Trump is asking random Mar-a-Lago visitors to recommend lawyers to help with his legal issues, Wolff book says

trump mar-a-lago
Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.

  • Trump has no “real” lawyers working with him, a new book about him says.
  • The former president asks Mar-a-Lago visitors if they have any recommendations, the book says.
  • Trump has several legal threats hanging over him.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump is asking passers-by for legal help as he finds himself in increasing jeopardy, according to a new book.

An excerpt of “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” by Michael Wolff published by The Times of London Monday describes Trump’s life surrounded by followers at his Florida home of Mar-A-Lago.

In it, Wolff says that as of spring 2021 Trump had no “real” lawyers working with him, “going so far as to ask random visitors if they know any good ones” to help with the many legal threats looming over him.

Insider’s C. Ryan Barber and Tom LoBianco reported in April that, with the big law firms shying away, Trump calls on a stable of lawyers, many of whom were involved in his efforts to challenge the 2020 election result.

Some of the legal threats over Trump have begun to take shape.

On July 1, the Manhattan District Attorney unsealed an indictment against the Trump Organization, alleging 15 felonies including scheming to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, tax fraud, and falsifying business records, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.

Trump has not been charged, but the presents a clear problem for him, Sheth reported. Trump and his supporters have dismissed the prosecution as a “witch-hunt,” as Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported. But it’s far from the only legal concern he faces, as Wolff noted.

His call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger in January, begging him to “find” more votes for him so he could win the state could be illegal, Politico reported.

And since the January 6 riot at the Capitol, Trump has been warned that he could face legal consequences for inciting his followers. More than 400 people accused of joining the riot face criminal charges, some of whom have sought to blame Trump in their defenses.

Despite the various threats, Trump has cut off former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Wolff wrote – one of his most loyal legal advisers.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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The RNC shelled out $175,000 in May for a donor event at Mar-a-Lago. That’s just a fraction of the $2.6 million they’ve spent at Trump’s businesses since 2007.

trump mar a lago
The RNC paid over $175,000 to Mar-a-Lago for a donor event held in April.

  • The RNC shelled out $175,000 for a donor event at Mar-a-Lago this May.
  • That sum is just a fraction of what the RNC has spent at Trump properties over the last 14 years.
  • According to FEC data, the RNC spent over $2.6 million at Trump businesses since 2007.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) have been big spenders at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club this year, shelling out a cool $175,000 for a donor event held there in April.

Per the RNC’s Federal Election Commission (FEC) May filings seen by Insider, the hefty chunk of change was used to pay for “venue rental and catering” at the former president’s Palm Beach property.

The disbursement of $175,900.11 was made on May 12, but an RNC spokeswoman told CNBC that the fees were for an RNC donor event held at the property in April. At this particular donor event, Trump made an appearance, calling minority leader Mitch McConnell a “dumb son of a b—-h” during a 50-minute-long speech.

According to FEC data seen by Insider, across 239 occasions from 2007 to 2021, the RNC spent over $2.6 million on purchases at Trump-related businesses and properties, including its hotels. These ranged from catering expenses to venue rental fees.

Most of the RNC’s expenditure at Trump’s businesses came after he was anointed the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016. In 2017, The New York Times even dubbed Mar-a-Lago Trump’s “winter White House,” detailing the high-profile visits with top executives at the members-only club.

However, expenses for events at Trump properties began to peter out after he lost the election in November 2020, with only one disbursement to Trump businesses per month from the RNC in the first three months of 2021.

The Florida club, where the former president now resides, remains a hotspot to which conservative figures flock. In May, Ted Cruz posted a picture of himself at a candlelit dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Other conservative figures, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, have also attended events at the property.

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Trump has been spotted crashing memorial services unannounced at his Mar-a-Lago resort

Donald Trump waves to the camera
Former President Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump spotted wandering unannounced into events at Mar-A-Lago, Bloomberg reported.
  • One Mar-A-Lago member said Trump made a surprise appearance at a memorial for their friend.
  • “Trump needs the adulation of the crowd the way you or I need oxygen to breathe,” Michael Cohen said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump has been spotted wandering into memorial services and engagement parties at his Mar-A-Lago resort in recent weeks as he seeks “adulation” from members of the public, Bloomberg reported.

