Biden thanks billionaire friends for St Croix stay as he jets back to Washington


President Joe Biden bid farewell to his Democratic donor friends Bill and Connie Neville as he returned to Washington D.C. following a low-profile seven-day vacation at their beachfront villa in St Croix.

The 80-year-old didn’t take questions from reporters as he boarded Air Force One with first lady Jill, 18-year-old grandaughter Natalie and 16-year-old grandson Hunter after a low-key week spent mostly in the luxury three-bedroom property with a private beach. 

As he approached the plane’s steps he stopped to speak to the Nevilles to mark the end of the trip where rare public sightings included a round of golf with grandson Hunter, dinner at a local restaurant and a church service.

The Nevilles have hosted Biden on the island many times, donated to his campaign and they were on the guest list for the White House state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron in December. 

First daughter Ashley Biden and her husband Howard Krein also joined the family on the trip – and disembarked Air Force One with them once it landed, along with their dog.  

Biden returns to Washington with new challenges ahead of him – with the Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and with mounting questions over when he could announce his 2024 run.

House Republicans have threatened a litany of investigations, including into Biden’s son Hunter’s foreign business dealings. 

President Joe Biden and his family departed St. Croix Monday afternoon, after a seven-day trip to the U.S. Virgin Island for the New Year's holiday in the home of their billionaire Democratic donor friends

President Joe Biden and his family departed St. Croix Monday afternoon, after a seven-day trip to the U.S. Virgin Island for the New Year’s holiday in the home of their billionaire Democratic donor friends

Thanks for having us: Biden speaks to Bill and Connie Neville, the Democratic donor couple whose St Croix villa he stayed in for seven days with members of the first family

Thanks for having us: Biden speaks to Bill and Connie Neville, the Democratic donor couple whose St Croix villa he stayed in for seven days with members of the first family 

President Joe Biden (left) and first lady Jill Biden (right) arrive back in Washington, D.C. late Monday afternoon after spending seven days on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands

President Joe Biden (left) and first lady Jill Biden (right) arrive back in Washington, D.C. late Monday afternoon after spending seven days on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands 

Ashley Biden (left) was spotted with her family as they landed late Monday afternoon in Washington. Her husband Howard Krein (right) also went on the St. Croix trip. The couple brought their dog, who disemarked Air Force One with their entourage

Ashley Biden (left) was spotted with her family as they landed late Monday afternoon in Washington. Her husband Howard Krein (right) also went on the St. Croix trip. The couple brought their dog, who disemarked Air Force One with their entourage 

First daughter Ashley Biden disembarks Air Force One Monday after spending seven days on St. Croix with her parents, husband, niece and nephew

First daughter Ashley Biden disembarks Air Force One Monday after spending seven days on St. Croix with her parents, husband, niece and nephew 

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden disembark Air Force One Monday followed by their grandchildren Hunter, 16, and Natalie, 18, the children of the late Beau Biden

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden disembark Air Force One Monday followed by their grandchildren Hunter, 16, and Natalie, 18, the children of the late Beau Biden 

Thanks to better than expected midterm results for the Democrats, the GOP will have just a small House majority, while Democrats maintain control of the Senate, even flipping a formerly held Republican seat in Pennsylvania. 

On Wednesday – one day after GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to become House speaker – Biden will travel to Kentucky for an event touting the bipartisan infrastructure and appear with Congress’ other top Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Upon landing at the White House Monday, Biden merely pointed out ‘it’s his state’ when asked about the importance of the bipartisan trip with McConnell, so soon after Washington becomes a city of divided government. 

On St. Croix – Biden’s first trip to the island as president – he and first lady Jill Biden marked the new year by waking up at 6:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day to watch the sunrise over the island from their villa’s private beach.  

In the past, the Bidens have joined island residents and tourists to take in the first sunrise of the new year at Point Udall, considered the easternmost point in the United States.  

Jill thanks personnel on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One back to mainland U.S.

Jill thanks personnel on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One back to mainland U.S. 

Biden, wearing his trademark aviators, salutes before ducking into Air Force One for the journey back to Washington D.C.

Biden, wearing his trademark aviators, salutes before ducking into Air Force One for the journey back to Washington D.C.

The president then headed to church solo, where he could be seen taking communion through the historic church’s large, open windows, accounting for the nearly 80-degree temperatures. 

Holy Cross Catholic Church dates back to  1755, but was extensively renovated in the 1950s, according to a website documenting St. Croix landmarks.  

Asked if he had made any new year’s resolutions, he said ‘good year, next year’ and said he was ‘looking forward to it,’ giving reporters a thumbs up as he exited the cream and white church and got into his black SUV. 

