By hosting world leaders there now, Trump was fulfilling “a dream deferred,” the State website said. While this account is essentially true, the tale of Trump’s acquisition of the baroque property is a little more complicated than that. “Back in the 1970s, when the federal government owned it, President Richard M. Nixon flew down to look into declaring it the ‘Winter White House,’ ” The Washington Post’s Mary Jordan reported in 1991. Nixon resigned before he could follow through; subsequent presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter showed no interest in visiting or developing the 128-room mansion. Tired of the expense of maintaining it, the government returned the property to the Post Foundation in 1980. Post’s children were also uninterested in its upkeep. In 1985, they put the estate on the market for $20 million. According to Trump, he offered to buy the property, including the velvet-and-gold furnishings, for $28 million (on other occasions, he has said $25 million and $15 million) but was rebuffed. Incensed, he told the foundation he had purchased a small strip of land in front of Mar-a-Lago and threatened to build an eyesore that would block the view of the beach unless they sold the estate to him. In the end, he got it for a bargain - $5 million for the house and $3 million for the furniture.
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