President Donald Trump cut his Florida vacation short and will miss his family’s traditional New Year’s Eve gala at their Mar-a-Lago resort to return to Washington, D.C. Thursday.
The White House did not give a reason for the president’s early return.
The abrupt change happened late Wednesday.
The return to D.C. comes as tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran. The Associated Press reports there is concern Iran could order military retaliation for the U.S. killing a top Iranian military commander on Jan. 3, 2020 in a drone strike.
Iranian-supported Shiite militia groups launched a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Dec. 20. No one was killed, but Trump said days later that Iran was on notice.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 23. He added, ”We hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq.”
The change in the president’s plan also happened shortly after Senator Josh Hawley announced he would raise objections on January 6 when a joint session of Congress meets to accept the votes of the Electoral College. The move could delay the process as Congress hears objections.
Trump tweeted Wednesday “January sixth, see you in DC!”, supposedly as a reference to the joint session and the demonstrations being planned by several groups supporting the president.
JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2020
The president and First Lady Melania Trump arrived at their Palm Beach resort on Dec. 23 and had planned on holding their annual gala Thursday night before returning.
Trump’s New Year’s Eve parties typically include celebrities and in the last few years, political allies and leaders have attended.