Trump was smiling and glad-handing fans at Mar-a-Lago as news of his indictment crashed around him, resort guests say

Trump was smiling and glad-handing fans at Mar-a-Lago as news of his indictment crashed around him, resort guests say
  • Trump was indicted Thursday by a Manhattan grand jury, a first for an ex-president.

  • But to guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort, it was as if nothing had happened.

  • Two told Insider Trump was smiling and in high spirits even as he railed against the move online.

Former President Donald Trump was all smiles Thursday night, guests told Insider, describing an alternate reality at his Mar-a-Lago club as news of his historic indictment broke.

Two guests described to Insider an apparently jovial scene at his Florida resort. It was a stark contrast to his reported reaction in private, where news reports spoke of him being stunned at the timing of the news.

Online he was pugnacious, railing at "Thugs and Radical Left Monsters" for the decision of a New York grand jury to indict him.

Gina Loudon, a conservative media commentator who worked with Trump's 2020 campaign, was at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday and said he was in his "usual great spirits" and welcoming guests there as normal.

"It was honestly like any other night at Mar-a-Lago," Loudon said.

Trump was "smiling and greeting guests, making sure they were enjoying their evening," she said, adding that people were dancing while a band played.

Loudon posted the only known photo of Trump following the indictment news. In the photo, which she shared on Twitter on Thursday night, Trump is seen with his wife, former first lady Melania Trump, and is surrounded by onlookers.

"Our REAL First Couple enveloped in the love their friends and most loyal," Loudon wrote in the tweet.

Rosa Fortina, a Mar-a-Lago member who was also at the resort last night, told Insider that it was "very nice to see Melania by his side."

She said she agreed with Loudon's account of the atmosphere at Mar-a-Lago, adding that Trump was in "high spirits despite what is happening."

Though the guests said Trump appeared to be cheerful, it contrasts with other reports saying that the former president took the news badly.

According to The Washington Post, which cited an advisor, Trump and his staffers became "irritated" and "deflated" after the news broke.

The Post also reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said he spoke to the former president on the phone, described the former president as "upset and disappointed" but calm.

You can follow Insider's live coverage of the indictment and its aftermath here.

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