A Mar-a-Lago member’s Facebook posts from President Donald Trump’s most recent stay at the exclusive Florida club have raised concerns about national security issues surrounding the president’s trips to the resort, the Washington Post and CNN report.
Richard DeAgazio, a 72-year-old Boston businessman, Trump supporter and actor, posted photos to his now-deleted Facebook page showing Trump talking North Korean strategy with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday on the patio of the Mar-a-Lago club.
The photos were taken as Abe and Trump discussed North Korea’s test firing of a ballistic missile.
“HOLY MOLY !!!” De Agazio wrote in the caption alongside the photos. “It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan. The Prime Minister Abe of Japan huddles with his staff and the President is on the phone with Washington DC. the two world leaders then conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference. Wow…..the center of the action!!!”
DeAgazio told the Washington Post he joined the club just three months ago, after retiring.
“He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” DeAgazio told the Post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. DeAgazio Has Posted Dozens of Photos With Trump From Mar-a-Lago Since the Inauguration, Including With the Military Member Who Carries the ‘Nuclear Football’
Richard DeAgazio posted several up-close and personal photos with President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago to his Facebook page during Trump’s visits to the club in the weeks after the inauguration, including the photos from Trump’s dinner with the Japanese prime minister.
Another photo taken during Trump’s visit this past weekend has also drawn attention. In that photo, DeAgazio can be seen posing with the military aide who carries the “nuclear football.”
DeAgazio told the Washington Post the military member did not reveal any secret information to him. “I looked it up” on Wikipedia, DeAgazio told the Post. “He didn’t say anything to me.”
“You don’t hear anything. You can’t hear,” DeAgazio told the Post, saying the background music and other diners chatter was too loud. “I mean, I can barely hear what’s going on at my table.”
DeAgazio praised the way the president handled the North Korean issue.
“There wasn’t any panicked look. Most of the people [on the terrace] didn’t even realize what was happening,” DeAgazio said. “I thought he handled it very calmly, and very presidentially.”
DeAgazio deleted his Facebook page after the photos drew attention on Monday, but an archived version is available here.
2. He Was a Vocal Supporter of the Campaign, Including in YouTube Videos
While he is a new member of the club, Richard DeAgazio was a vocal supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign, including in several videos posted to his Youtube page. He has since deleted those videos.
DeAgazio was given a certificate from the Trump campaign for his support. He also posted photos on Facebook showing him near the stage at the inauguration.
Since the election, DeAgazio has continued to post to Facebook, expressing support for Trump.
He posted in January showing a photo of his letter of acceptance to Mar-a-Lago, which he joined in December.
“It is interesting to watch President Trump,” DeAgazio wrote. “Everything he does, everything, has a purpose and is deliberate. Even his signature is a “Brand” While many of us dash off with a quick scrawl on receipts and keypads, Trump takes time to form each letter in his name. He writes every letter, although most of it is up and down angles. The image of his signature is important to him and so he takes a bit of time to get it right. I am fortunate to have 3 original signatures……”
DeAgazio also has stuck up for Press Secretary Sean Spicer, writing in January, “KUDOS to SEAN SPICER for his defense of the President and the news media! He is so good….it must be very frustrating!”
“At some point they will get tired of protesting and say ‘lets try to work together’ because their way is not working,” he wrote on Facebook on February 1. “I am not tired of ‘winning’ yet! Are you?”
3. He Is a Boston-Based Businessman With Experience in Finance & Marketing
DeAgazio is a Boston-based businessman who has been involved in finance and marketing for several decades, according to his Linkedin profile.
He is on the board of many companies and has founded several others.
DeAgazio began his career at ABD Securities, Inc., working there from 1968 to 1981. He left as a senior vice president, overseeing the sales, trading and syndicate department.
He was later the president of Boston Capital Services from 1981 to 2007.
DeAgazio has been involved in charity work and was a principal at Ironsides Associates, LLC until his retirement.
He graduated from Northeastern University in 1969 with degrees in economics and finance. He is a member of the Board of Corporators at Northeastern.
DeAgazio, who is divorced and now retired, is a native of Waltham, Massachusetts.
In addition to his business career, DeAgazio has worked as a consultant and has given talks on how to network and make connections in the business world.
“In any business, no matter what the profession is, social skills and networking are necessary to move forward. One way to network is to attend social events, because they bring together like-minded individuals, whether it is a church event, a charity event, or a professional association event,” DeAgazio told Boston.com.
“Networking is all about relationship building, and today’s social media options make it easy to avoid getting out there and interacting with others in face-to-face situations,” DeAgazio told Boston.com. “Attending events and working a room provide important opportunities for personal interaction. Events are a place to see and be seen, and the more you go to them, the better you will get at working the room.”
4. He Also Works as an Actor, With Appearences in Several Movies, Including ‘That’s My Boy’ & ‘Ted’
DeAgazio is also an actor, according to his IMDB profile. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has appeared in small roles in several movies, including “Ted,” “That’s My Boy,” “Bride Wars” and “Mystic River.”
He has also had more prominent roles in smaller independent films, like “Portico” in 2014.
DeAgazio produced one movie, “Conned,” in 2010.
He is also a singer.
5. DeAgazio Is Among Many Members of Mar-a-Lago to Post Photos During President Trump’s Visits to the Resort
DeAgazio is not the only Mar-a-Lago Club member to post photos of President Trump at the resort during his two trips there since his inauguration.
Trump crashed a wedding after giving a brief press conference on the North Korean missile test. You can watch >video of Trump speaking at the wedding below:
CNN reported that Trump told the wedding crowd he had met with the bride and her wedding party earlier in the day, because “They’ve been members of this club for a long time. They’ve paid me a fortune.”
Membership at the Palm Beach, Florida, club costs $14,000 a year after an initial $200,000 fee, The Guardian reports. The initiation fee was raised from $100,000 to $200,000 after Trump’s inauguration.
Trump bought the 126-room, 110,000-square-foot club in 1985. It was built in the 1920s by socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, who envisioned it as winter retreat for presidents. The property was bequeathed to the United States by Post after her death in 1973, but was returned to the estate in 1980 when presidents failed to use it. Trump then purchased it from the estate.