The president has lived in private quarters at his Mar-A-Lago resort since leaving the White House in January but he frequently mingles with the wealthy crowds who pay huge membership fees to be a part of the club.

One Mar-A-Lago member told Bloomberg that Trump had walked into a club memorial for a friend, made a speech, then stayed around afterwards.

“A Mar-a-Lago member who recently attended a club gathering for a deceased friend was surprised when Trump sauntered in to deliver remarks and then hung around, apparently enjoying himself,” Bloomberg reported.

Former associates of Trump speculated that the former president was enjoying the attention that comes with attending the events.

“Donald Trump needs the adulation of the crowd the way you or I need oxygen to breathe,” Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer told Bloomberg.

The president has sought to maintain a strong grip on the Republican party from his Mar-A-Lago base, targeting GOP lawmakers including Rep. Liz Cheney who voted this year to impeach him and praising those friendly to him.

He has also hosted a steady stream of Trump-friendly visitors at Mar-A-Lago this year, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who Trump summoned to meet with him in January.

Florida has become something of a magnet for other figures in Trump’s orbit since he moved there, with several having purchased houses in the state this year, Bloomberg reported.

These include Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, his daughter and son-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, and Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

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A Palm Beach attorney rejected a request from the city’s residents to evict Trump, saying he can live there as an employee

trump mar a lago
Mar-a-Lago has become a ‘sad place’ since Trump moved in, author Laurence Leamer claims.

  • A Palm Beach, Florida, attorney determined Donald Trump can legally live in his Mar-a-Lago resort.
  • The decision comes after Palm Beach residents argued that Trump violated a 1993 agreement.
  • The agreement specified resort guests couldn’t stay for more than “three non-consecutive seven-day periods.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Palm Beach, Florida, attorney on Friday justified former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residency after backlash from other residents.

According to the Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach Town Attorney John Randolph said Trump can live at Mar-a-Lago as a “bona fide employee.”

After he left the White House, residents tried to get Trump evicted by citing a 1993 agreement between him and the city that said Trump would limit his stays at Mar-a-Lago in exchange for turning his residence into a private club.

The agreement specified that no guest, Trump included, would be allowed to stay at the club for more than “three non-consecutive seven-day periods.”

Trump was slated to move from Washington, DC, to Mar-a-Lago after his single-term presidency. He and his wife, Melania, have lived in the Florida club since.

Randolph said the 1993 agreement did not specifically restrict Trump from living at the club because he is a “bona fide employee.” Randolph told the Palm Beach Daily News that the town’s zoning codes allow private clubs to provide living arrangements for some employees.

Read more: A peek inside the Trump family’s coddled new life in Florida, where they’ve hunkered down in mansions as locals’ protests outside the gates boil down to grudging acceptance

Trump’s attorney John B. Marion said the former president is responsible for overseeing the property and its financial records, strategizing ways to improve the club, and evaluating employee performance, the Daily News reported.

Marion, at a February hearing over the former president’s residence, called Trump the “mayor of the town of Mar-a-Lago,” Insider’s Jacob Shamsian previously reported.

“This guy, he wanders the property like the mayor of the town of Mar-a-Lago,” Marion said of Trump. “He’s ever-present, and he loves it there, and he loves the people that he sees there.”

Randolph’s remarks come months after a town council session in which officials heard the residents argue that Trump should not legally be allowed to live there because it would violate the 1993 agreement.

Palm Beach Town Manager Kirk Blouin said since then, council members have discussed Trump’s residency with Randolph and “did not object” to his decision.

“There is no action for the town of Palm Beach to take at this time,” Blouin told the Daily News.

Mar-a-Lago normally closes after Memorial Day. Trump is expected to temporarily relocate to Bedminster, New Jersey, this summer, likely to strategize for a potential 2024 presidential run, Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported.

Over the course of his presidency, Trump decamped to Mar-a-Lago often, dubbing it his “winter White House.” Prior to his presidency, he’s visited the resort most summers for years.

