involved in two very important fights in Palm Beach. One of those fights disproves the “Trump is a racist” narrative the leftist media has been pushing since he announced his run for president, the other one reinforces his passion and love for America, and shows how hard he’s willing to fight for the right to honor our flag.
The Washington Post reported: The patriarchs of this quiet island of millionaires threw up roadblocks when Donald Trump swooped in and turned its historic oceanfront Mar-a-Lago mansion into a private club.
The town council, seeing Trump as an ostentatious outsider, handed him a list of restrictions as he sought to transform the property in the 1990s. Membership, traffic, party attendance, even photography — all would be strictly limited.
But Trump undercut his adversaries with a searing attack, claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.
Trump’s lawyer sent every member of the town council copies of two classic movies about discrimination: “A Gentleman’s Agreement,” about a journalist who pretends to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism, and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” about a white couple’s reaction to their daughter bringing home a black fiance.
The move infuriated council members, who said it was a distraction from their concerns that Trump’s club would spoil a quiet street. But, in time, Trump got most of the restrictions lifted.
In many ways Mar-a-Lago is the antithesis of the area’s traditional WASP-y clubs—the Beach Club, the Bath and Tennis Club, the Sailfish Club. The Everglades Club, Palm Beach’s oldest and founded in 1919, is what Nicholas Golubov, research director for the Historical Society of Palm Beach, called a bastion of “the old, Palm Beach elite.”
Trump’s business model in Palm Beach, by comparison, has been a beacon of inclusion. As long as potential members had the $100,000 entry fee (bumped up to $200,000 in January), there was a good chance that they’d be accepted. In a further departure from Palm Beach taste, Trump allowed non-members, as well as members, to rent spaces for bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, weddings, and charity galas. Anyone can party at the new Winter White House, as long as they can afford it.
“I think it’s the best thing Trump did in his whole life,” said Laurence Leamer, the author of the book Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach. “He opened up this island. He also had Jews and gays and African Americans—he even had the first gay wedding.”
Most Palm Beach clubs have unapologetically restrictive membership policies, but resist any notion that those policies have anything to do with race, creed, or color. “That’s an old-fashioned view, certainly of our club,” said John Newman, general manager Sailfish Club. “We have no discrimination in our club; members have to be sponsored by a current member, but we have all faiths in our club.” (The Bath and Tennis, Beach, and Everglades clubs declined to comment for this article; Mar-a-Lago did not respond to requests for comment.) –Bloomberg
Police records show officers often have stopped at the mansion for coffee and meal breaks.
Palm Beach has a lot of rules: No whistling allowed on public streets after midnight. No “Missing Dog” — or any sign — posted on a tree. And no flag poles taller than 42 feet.
In late 2006 Trump put up a giant American flag on an 80-foot pole. That led to a $1,250-a-day fine against him, drawing national headlines that Trump basked in.
“Tonight, Donald Trump does legal battle again, this time with a bunch of millionaires down in Palm Beach, Florida, who told Trump he’s flying his flag too high,” is how Nancy Grace started her CNN interview in January 2007 with Trump. “Can you fly the American flag too high?” she asked.
Trump got fan mail as he said in a blizzard of interviews: “No American should have to get a permit to fly the flag.”
“I said, ‘This is a dream to have someone sue me to take down the American flag,’ ” Trump said in the interview.
Trump sued Palm Beach for $25 million in damages, arguing the flag was constitutionally protected free speech.
Ultimately, Trump reached a settlement with the town. He would put a slightly smaller flag farther from the road and mount it on a 70-foot pole.
Instead of paying any fines, Trump made a $100,000 donation to a veterans charity.