If you are on the Westside of Los Angeles today, you might want to use lunch to start that commute home early, because Donald Trump’s whirlwind visit to town today is going to make a. parking lot out of the area very soon.
With the former Celebrity Apprentice host expected to touch down at LAX around 3:25 p.m., the LAPD and others are set to start closing down streets from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills and beyond in the next hour or so, we hear. As has become commonplace under the Trump administration when it comes to the Democratic stronghold of L.A., the police have just been given the go-ahead by the Secret Service to make the road closures public, even though POTUS is landing within hours. (See the full list of road closures below.)
We also know that this visit by 45 will see him getting an update from Casey Wasserman on L.A.’s 2028 Olympics plans and then hitting dual fundraisers in Beverly Hills at the Montage hotel on North Canon Drive.
All in all, in his first trip out to L.A since September, Trump will be here just over four hours, with Air Force One set to be wheels up out of LAX for an overnight in Sin City at 7:45 p.m.
After a quick Marine One jump from LAX to Santa Monica Airport and then a motorcade through the heart of West L.A. and retail Bev Hills, the Olympics briefing is set to start at around 4:10 p.m. Staunch Democrat Wasserman, grandson of the quintessential Hollywood power player Lew Wasserman, long has stressed the Olympics is a nonpartisan affair. To that end, the sports agent exec has sought impute from the Trump crew and the overall federal government in the City of Angels’ successful 2017 bid and preparations for the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad.
Having said that, Mayor Eric Garcetti won’t be at the Olympics briefing this afternoon at the Montage Beverly Hills. Perhaps as justification for the fundraisers to follow, there is one bit of official business out of the LA2028 meeting. As required by the IOC, today is expected to see a formal signoff by Trump that all federal government agencies will provide operational support to the privately funded $6.9 billion-budgeted Games.
As security descends like a steel net over the area and halts traffic on surrounding main streets like Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, to name a few, Trump then has a roundtable with well-heeled supporters scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at the hotel. Staying in the same location, that sit-down is to be followed by a speech at a joint Trump 2020 campaign and RNC fundraiser at 6:15 p.m. The latter is expected to bring in about $6 million for the re-election effort and the party run by Ronna McDaniel, Mitt Romney’s daughter-in-law.
As for Trump not staying overnight at either the Montage or his own Beverly Hills home, POTUS told reporters today, “Largely [the] schedule is by the Secret Service; we do what they want us to.” In wide-ranging remarks about the pardons he issued today and more, Trump added before boarding Air Force One: “I don’t set the schedule, I have nothing to do with it.”
Still, one day after potential challenger Sen. Amy Klobuchar held a Jay Leno-attended fundraiser in L.A, this fourth visit by this POTUS to SoCal since taking office is far from over once he leaves town tonight.
On Wednesday, Trump will be flying back to the Golden State to break bread and maybe hit a few golf balls with Oracle boss and Annapurna backer Larry Ellison in the latter’s sprawling Rancho Mirage property for another fundraiser.
Protested by more than 2,200 Oracle employees in a petition, the $100,000- to $250,000-a-ticket event comes as Ellison’s company and Amazon keep fighting in court over the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative (JEDI) contract that the Pentagon abruptly handed to Microsoft last year after it almost was assured to go to the Jeff Bezos-founded company.
Besides that little website that has everything, a streamer, a cloud services business and more recently Jack Warner’s old spread, Bezos also owns a broadsheet called the Washington Post that Trump is no fan of. Adding another irritant to the current POTUS, Trump’s visit to the Coachella Valley succeeds a trip to the region’s famed Thunderbird Heights by President Barack Obama on the Presidents Day holiday Monday.
After time with Ellison, Trump is going up to Bakersfield to join House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the GOP stronghold for another party event before exiting for Arizona later on Wednesday.
Already a must-visit for Dems looking for much-needed Hollywood cash, L.A. will see a lot of Oval Office contenders in town leading up to the Golden State’s March 3 primary. And, once the Democrats have a nominee, expect to see that person and Trump here even more in the pursuit of donors wide and far — which means, you might want to get a bike. Just sayin’.
HERE IS THE OFFICIAL ROAD CLOSURE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE LAPD, BUT, AS ALWAYS, EXPECT A FEW SURPRISES:
Los Angeles & Beverly Hills: To assist the public in avoiding possible traffic congestion during the visit of the President of the United States on February 18, 2020, the following areas of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills should be avoided when possible to prevent travel delays for community members:
Tuesday, February 18
The area around S. Centinela Avenue between Airport Avenue & Olympic Boulevard
The area around S. Robertson Boulevard between the Santa Monica Freeway & Beverly Boulevard
The City of Beverly Hills, Wilshire Boulevard north to Santa Monica Boulevard, and Rodeo Drive east to N. Rexford Drive
The area around S. Robertson Boulevard between Beverly Boulevard and the Santa Monica Freeway
The area around S. Centinela Avenue between Pico Boulevard & Airport Avenue