Since the end of his presidency, Trump has used the resort to host Republican politicians like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. Most recently, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted about dining with Trump at the resort.

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Watch Trump bid farewell to Mar-a-Lago members for the summer after yet another speech about the ‘rigged’ election

trump speaks mar a lago
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago on April 28, 2021.

  • A video has emerged of Trump saying his goodbyes to Mar-a-Lago members on Wednesday night.
  • Trump has plans to temporarily move his political operation to New Jersey.
  • Another video from the same event shows him baselessly claim that the 2020 election was “rigged.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A video has emerged of former President Donald Trump bidding farewell to Mar-a-Lago members on Wednesday night.

In the clip, shared by TikTok user @45covfefe, Trump tells a crowd that he is vacating his Florida resort for the summer.

Speaking at an event to endorse Rep. Billy Long, the former president, says: “So I just want to thank everybody, this is sort of a closeout. Now we go through the summer… we’ll be back in October, maybe a little bit sooner.”

Trump advisors told Insider last week that the former president and several political aides were planning on temporarily relocating to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Read more: Trump plots temporary move from Mar-a-Lago north to New Jersey

The move, which now appears to be imminent, is said to be driven by Florida’s climate and Trump’s political ambitions.

Mar-a-Lago closes just after Memorial Day on May 31 when South Florida weather becomes hot and muggy. It’s also so that Trump can gain easy access to New York donors as he builds his post-presidency political operation, Insider’s Tom LoBlanco reported.

Other videos from the same night have also emerged and show Trump talking about the Maricopa County election audit in Arizona.

Trump obsessively asks aides about the GOP-led audit of Arizona’s 2020 election results, Insider reported on Saturday.

“Watch Arizona. Some very interesting things are happening in Arizona,” he says in the clip posted on TikTok.

In another video, shared on YouTube, Trump touts the Arizona audit as a sign of future audits in other states.

“Let’s see what they find. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes,” he says. “We’re going to watch that very quickly and, after that, we’ll Pennsylvania, we’ll watch Georgia, and you’re going to watch Michigan, and Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.”

He then proceeds to again claim baselessly that the 2020 election was stolen. “This was a rigged election, everybody knows it, and we’re going to be watching it very closely.”

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A ‘happy and relaxed’ Melania Trump is enjoying life after leaving the White House, report says

melania trump donald trump
Donald Trump and Melania Trump exit Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on the way to Mar-a-Lago Club on January 20.

  • Melania Trump has stayed out of politics and the limelight since leaving the White House.
  • The former first lady sometimes enjoys spa treatments twice a day at Mar-a-Lago, CNN reports.
  • Sources close to the family say Melania appears “happy and relaxed.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Unlike her husband, Melania Trump has stayed out of politics since she left the White House in January.

The former first lady has not made any public appearances, and is even laying low at the couple’s residence, the Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to a CNN report on Wednesday.

“She’s not a presence at Mar-a-Lago at all,” a source close to the former first family told CNN. “She’s not mingling with people and rarely interacts with her husband’s staff.”

Instead, Trump fills her days with regular visits to the on-site spa, occasionally getting treatments twice a day, a source told CNN. She also spends her time with the couple’s 15-year-old son, Barron, as well as with her parents, who sometimes spend weeks at the resort in their own personal suite.

Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has kept up his appearances, hosting lavish dinners and fundraisers for Republican groups and allies at his club.

Sources close to the family told CNN that Melania seems “happy and relaxed” when they do see her at dinner, and smiles and waves to guests as she arrives at the dining area with Trump.

The change of pace for the former first lady has been a long time coming. As CNN reported in December, Melania had grown eager to leave the White House and was privately planning her future. “She just wants to go home,” a source familiar with her thinking told CNN at the time.

The outlet also reported in January that Melania was looking for office space in Florida to continue the “Be Best” initiative she launched in 2018, a campaign focused on children’s wellbeing and cyberbullying.

