Trump spent the weekend golfing in Florida. By low estimates, this is Trump’s 6th golf vacation of his presidency. By higher estimates, this is his eleventh. He’s been in office for just two months. Why is there discrepancies? Because Trump and his staff have repeatedly lied about his golfing outings. In one egregious example, staffers said he dropped by the golf course to merely chat with friends – then a pro golfer tweeted that he had just finished up a game with Trump. Oops. The White House simply will not be straight about Trump’s obsession with golf.
And they have every reason to be worried. Trump’s vacations are costing American taxpayers millions of dollars per weekend. And while he hits the links, his administration tries to cut spending on things like after school food programs for hungry kids and Meals on Wheels for struggling seniors.
It’s also a reminder that Trump is a massive hypocrite. During Obama’s tenure, Trump repeatedly attacked the president for using his scant vacation days to golf. Trump’s Twitter history is an endless parade of hostile tweets directed at Obama:
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
President Obama played golf yesterday???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2013
During his campaign, Trump vowed to never take a vacation and to never leave the White House. Instead, he’s taken six weekend vacations and spends nearly all of his time at his Mar-a-Lago resort – a business still owned by himself and which recently jacked up its membership fees to reflect the fact that joining now means getting the chance to rub elbows with the president.
All of this to say it was more than a little ridiculous for Sean Spicer to even attempt to defend his boss’s hypocrisy on this front. Trump is so clearly breaking his promises that even a shameless flack like Spicer had to feel a twinge of embarrassment for these whoppers. Nevertheless, here we are:
REPORTER: In his first eight weeks in office, President Trump has made at least 10 trips to the golf course. He regularly used to criticize President Obama for spending time on the golf course, how is his golf game any different?
SPICER: Well, I think two things. One is you saw him utilize this as an opportunity with [Japanese] Prime Minister Abe to, um, help foster deeper relationships in Asia and have a growing relationship that’s going to help U.S. interests. How you use the game of golf is something that he’s talked about. Secondly, he had a mini-Cabinet meeting the other day down in his club in Virginia and I remember so many people jumping to the conclusion that he’s going down and playing golf. Just because you go somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean you did it.
All of what Spicer just said is unfettered garbage. For starters, President Obama frequently used his time playing golf to conduct official business, including one time inviting the Malaysian Prime Minister to a round to – you guessed it – help foster deeper relationships in Asia. Obama was able to accomplish that without spending every single weekend of his presidency playing golf.
As to Spicer’s second point: His example of Trump’s “mini-cabinet meeting” in Virginia is an awkward one. If Trump wasn’t golfing there, why was he there at all? Why move all of his staff down to a Virginia golf course that he owns just to hold a meeting he could have had at the White House? Perhaps because, as with Mar-a-Lago, Trump still owns that business and forcing the entire White House to attend a meeting there is a financial boon to Trump’s own bank account. Spicer’s hamfisted attempt to defend Trump’s golfing actually makes him look more corrupt.
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