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President Trump, arrived Wednesday evening in Palm Beach to spend a third — and likely final — Christmas holiday as president in his adopted hometown.
Over 100 devoted followers of the president lined the motorcade route along Southern Boulevard on Wednesday evening. The motorcade slowed while passing the crowd and the president waved through the window.
Those dotting the roadway, like the president, were in no mood to acknowledge the election defeat.
"This definitely is the last motorcade of this year," said Stan Brown, refusing to concede that the holiday visit could be Trump's last as president. "If he's not given a second term I am going to fly my flag upside down for the next four years."
While at the Southern White House for the yearend holiday festivities, Trump will apparently be mulling his dwindling avenues to challenge the election results.
As he exited the Palm Beach International Airport tarmac just after Air Force One landed, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he was in town to continue discussions on legal challenges to the Nov. 3 election as well as the Dec. 14 Electoral College balloting.
Asked about the remaining legal options, Giuliani confirmed more challenges would be forthcoming, but declined to discuss specifics.
"I can't tell you that," he said when asked what the next move would be.
But at about the time he and first lady Melania Trump landed at PBIA, the president revealed on Twitter what he thinks should be the next step — a special counsel probe — in his so far failed and futile attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election result that saw him lose the popular vote by 7 million votes and trailing badly in the electoral tally, 306 to 232.
"After seeing the massive Voter Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election, I disagree with anyone that thinks a strong, fast, and fair Special Counsel is not needed, IMMEDIATELY," read Trump's tweet, which was marked as "disputed" by the social media platform. "This was the most corrupt election in the history of our Country, and it must be closely examined!"
As has been well-documented, legal challenges by Trump and GOP allies to voting results in key swing states have been summarily dismissed by judges for lack of any credible evidence to support the White House's allegations of "massive" fraud.
In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court, including the three justices nominated by Trump, have refused to even hear two of those cases.
Before leaving Washington, Trump settled a score on another grievance front by pardoning two more key allies convicted of felonies as part of the Russia probe conducted by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
Wednesday's additional 26 pardons included ones for his campaign manager of four years ago, Paul Manafort, and South Florida political operative Roger Stone.
Trump this year had already commuted Stone's prison sentence, which followed his conviction on charges of obstruction of Congress. Ironically, the pardon for Stone came almost a year to the day that Trump, when asked by the Palm Beach Post, said he had given no "thought" to a pardon to the well known South Florida political trickster and strategist.
Manafort and Stone now join two others — former national security adviser Mike Flynn and 2016 campaign aide George Papadopoulos — who were also charged by Mueller and who have recently received pardons from Trump.
The paradox, of course, is that acceptance of a pardon is also an admission of guilt.
So in accepting Trump's pardon, all four have tacitly admitted culpability — belying the president's claim the Mueller probe was a "hoax." And, as he declared on the PBIA tarmac in March 2019, that the Mueller report exonerated him and his 2016 campaign.
However, the mood among Trump's ardent supporters on Southern Boulevard was festive.
For many Trump supporters, flag-waving events on Friday nights and gathering along the motorcade route have become social affairs, with food, music and lots of Trump merch — from rhinestone necklaces to Trump dog attire.
"I have made friends for life," said Michael Bafumo, of West Palm Beach. "We're patriots ... we're not loyal to the Republican Party, we are loyal to Donald Trump."
Because Trump's schedule is now public, it has been easy to know what time to gather along the motorcade route. Tracking his schedule after he leaves office shouldn't pose a problem, said Vinny Caldara, driver of the Trump Train, a converted EMS vehicle painted red, white and blue and decked out with Trump swag.
Caldara, who has driven the Trump Train to 15 states in the last three weeks, said if Trump is not re-inaugurated on Jan. 20, he expects the president will announce a 2024 comeback campaign. Once another campaign is underway, it is easy to know where and when Trump will be, Caldara said.
"That's not going to happen," said Caldara about Trump leaving office in January. "Until he hands the keys to the White House to someone else, we will be here."
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Where is Trump spending Christmas? The president is back in Florida