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Previous story Trump's mind is elsewhere as unemployment benefits run out for millions of Americans Next story

STORY BY KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN

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Published on December 26, 2020 6:04 AM

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Nashville, Tennessee bombing scene and President Donald Trump golfing. (Photos: Screen capture)
Washington (CNN)A day before unemployment benefits for millions of Americans were set to expire, President Donald Trump had a different insult in mind: his former-model wife has yet to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine as first lady.

"Fake news!" he complained on Twitter from Palm Beach, concerned for Melania's social station on Christmas as Americans hunkered at home, enduring a holiday diminished by pandemic, darkened by the prospect of an imminent government shutdown and shaken by an eerie explosion in Nashville that authorities said was intentional. That Trump has little penchant for reflecting the struggles and concerns of most Americans is hardly new. But his electoral loss has only seemed to harden the callousness that separates his own experience from the country's, even as he insists the country deserves more.

The fashion cover gripe came as the President was returning from his golf club in Florida to his oceanfront estate, where somewhere was waiting the massive coronavirus relief package that had been specially flown from Washington for his consideration. An official familiar with the matter said the bill was at Mar-a-Lago by Friday morning. Three days earlier, Trump appeared in a video few of his aides seemed to know he was taping to decry the bill, insisting it did not pay Americans enough and was loaded with unnecessary spending. Since then, no one -- least of all Republican members of Congress -- has been able to gain further clarity about how Trump wants to proceed. "Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida," Trump wrote Friday on Twitter. "Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn't their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!"