Trump to make first visit to Camp David

President Donald J. Trump will make his first visit to Camp David this weekend, spending a night at the woodsy retreat in Western Maryland on Saturday and ending speculation about whether he would call on the historic property during his presidency.

The visit to the remote Catoctin Mountain Park north of Frederick comes just days after first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, moved into the White House. Trump's family had been living in New York after the inauguration while Barron finished fifth grade.

Trump's visit will also mark the first time the president has stayed somewhere outside of the White House that is not a Trump-branded property. Earlier this year, the president spent several weekends at his Mar-a-Lago golf club estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

He has twice spent weekends at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Camp David, about 60 miles northwest of Baltimore, was converted into a presidential retreat by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s. President Jimmy Carter negotiated the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel on the property in 1978. President Barack Obama held a G8 summit there in 2012.

But while the camp has been used frequently by presidents of both parties, there has been considerable speculation about whether Trump would ever visit the site. The Federal Aviation Administration has repeatedly reserved airspace over the camp this year, setting off a flurry of interest later dashed when the president's schedule became public.

Just before taking office, Trump — a former Manhattan real estate magnate — indicated he wasn't enamored with the idea of time spent in the woods.

"Yea, Camp David is very rustic, it's nice, you'd like it," he quipped to European reporters. "You know how long you'd like it? For about 30 minutes."

The White House noted the trip on the president's schedule Friday. Trump is not expected to make any public appearances while at the camp and is scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday afternoon.

Maryland overwhelmingly supported Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the November election, but he carried Frederick County — where Camp David is located — by 2 percentage points.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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