On Friday night, he wouldn’t say if he’s made a decision to run for reelection as he departed a restaurant with his family in downtown Christiansted.

‘There’s an election coming up?’ Biden said to questions about 2024 as he departed Savant, one of the top-rated restaurants on the tropical island. ‘2023 is going to be a good year,’ the president added. 

He dined with first lady Jill Biden and grandchildren Hunter and Natalie, the children of his late son, Beau Biden. 

The Bidens stayed in a luxury villa in the Solitude Bay section of St. Croix, with the president and first lady watching the sunrise from their private beach Sunday morning

The Bidens stayed in a luxury villa in the Solitude Bay section of St. Croix, with the president and first lady watching the sunrise from their private beach Sunday morning  

Biden returns to Washington after keeping a low-profile in the Caribbean with new challenges ahead of him - with the Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday

Biden returns to Washington after keeping a low-profile in the Caribbean with new challenges ahead of him – with the Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday

President Joe Biden gets into his SUV as he departs mass on New Year's Day. Asked if he had made any new year's resolutions, he said 'good year, next year' and said he was 'looking forward to it'

President Joe Biden gets into his SUV as he departs mass on New Year’s Day. Asked if he had made any new year’s resolutions, he said ‘good year, next year’ and said he was ‘looking forward to it’ 

A Secret Service agent stands guard outside the church where President Joe Biden attended mass on New Year's Day in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix

A Secret Service agent stands guard outside the church where President Joe Biden attended mass on New Year’s Day in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix 

President Joe Biden wouldn't say if he's made a decision to run for reelection as he departed a restaurant Friday night with his family in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix

President Joe Biden wouldn’t say if he’s made a decision to run for reelection as he departed a restaurant Friday night with his family in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix

Granddaughter Natalie Biden (left), 18, holds hands with first lady Jill Biden (right) as they leave the restaurant Savant Friday night

Granddaughter Natalie Biden (left), 18, holds hands with first lady Jill Biden (right) as they leave the restaurant Savant Friday night 

First lady Jill Biden, wearing a bold blue dress, holds hands with granddaughter Natalie as the family departed Savant, a highly rated restaurant in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix

First lady Jill Biden, wearing a bold blue dress, holds hands with granddaughter Natalie as the family departed Savant, a highly rated restaurant in downtown Christiansted on St. Croix

Dr. Jill Biden waves at reporters as she leaves Savant on St. Croix Friday night. She said dinner out in downtown Christiansted was 'great'

Dr. Jill Biden waves at reporters as she leaves Savant on St. Croix Friday night. She said dinner out in downtown Christiansted was ‘great’ 

President Joe Biden also told reporters that '2023 is going to be a good year' before getting in his black SUV and motorcading back to the luxury villa the family is borrowing from a Democratic donor

President Joe Biden also told reporters that ‘2023 is going to be a good year’ before getting in his black SUV and motorcading back to the luxury villa the family is borrowing from a Democratic donor 

The president said it was nice to have his grandkids, his daughter and ‘the whole dang family’ around – as they stay at a three-bedroom luxury villa with a private beach, as ‘guests’ of top Democratic donors. 

During his press conference a day after the midterms, Biden had said he’d talk 2024 with his family members during a holiday getaway, however he said on Nantucket over Thanksgiving that those conversations weren’t happening yet. 

‘We’re not having any, we’re celebrating,’ Biden told reporters as he walked through the Massachusetts island town. ‘Not yet,’ he told DailyMail.com when asked if he’d made a decision on whether to run again. 

Former President Donald Trump is already aching for a rematch with Biden, announcing a 2024 bid in mid-November. 

On Friday night on St. Croix, Dr. Biden, who was sporting a royal blue outfit, said the meal out was ‘great.’ 

The two-story restaurant, which is painted blue, has an old world looking dining room and then a pretty patio out back. 

Earlier, the president and first lady pre-taped an interview with Ryan Seacrest that will air Saturday night during his Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve program.

The Bidens dined at Savant restaurant in St. Croix, which is painted blue and has a romantic patio out back. It's considered one of the best restaurants on the U.S. Virgin island

The Bidens dined at Savant restaurant in St. Croix, which is painted blue and has a romantic patio out back. It’s considered one of the best restaurants on the U.S. Virgin island 

Savant boasts an old world looking dining room. Entrees are priced around $40, according to the restaurant's website

Savant boasts an old world looking dining room. Entrees are priced around $40, according to the restaurant’s website 

Diners can also eat on the restaurant's cozy patio. The president brought along grandkids Natalie and Hunter, the children of the late Beau Biden

Diners can also eat on the restaurant’s cozy patio. The president brought along grandkids Natalie and Hunter, the children of the late Beau Biden 

Before that, the president and grandson Hunter broke cover Friday afternoon to play a round of golf. 

