President Donald Trump waxed on today about the virtues of the "Southern White House," reminding reporters of its history and stating that, "Many of the world's great leaders request to come to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
"They like it, I like it, we're comfortable, we have great relationships.
"As you remember we were here and president Xi of China was here," Trump said, standing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is making his second visit.
"It was originally built as the Southern White House. It was called the Southern White house," Trump said. "It was given to the United States. And then Jimmy Carter decided it was too expensive for the United States so they fortunately for me gave it back and I bought it."
From a 2016 Tampa Bay Times story:
The 35-year-old vacationing New Yorker had to have it: Mar-a-Lago, a spectacular Mediterranean mansion in Palm Beach set on 17 lush acres spanning the Atlantic to the Intracoastal Waterway.
"Almost immediately I put in a bid of $15 million, and it was promptly rejected," Donald Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal. Three years later, in 1985, he snagged the historic estate for $5 million plus $3 million for furnishings.
"It just goes to show that it pays to move quickly and decisively when the time is right," Trump mused.