More than 1,500 kilometers from his family and friends, the US president, Donald Trump, will spend the end of the year alone in Washington, where the cold and empty streets draw an unappetizing picture for a president accustomed to great celebrations during the Christmas season. .
While his wife, Melania Trump, and their children enjoy the warm climate of South Florida, Trump has chosen to stay in the White House at a time when a quarter of the US Administration is closed because of the lack of consensus budgetary.
Trump's insistence on the need to include funds in the budget for his longed-for wall on the border with Mexico and the inflexibility of the Democratic congressional caucus with that issue have caused an uncomfortable Christmas for the president.
"He is going to stay in Washington DC during the New Year, he has already canceled his plans for Christmas, and now he has canceled his plans for the end of the year," said Trump's interim chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, on Friday. the American chain Fox.
The president has repeatedly blamed the Democrats for the closure of the government, despite the fact that it was he who threatened to paralyze him for lack of funds if the budget did not include an amount that he considered sufficient for the wall, as it eventually ended up happening.
Thus, Trump, who came to feel sorry for himself for being "alone" in Washington a week ago with a surprising "poor me", has decided to remain in the capital before the risk of the avalanche of criticism that would have been generated in case of that he would have gone to his Mar-a-Lago golf club to celebrate the end of the year.
That's where the president celebrated the last day of 2017 with his family and friends, like his daughter Ivanka Trump with her husband, Jared Kushner; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton; former baseball player Keith Hernandez, and Fox network presenter Lou Dobbs, among others.
It is not a secret that Trump was eager to be, as almost every year, the host of that exclusive New Year's Eve gala, an event whose price per ticket is around $ 1,000, according to local media.
However, Trump has been left alone in Washington: in addition to his family, neither senators nor members of the House of Representatives are in the capital during these dates, despite widespread malaise in the country by the administrative closure.
The lower house and the Senate adjourned on Thursday their sessions, which were attended by only five legislators, and the upper house announced that the senators will not meet until next January 2.
The days of Trump's imprisonment in the White House were interrupted by a brief surprise visit this week from the president and Melania to the US troops deployed in Iraq and to the military stationed in Germany.
Upon his return, marked by a frenzy of tweets more accentuated than usual, Trump starred in an episode that also served to win comparisons with the "Grinch", a fictional character who steals Christmas to the citizens of his town.
On Christmas Eve, Trump spoke on the phone with a seven-year-old girl and asked if he "still" believed in Santa Claus, a comment that sparked a new wave of criticism of the head of state for his lack of sensitivity to the child.
"Do you still believe in Santa Claus? Because at seven years of age, that's already marginal, right?" Trump asked the girl.
In the final stretch of 2018, Trump has seen how the 16 days of vacation he had originally planned with his family and friends have been reduced to zero; a lack of Christmas rest that can affect the start of a year that is expected to be complicated for the White House tenant.