WH Official: Trump Not Visiting Louisville This Weekend

Mar 9, 2017

Credit Jonese Franklin

UPDATE: President Donald Trump will not be coming to Kentucky this weekend, despite earlier reports saying he would.

Trump’s travel plans for the weekend have not yet been finalized, according to a White House official, but there aren’t plans to come to Louisville despite earlier reports that the Federal Aviation Administration had issued a “VIP Movement Notification” for Louisville — an alert that has preceded previous Trump visits across the country.

EARLIER:

President Donald Trump will be visiting Louisville on Saturday, according to local media reports.

Stephanie Smith of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority told the Courier-Journal that the agency was notified Wednesday that Trump would be coming.

On Wednesday afternoon, Smith directed questions from Kentucky Public Radio to the White House. She confirmed earlier media reports based on “information that I had at the time,” she added.

A spokeswoman from the White House declined to comment, saying the trip is not yet confirmed.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a “VIP Movement Notification” for the Louisville area. Similar notices have been issued for the president’s travel in recent weeks.

This would be Trump’s first to Kentucky as president. He attended two rallies in Louisville during his presidential campaign.

Trump won Kentucky by nearly 30 percentage points on Election Day. He also has the staunch support of Gov. Matt Bevin, who earned a mention in Trump’s first Congressional address last week.

The president is currently trying to rally support for a Republican overhaul of the Affordable Care Act and has criticized Kentucky’s junior U.S. senator, Rand Paul, for his opposition of the measure.

Paul has belittled the plan as “Obamacare Lite.”

“We’re very, very united on repeal, not so much on replace, and so I think the real problem is adding replacement to the repeal bill,” Paul said on CNN on Tuesday. “I think the repeal bill probably won’t pass unless we take replacement off of it.”

Counselor for the President Kellyanne Conway called Paul’s assessment of the bill “a very unfortunate description” in an appearance Tuesday on WHAS Radio’s Terry Meiners show.

“I know that Sen. Paul, like all the other Republican Senators and members of Congress have voted many times to repeal Obamacare, have run successfully on it, in his case twice,” Conway said.

Since the 2013 implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky, the percentage of people without insurance in the state has dropped from more than 20 percent down to 8 percent, mostly due to the expansion of the state’s Medicaid system.

But on the state health exchange, lower enrollment and higher costs prompted many insurers to leave, and those that stayed hiked premiums significantly in 2017.

Five companies that sold insurance on Kentucky’s health exchange in 2016 pulled out of the program for 2017. Those that remain are charging higher premiums.