Donald Trump got up from his family Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago to greet Alan Dershowitz amid reports the famed attorney could join the president’s impeachment team.
Trump got up from his table, where he was seated next to first lady Melania Trump, to walk over and talk to Dershowitz after reports his legal team has discussed bringing Dershowitz on board to help with the president’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
The first couple was attending their annual Christmas Eve dinner in the ballroom at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Donald Trump got up from his family Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago to greet Alan Dershowitz
There have been reports Alan Dershowitz could join the president’s impeachment team
President Trump and Melania Trump had Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-Lago
The gilded room was filled with guests but the Trumps were separated from most of them by a velvet rope line. A singer sang Christmas carols with a live band.
The president gave his guests his signature thumbs’ up move.
Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle joined the party, as did Melania’s parents.
The first couple turned the occasion into a red carpet moment – all it was missing was an actual red carpet.
The Trumps, followed by Melania’s parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Donald Trump Jr., and Guilfoyle, walked up to the grand entry way, pausing before a rope line of reporters and photographers before heading inside to greet their guests.
Donald and Melania Trump also changed their church routine on Christmas Eve in the wake of the president’s feud with an evangelical Christian magazine.
The first couple attended the Family Church-Downtown in West Palm Beach on Tuesday night, spending the holiday occasion at the Baptist chapel.
In past years, the Trumps have attended service at Bethesda by the Sea, an episcopal church near Mar-a-Lago, when they spent the Christmas and Easter holidays at the Winter White House.
The president didn’t answer when asked if he prayed for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he’s mocked for saying she prayed for him.
‘We’re going to have a great year,’ he said when asked after the service.
Donald Trump Jr and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle also attended Christmas Eve dinner
President Trump and Melania Trump ate in the ballroom at Mar-a-Lago
President Trump gave his guests a thumb’s up
The first couple sat in the third row of the church, listening as church members sang Christmas carols like ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ There were bible readings from the gospel of Luke.
Pastor Jimmy Scroggins focused his homily on the story of Jesus.
‘There was no Secret Service. There was no motorcade. There was no gaggle of press,’ he noted of Jesus’ birth, stressing the humble origins of Jesus.
‘The Bible says Jesus came to be a light in our world,’ Scroggins said in his sermon. He charged the attendees to share the light of Jesus with the world.
At the conclusion of his words, the congregation lit candles and sang ‘Silent Night.’
The Family Church is a Baptist Church, the same faith as Rev. Jerry Falwell, who visited the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.
Falwell and his wife were spotted mingling with the Trumps at their Mar-a-Lago estate Friday night in pictures posted on social media.
Donald and Melania Trump attended the Family Church on Christmas Eve
The president sat in the third row of the Baptist church
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet Lead Pastor Jimmy Scroggins, his wife Kristin, and their son and daughter-in-law, James and Reilly at the Family Church
The president embraced Falwell after getting into a feud with the publishers of a prominent Evangelical Christian magazine founded by the legendary pastor Billy Graham.
Falwell defended Trump in the fallout from the feud.
The reverend went on ‘Fox and Friends’ – the president’s favorite morning show – and said he found the magazine’s remarks ‘hypocritical,’ adding it shows there is an ‘elite establishment among the religious community.’
‘I think it’s hypocritical,’ Falwell said. ‘I think it’s ironic also that Christianity Today, sort of a forgotten magazine from yesteryear, took the opportunity the week before Christmas to point out the difference between true Christianity and Pharisaical or judgmental Christianity and reminded us there is an elite establishment among the religious community just like there is in the government that’s liberal, that’s left-wing. And it’s a group that — they think they are more moral and smarter than the rest of us.’
The Trumps were greeted at the church Tuesday night by Lead Pastor Jimmy Scroggins, his wife Kristin, and their son and daughter-in-law, James and Reilly.
Before the first couple left Mar-a-Largo, first lady Melania Trump called into NORAD’s Santa Tracker to wish children a Merry Christmas.
‘She spoke with several children from across the country and heard many of the items on their Christmas lists’. Mrs. Trump reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very Merry Christmas,’ White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Calling into the NORAD tracker is an annual tradition for the first family.
But Trump caused a bit of controversy when he joined the call last year.
‘Are you still a believer in Santa? ’Cause at 7, it’s marginal, right?,’ he said while on the phone with one little boy.
The president did not participate in the call this year.
Melania Trump called into the NORAD Santa tracker before joining her husband at church
Trump poses with Jerry Falwell Jr, Falwell’s wife Becki (left) and Kimberly Guilfoyle at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night
President Trump did call U.S. troops to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas on Tuesday morning before he left to spend the afternoon at his Trump International Golf Course.
Trump’s change in Christmas Eve churches came after he feuded with a prominent evangelical Christian magazine.
The president said on Friday that Christianity Today, founded in 1956, has become a ‘far left’ periodical. The magazine’s top editor wrote in an editorial published Thursday that the president should be removed from office because he has ‘dumbed down the idea of morality.’
Trump thanked Franklin Graham, son of its legendary evangelical founder Billy Graham, for saying his father voted for the president before his death.
‘Thank you to Franklin Graham for stating that his father, the late great Billy Graham, voted for me in the 2016 Election. I know how pleased you are with the work we have all done together!’
Billy Graham, the famed revival preacher, died in 2018. Franklin Graham disclosed his father’s voting preference in a Facebook post on Friday.
Additionally, Franklin Graham this week said his father would be ‘disappointed’ in the anti-Trump editorial the magazine published last week.
‘My father supported Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump and he actually voted for Donald Trump and if he were here today he would tell you that himself,’ Graham told Raymond Arroyo on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Ingraham Angle.’
President Trump and Melania Trump head into church
Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. sit with President Donald Trump at Melania Trump at Christmas Eve dinner
The Trumps posed for photos at Mar-a-Lago before going into their dinner
The offensive from the group of prominent evangelicals, including multiple members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, signaled a lingering awareness by the president’s backers that any meaningful crack in his longtime support from that segment of the Christian community could prove perilous for his reelection hopes.
The Trump campaign responded by announcing an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ event, which will take place on January 3 in Miami, while the president spends the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
There was no groundswell of new anti-Trump sentiment emerged among evangelicals in the wake of Christianity Today’s editorial.