Melania has set up her own office at the club, but little has come out of it so far, besides an embellished logo that resembles a presidential seal, CNN reported. She also has not yet announced plans for a memoir, a typical move for first ladies once they exit the White House.

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Ex-Trump critic J.D. Vance is running for Senate after meeting with Trump and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel at Mar-a-Lago, according to new report

J.D. Vance
J.D. Vance

  • Venture capitalist J.D. Vance has told friends that he will run for retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s Ohio seat in 2022, Axios first reported on Thursday.
  • Vance, author of the bestselling 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” recently met with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Before Trump’s 2016 win, Vance said Trump “would be terrible for the country.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance has told friends that he will run for retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s Ohio seat in 2022, Axios first reported on Thursday.

Vance, who made a name for himself with his bestselling 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” recently met with former President Donald Trump and conservative Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Axios reported.

The 36-year-old Marine veteran and Yale Law School graduate was highly critical of Trump before he was elected president.

“I can’t stomach Trump. I think that he’s noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place,” Vance told NPR’s Terry Gross before Trump’s win in 2016. He also told conservative commentator Mona Charen, “If Trump wins it would be terrible for the country, but good for book sales.”

As Vance predicted, he became a popular translator of the issues facing the struggling white working-class that helped power Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. Over the last few years, he’s become a loyal Republican.

Vance previously worked for Thiel’s venture capital firm, Mithril Capital. In 2019, he founded his own firm, Narya, which invests in start-ups in under-resourced areas. Thiel and other prominent Silicon Valley figures, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and two top Facebook executives, contributed to Vance’s $90 million fund.

Thiel has helped shepherd Vance into politics and donated $10 million to the super PAC Protect Ohio Values, which was set up to back Vance’s Senate bid.

While Vance built his career in finance on support from prominent tech executives, he’s recently taken to condemning the power of “Big Tech” along with other conservatives politicians. He’s called on the Republican Party to remake itself as the champion of the working class and aligned himself with the likes of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who he recently argued “is the only powerful figure who consistently challenges elite dogma – on both cultural and economic questions.”

Several other Republicans have already entered the Senate primary, and the race is looking to be one of the most-watched of the cycle.

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Trump wants you to start calling it the ‘Trumpcine’ instead of the COVID-19 vaccine, report says

trump vaccine operation warp speed
Trump greets the crowd before he leaves at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 08, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • Former President Donald Trump wants the vaccine to be called the “Trumpcine,” Newsweek reported.
  • He has repeatedly expressed his frustration that he isn’t getting credit for the COVID-19 shot.
  • In March, Trump claimed that people “probably” wouldn’t get the vaccine at all if it wasn’t for him.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump wants you to start calling the COVID-19 vaccine by a different name.

“Trumpcine” is the former president’s desired moniker for the life-saving jab, CNN reporter Kevin Liptak said on Twitter.

Trump made this request to hundreds of donors during a rambling 50-minute speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday night, Newsweek reported.

It’s the latest sign that the former president is growing increasingly frustrated that he isn’t receiving credit for the development or rollout of the coronavirus shot.

Read more: Just 5 governors haven’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, Insider found. Here’s who – and why.

In early March, Trump released a statement falsely asserting that he was primarily responsible for the shot’s rapid development.

“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,” the statement said.

There is no evidence to suggest that Trump’s efforts would have shaved four or five years off from a COVID-19 vaccine being developed, Insider’s Tyler Sonnemaker previously wrote.

In November, Insider’s Mia Jankowicz reported that Trump was furious that President Joe Biden may get credit for the vaccines. He was reportedly upset that Biden would “steal” the plaudits from him, Jankowicz said.

Trump made the latest plea for credit at a speech to his most dedicated supporters during a Republican National Committee retreat.

In addition to touting the “Trumpcine,” he reportedly spent several minutes deriding Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao.

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Trump spent several minutes insulting ‘dumb son of a b—h’ Mitch McConnell during a rambling speech to GOP donors at Mar-a-Lago, say reports

trump mcconnell insults gop
Former President Donald Trump took aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for not supporting him enough during his February impeachment trial, Politico reported.

