WASHINGTON, June 17, 2017 — President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and son Barron have finally taken a trip to the rustic Camp David, a secure military installation staffed by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, officially known as Naval Support Facility Thurmont.
The secluded presidential retreat in Maryland offers the First Family heightened personal security and reports are that other family members, including the First Lady’s mother, will join the First Family.
The forested environment offers a strong contrast to the President’s weekend getaways to his own properties, including Mar-A-Lago, that have drawn sharp criticism. President Trump has hosted world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-A-Lago.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer responded to these attacks in April:
“Presidents always travel. And I think the president, wherever he goes, he carries the apparatus of the White House,” said Spicer. “The President will continue to go and travel around the country and have meetings to solve the nation’s problems. He (works) seven days a week. This is where he goes to see his family. He brings people down there. This is part of being president.”
Camp David has hosted many influential political figures over the years. Jimmy Carter used the private retreat for peace talks between Egypt and Israel. President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted Prime Minister Winston Churchill there to discuss plans for the Normandy invasion, and President Dwight Eisenhower hosted Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev.
While President Obama visited Camp David only 49 times, President Ronald Reagan visited the camp 186 times, and George W. Bush paid 149 visits to the property, according to a tally by CBS News’ Mark Knoller.
Camp David boasts a private cabin for the President and more than a dozen cabins for guests. The retreat offers tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, a bowling alley, movie theater and a single golf hole, making it the perfect family retreat as well as a relaxed environment for state visits.
President Trump will be spending the weekend at Camp David without his senior staff. The White House has not offered any insight into what he will be doing while at the private retreat, but the odds are that much of his time will be spent working.
President Trump will be staying in the Aspen Lodge and returning to the White House on Sunday evening.