Biden heads to St. Croix as winter blizzard kills dozens, cancels 10,000 flights

WASHINGTON — Want to run?

President Biden left the White House Tuesday night for a tropical vacation in St. Croix to start the new year — as much of the country deals with extreme cold and blizzards that have killed at least 65 people and 10,000 flights canceled since Christmas Eve.

The 80-year-old commander in chief will bask in the Caribbean sunshine beside an in-ground pool in a three-bedroom beach villa with the largest views of the US Virgin Islands.

in between, travel chaosThe single-digit weather continues to cause widespread power outages and rising deaths throughout the Midwest and East Coast, but especially in western New York, where at least 32 people died More than 4 feet of snow in Buffalo’s Erie County.

It is unclear who owns the vacation property or whether Biden will pay for his accommodations, though he has a long record of staying for free in the homes of wealthy Democratic donors.

The homeowner declined to identify himself or disclose whether Biden would pay when contacted through the real estate company that is leasing.

President Biden is leaving frigid D.C. behind for a beach vacation home in tropical St. Croix.
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The three-bedroom villas have sweeping views and direct beach access.
calabash real estate

Biden boarded Air Force One with first lady Jill Biden and two of her grandchildren – Natalie and Hunter – as well as first daughter Ashley Biden and her husband, Howard Kerin. It is not clear whether other family members who usually attend such visits like the scam first son hunter bidenare also traveling.

The president had stayed at the same St. Croix property during previous visits to American territory during his vice presidency.

Biden visited St. Croix at least five times between 2014 and 2016. according to local news reportsPlus at least one extra time to celebrate the New Year four months before he starts his presidential campaign in 2019.

The oldest president said last month that he plans to make a final decision on whether to run for re-election in 2023 “early on” because he and the first lady would “actually have a little time to sneak away for a week.” Is.”

Severe Christmas-weekend weather killed dozens across the US, including in Buffalo above.
AFP via Getty Images
Millions of Americans lost power and 10,000 flights were canceled during the single-digit weather.
AFP via Getty Images

Biden told reporters during a Thanksgiving visit to Nantucket Island that there were “no discussions” about 2024 with his family while living at private equity billionaire David Rubenstein’s compound – where he has stayed twice, presumably for free – as President.

Biden has given up freebies at other vacation spots. For example, the President asked be free A $20 million Kiawah Island, SC, vacation home belonging to Maria Allwin, widow of hedge fund founder James Allwin, in August. Biden had previously stayed there for free after being friendly with Allwyn during his vice presidency.

Biden has visited the Virgin Islands for years in the winter – braving the freezing cold for temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Biden won the 2008 election after him and former President Barack Obama toured a property owned by his brother James on Small Water Island near St. Thomas.

It is unclear whether Biden is paying for his stay.
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Biden lived at the same property during his tenure as Vice President.
Biden lived at the same property during his tenure as Vice President.
calabash real estate

This is the president’s first visit to the Virgin Islands since taking office last year, and St. Croix’s complex residential address system and property registry prevent vacation home owners from being easily identified.

Biden intended to visit nearby Puerto Rico during his first winter in office – due to anticipated tensions over security and pressure on the tiny Virgin Islands – but was to cancel the trip Due to the massive wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

If Biden gets free lodging in St. Croix, he must disclose the lodging concession on annual financial disclosure forms publicly released in May. The form requires the President and Vice President to disclose complimentary housing valued at more than $390. Ethics experts say the “personal hospitality” reporting exception on that form doesn’t cover instances where the landlord is not present.

Biden visits the Caribbean as extreme winter weather continues to take its toll across the US - Two Palms, St. Croix Island, US Virgin Islands.

It is unclear who owns the vacation property or whether Biden will pay for his accommodations, though he has a long record of staying for free in the homes of wealthy Democratic donors.

The 80-year-old commander in chief will bathe in the Caribbean sunshine in a three-bedroom beachfront villa with the largest views of the US Virgin Islands near an in-ground pool.

The three-bedroom Beachfront Villa has a pool and sweeping views.


biden st croix

One bedroom in the villa.


Walter Schaub, director of the US Office of Government Ethics under former President Barack Obama, tweeted last year During Biden’s stay at Rubenstein’s Nantucket campus: “Just a friendly reminder, [Biden] Must pay fair market value for lodging on Nantucket or disclose gift of free lodging in its annual disclosure in May 2022.

Schaub wrote that “[t]There is a disclosure exception for personal hospitality, but it only applies if Carlyle is the head of the group. [Rubenstein] Living there with the Bidens. I suspect the WH is in compliance with the rule – and oblivious to ethical optics.

The disclosure rule is not strictly enforced, but it could provide an opportunity for House Republican oversight when the GOP retakes the lower chamber of Congress next year.

As vice president, Biden did not disclose any gifted St. Croix travel expenses on his annual financial disclosure form. However, they did not list their free lodging at the Allwyn home on Kiawah, despite a source close to the family saying. the post is telling He “never paid.”

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