President-elect Donald Trump held a private New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida over the weekend. Whereas reporters assigned to the president-elect were not in attendance during the dinner and event in the Grand Ballroom, a leaked video from one of the guests shows typical Trump in action.
Saturday’s events in Palm Beach, Florida, offered additional insight into how Trump will act as president — and further clouded the important distinction between his public and private lives.
In a 10-minute speech, the president-elect continued with his signature attacks on the press calling them “garbage,” even though no on-duty reporters were present for the speech.
The video obtained by CNN also reveals Trump praising the family of a billionaire developer from Dubai who has paid Trump millions to lease his name.
While Trump’s ire toward the press was not surprising, when the president-elect mentioned his business partner from Dubai, the appearance of a man conflicted between his business and public roles became clear.
"Hussain [Sajwani] and the whole family, the most beautiful people, are here from Dubai tonight,” Trump told the crowd in Mar-a-Lago’s lavish ballroom.
Speaking with CNN, Ken Gross, a political law attorney and partner at Skadden Arps, discussed the video revelations: "President-elect Trump is using his largesse as president-elect to enhance his existing business relationships.”
“Apparently, in his view, this practice does not run afoul of the representations he has made to date regarding the disentanglement of his business and official functions. It remains to be seen if this will ever get sorted out."
A Trump speech would not be complete without aggressive behavior. In addition to his attack on the nonexistent press, he felt the odd need to diminish some of the guests in attendance.
While he praised the members of Mar-a-Lago, he was hostile toward their guests: "I don't really care too much about the guests. I don't give a s*** about their guests."
About 800 paying guests were present at the New Year’s Eve party, with tickets selling for $525.