  • Former President Donald Trump insulted Mitch McConnell during a speech to donors at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Trump referred to the Senate Minority Leader as a “dumb son of a b—h,” Politico reported.
  • He spent several minutes ridiculing both McConnell and his wife, The Washington Post said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump derided Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a 50-minute speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Politico reported.

Trump referred to McConnell as a “dumb son of a b—h,” three people familiar with the remarks told Politico.

He then spent several minutes detailing his qualms with McConnell, the media outlet said.

The former president complained that McConnell had not done enough to defend him during his February impeachment trial, according to Politico.

Read more: Donald Trump is facing legal jeopardy on multiple fronts. Here are the lawyers in his corner.

Trump also attacked McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary, The Washington Post reported. “I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?” Trump said, according to The Post.

mitch mcconnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, former Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, arrive for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

He then proceeded to ridicule her for resigning following the January 6 insurrection, the paper said.

The former president also falsely claimed that he had won the Senate election for McConnell in Kentucky, The Post added.

The Kentucky senator was not the only Republican to be derided. Trump also claimed that former Vice President Mike Pence lacked the “courage” to send the Electoral College certification back to state legislatures, MailOnline said.

The former president was speaking to hundreds of GOP donors as part of a Republican National Committee retreat in South Florida, according to CNN.

Donors were shuttled from the retreat’s main venue, about 10 minutes away, to this closed-door audience with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, CNN reported.

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A breakdown of what’s in Trump’s new office – including a nearly hidden bottle that suggests he’s drinking Coke despite calling for boycott

trump mar-a-lago
Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.

  • Trump advisor Stephen Miller tweeted a photo of himself and Trump in Trump’s new office Monday.
  • Eagle-eyed observers noticed what looked like a glass Diet Coke bottle hidden on Trump’s desk.
  • Days earlier Trump told his supporters to boycott Coca-Cola for opposing Georgia’s new voting laws.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Donald Trump is back on Twitter. Well, sort of.

The former president made a guest appearance on Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller’s Twitter Monday in a photo of the two taken in Trump’s new Mar-a-Lago office.

The long-time Trump advisor offered Twitter users a glimpse into the Trump’s new working conditions since he took up residence in the South Florida club after leaving office in January.

But eagle-eyed inspectors were quick to notice a poorly-concealed taboo on Trump’s desk.

Just behind a telephone on the desk, a glass bottle of what appears to be the former president’s well-known favorite soda, Diet Coke, can be seen partially open and apparently drunk from.

The not-quite out-of-sight soda bottle is particularly notable in light of Trump’s recent calls to boycott Coca-Cola products made just a few days before the picture seems to have been taken.

On Saturday, Trump released a statement calling on Republicans and conservatives to “fight back” against “WOKE CANCEL CULTURE,” by boycotting companies like Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan, Chase, UPS, and more who have all protested Georgia’s restrictive new voting law.

Early in his presidency, a New York Times profile revealed Trump drank roughly 12 Diet Cokes each day and even summoned housekeeping staff to bring him a can of his favorite soda via a button on his desk.

A close inspection of Miller’s photo also revealed a pair of reading glasses resting on Trump’s new desk – a departure from the man who very rarely allowed himself to be seen wearing glasses. In 2019, The New York Times reported that Trump disliked tweeting in front of other people because he needs reading glasses to see his iPhone screen. Instead, Trump preferred to dictate his tweets to then-White House social-media director, Dan Scavino.

No word on how or when Trump dons the glasses since he’s been permanently removed from Twitter.

Miller’s photo also highlights a telling piece of artwork in Trump’s office. In the corner of the room, overlooking the former president’s desk hangs a framed picture of Mount Rushmore.

According to The New York Times, in 2019, a White House aide asked the office of South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem, how to add more presidents to Mount Rushmore. Noem said during her first meeting with Trump in the oval office she invited him to come to South Dakota sometime, boasting of Mount Rushmore. He reportedly replied: “Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?”

In the corner of the photo, sitting atop a side table and partially blocked by Miller, stands a miniature statue of what appears to be Trump himself; a tangible ode to a self-admittedly, self-involved president.

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