Par for the course: White House says Trump's golf outings to his courses were "meetings"

The White House and Fox News don't want to admit that the president is enjoying a leisurely weekend on the links

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 27, 2017 11:50AM (EDT)

Donald Trump plays golf on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. (Getty/Ian MacNicol)
Donald Trump plays golf on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. (Getty/Ian MacNicol)

President Donald Trump has already been criticized for spending so much time on the golf links, but that didn't stop him from spending last weekend at one of his own golf courses.

On Sunday Trump played golf for the 13th time since taking office, in the process also marking the eighth consecutive weekend he had spent at a property that he personally owns, according to CNN. On this occasion he went to his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

The White House said that Trump's golf trip actually was a series of meetings, but photos posted on Instagram and Twitter show that the president was hitting the links.

But Fox News erroneously reported on Sunday that Trump was spending the weekend working at the White House.

It's worth noting that Trump took many opportunities to insult former President Barack Obama for playing golf during his presidency. In December 2015 he told a campaign rally in Michigan, "It was reported today [Obama] played 250 rounds of golf and he’s going to be in Hawaii, I think did they say, for three weeks? Two hundred and fifty rounds, that’s more than a guy who plays in the PGA Tour plays. He played more golf last year than Tiger Woods. We don’t have time for this. We have to work."

At another Michigan rally in August, Trump returned to this theme. After describing a visit to the "devastation" in flood-overcome Louisiana, Trump proclaimed that Obama "ought to get off the golf course and get down there."

Also noteworthy is the fact that the Secret Service has had to spend $16,000 so far on golf cart rentals just for Trump's trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort. Not only is this money that goes straight into the pockets of Trump's business empire, but his regular use of his own properties means that he is using the presidency to garner free publicity for them.

Trump didn't just go golfing this weekend. He also ventured into Washington, where he ate at his Trump-branded hotel, which recently scored a thumbs up on its lease with the federal government.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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