Biden was pictured on the beachside course at the Buccaneer Hotel – where 18 holes costs $115 – wearing a bright blue baseball hat, a white polo shirt and navy shorts.

Photos show Hunter watching the president, who plays off a handicap of 6.7, hitting shots at the pin during the late afternoon round at the Caribbean resort.

For Biden, it was the 20th golf outing of his presidency. At this point, former President Donald Trump – who owns a number of golf courses in the U.S. and abroad – had played 108 rounds.

Hunter was spotted driving the golf cart, while at one point Secret Service helped the president locate a lost ball. 

The president and Hunter spent a little more than two hours at the seaside resort before returning to their villa.

President Joe Biden takes a swing as he golfs with grandson Hunter at the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix Friday afternoon

President Joe Biden takes a swing as he golfs with grandson Hunter at the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix Friday afternoon 

President Joe Biden broke cover Friday to play a round of golf with his grandson Hunter during his holiday break on St. Croix

President Joe Biden broke cover Friday to play a round of golf with his grandson Hunter during his holiday break on St. Croix

President Joe Biden golfed with his grandson Hunter, the son of the late Beau Biden, at the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix Friday afternoon

President Joe Biden golfed with his grandson Hunter, the son of the late Beau Biden, at the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix Friday afternoon 

President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden golfed Friday afternoon at the Buccaneer Hotel's course, which boasts waterfront views

President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden golfed Friday afternoon at the Buccaneer Hotel’s course, which boasts waterfront views 

President Joe Biden is seen on the golf course of the Buccaneer Hotel Friday with grandson Hunter Biden (left, seated in golf cart)

President Joe Biden is seen on the golf course of the Buccaneer Hotel Friday with grandson Hunter Biden (left, seated in golf cart) 

President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden played golf Friday at the oceanside Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands

President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden played golf Friday at the oceanside Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Secret Service agents help President Joe Biden locate a lost ball during a game of golf Friday on St. Croix

Secret Service agents help President Joe Biden locate a lost ball during a game of golf Friday on St. Croix 

The Bidens stayed at the St Croix home of billionaire Democratic donors Bill and Connie Neville, according to the White House

He made his fortune in the tech industry, while she is a self-employed designer. 

The Nevilles were among the 300 people invited to Biden’s state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron on December 1.

The Bidens are not paying rent but staying as ‘guests’ at the home on Solitude Bay, a private community with its own beach. Houses there can sell for around $3million, according to property websites.

A luxury family vacation rental on St Croix can run up to $5,000 a night, according to vacation websites. 

The home is owned by Democratic donors Bill and Connie Neville

The home is owned by Democratic donors Bill and Connie Neville

Bill and Connie Neville are Democratic donors estimated to be worth a billion dollars

Bill and Connie Neville are Democratic donors estimated to be worth a billion dollars

The three-bedroom house has views of Caribbean and a private pool

The three-bedroom house has views of Caribbean and a private pool

President Joe Biden and family are staying for free at home of billionaire Democratic donor on St Croix - largest of US Virgin Islands

President Joe Biden and family are staying for free at home of billionaire Democratic donor on St Croix – largest of US Virgin Islands

The house has its own pool along with gorgeous views of the Caribbean. 

It also has private beach access.

On Thursday, Biden donned a suit and tie to sign the 4,000-page, $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, which will fund the government through September 2023. 

The bill had to be flown to Biden commercially from Washington.

‘Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine. Looking forward to more in 2023,’ the president shared on Instagram. 

President Joe Biden, pictured with Jill Biden and granddaughter Natalie, arrived in St Croix on Tuesday evening to spend New Year's Eve in the sun

President Joe Biden, pictured with Jill Biden and granddaughter Natalie, arrived in St Croix on Tuesday evening to spend New Year’s Eve in the sun

The caption in this Instagram post from the official POTUS account read: 'The caption in this Instagram post from the official POTUS account read: 'Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress'

The caption in this Instagram post from the official POTUS account read: ‘The caption in this Instagram post from the official POTUS account read: ‘Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress’

Congress passed the massive budget bill last week but then it had to go through a complicated enrollment process that involves printing the text of the bill on  parchment paper, with a certificate page that is signed by the speaker of the House and the president pro temp of the Senate.

After that is completed, it is transferred to the White House for the president’s signature. It would have gone to the staff secretary’s office, which is responsible for all the paperwork the president must sign. 

It’s not the first time a piece of legislation has flown commercial to the president’s location. 

In May, a $40billion US package of assistance for Ukraine was sent with a staffer on a commercial flight to South Korea, when Biden was in Seoul for meetings with Asian leaders. 



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