Trump in Key West today, and Curbelo will join him

The joint appearance will be a rare one for the Republican congressman from South Florida.
In this photo taken July 6, 2015, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, speaks in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
In this photo taken July 6, 2015, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, speaks in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Published April 19, 2018|Updated April 19, 2018

Rep. Carlos Curbelo is headed to Key West with President Donald Trump today, but don't expect the duo to applaud the sunset at Mallory Square.

The president will visit Naval Air Station Key West for a few hours to receive a briefing from the Joint Interagency Task Force South, and Curbelo said Wednesday he'll join Trump on Air Force One for the quick visit.

"I'll go ahead and break the news that I will be traveling with the President tomorrow, and will be arriving with him, and will be out at JIATF, and I am very grateful that he is taking the time to visit such a valuable asset for law enforcement, for our military, for our partners from other nations from the region," Curbelo said to U.S. 1 Radio News. "And I think for the Florida Keys it is wonderful that a president is visiting, taking the time to learn about a facility that is not only so critical for our national security, but obviously employs a lot of people in the Florida Keys."

Curbelo doesn't have much of a relationship with Trump. He was the first Republican lawmaker to suggest Trump could be impeached and declined to vote for him in 2016. Since Trump assumed office Curbelo criticized some of his policy decisions like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and recently called on EPA secretary Scott Pruitt to resign amid mounting ethics issues.

Trump was in Hialeah on Monday to tout the tax bill, a law Curbelo helped draft, but Curbelo wasn't there. He was traveling home from the Summit of the Americas in Peru.

Curbelo is in the midst of a contentious re-election campaign against Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in a Democratic-leaning district, and appearing with Trump in public could be fodder for his opponent. The event on Thursday is an official White House event and not a campaign stop, though Trump riffed about his 2016 victory in Florida on Monday.