Mar-a-Lago Guest Causes Stir With Controversial Photo

It appears to show the aide who carries the nuclear football
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2017 1:14 PM CST
Trump Guest Causes Stir With Controversial Photo
President Donald Trump flashes a thumbs up as he walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, from a trip to Florida.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A member of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida posted a Facebook photo over the weekend that has caused quite a fuss. The reason? It shows the member posing with "Rick," whom he identified as the aide who follows Trump everywhere and carries the nation's nuclear codes. The Washington Post first mentioned the posting by retired investor Richard DeAgazio, who took it down after being asked about it. You can see the image at the Daily Caller, which also has wire-service photos that appear to show the same man following Trump on different days, and he is indeed carrying a hefty briefcase. Assuming this is, in fact, the man with the fabled nuclear football, it's not exactly a state secret, notes Gizmodo. After all, it's inevitable that he would show up in photos given that he's with the president constantly.

The Hill, though, frames the hubbub this way: The photos "raise questions about the access enjoyed by Mar-a-Lago members, who have seen their annual membership fee double to $200,000 since Trump won the presidency." On that front, both the original Post story and another at CNN detail how Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan were at dinner at the club when news broke of North Korea's missile test. A line from CNN: "The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents." They did so as guests sat nearby. "Wow.....the center of the action!!!” wrote DeAgazio in another post. (More President Trump stories.)

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