Warm Southern Breeze

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POTUS Trump Visits Camp David Father’s Day Weekend 2017

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Roughly 62 miles away from the Washington D.C. Beltway, hidden away in the northeastern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in north-central Maryland, very near the Pennsylvania border, along the Catoctin Mountain Park ridge in the Monocacy Valley near the town of Thurmont, lies a 4-acre park-like U.S. Navy base called “Naval Support Facility Thurmont.”

Its coordinates are: 39°38′54″N 77°27′54″W

Its construction began in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration, and was completed in 1938. Originally built as a camp for federal government employees and their families, it was converted into a presidential retreat and named “Shangri La” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942. Some years later, President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed it “Camp David” in recognition of his father and grandson, both whom were named David. It has borne that name ever since.

Camp David is operated by the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps, which calls it “Naval Support Facility Thurmont.”

Every President has made use of it since it’s construction. FDR hosted British PM Sir Winston Churchill there. Eisenhower held his first Cabinet Meeting there. JFK allowed White House staff to use it when he wasn’t there. LBJ met with the Australian & Canadian PMs there. Nixon & Ford used it. Carter brokered a peace negotiation with Egypt & Israel known as the Camp David Accords there. Reagan used it more than any president, and hosted British PM Margaret Thatcher there. George H.W. Bush’s daughter Dorothy was married there. Clinton used it extensively and hosted British PM Tony Blair there numerous times. George W. Bush hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, British PM Gordon Brown, and Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen there, as well. Obama hosted the 38th G8 summit there in 2012, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, and the GCC Summit there in 2015.

Trump called Camp David “rustic,” and has avoided it thus far in his first few months in office.

In an interview with The Times of London and the German newspaper Bild in January 2017, Trump said in part that, “Camp David is very rustic, it’s nice, you’d like it. You know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.”

Yet at great taxpayer expense, the Secret Service has struggled to protect Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other properties which don’t have built-in security like Camp David.

When Carter helped broker the Egypt/Israel peace accords, because of Camp David’s remoteness, and without the news media around, there were very few leaks and no television cameras for politicians and others to posture before.

Camp David costs taxpayers about about $8 million annually to operate. While the Secret Service is notably tight-lipped about Presidential security costs, it is well-known that Trump’s lifestyle of ostentatious privilege has bottomed out the agency’s budget, and they have requested $60M additional taxpayer dollars to provide security for the Trump clan. Some estimates place the annual costs of protecting Trump and his family well over $1B.

Interestingly, nestled in the rock underneath Camp David is another Naval Base monikered “Orange One,” the existence of which had remained secret until the Nixon administration. Nixon, it seems, had requested a swimming pool be constructed on the property, and the site he specified sat over a portion of the subterranean facility. Because of that, an above-ground pool had to be constructed, which was landscaped to appear as if it were in-ground. In 1959, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan noted in his diary that he toured the facility which he described as a “fortress… hewn out of the rock,” and could hold up to 200 people in its two separate wings. Bill Gulley, the late former Chief of the White House Military Office during the Nixon administration, said Orange One extends underneath the swimming pool at Aspen Lodge, which is the President’s quarters at Camp David, and can be accessed through an elevator from within it.

Trump will be “roughing it” at Camp David this Father’s Day weekend.

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