PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — For the past three weekends, President Donald Trump has flown on Air Force One to his private Florida club, where in addition to work, he has dined with family and friends, attended parties — and played plenty of golf.
Not that long ago, Trump took issue with President Barack Obama for doing much the same. In May, Trump tweeted, “While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government!”
On Sunday, Trump spent the morning at Trump International Golf Club, where he played with professional golfer Rory McIlroy. The White House at first said Trump played a few holes and did not disclose whom Trump was golfing with, but the next day a photo emerged on social media, and McIlroy told golf website nolayingup.com that he played 18 holes with Trump.
Asked if Trump played a full round with McIlroy, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “He intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer.”
During his holiday weekend in Florida, Trump and his wife, Melania, also stopped by a benefit Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago, hosted by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He did not list the event on his public schedule, but staff confirmed his attendance after it was reported in a local newspaper. And Trump briefly appeared at a fundraiser luncheon at Mar-a-Lago Monday, the White House confirmed after pictures popped up on social media.
For years on Twitter, Trump railed against Obama for taking vacations and playing golf. As a candidate, Trump said if he won he’d probably be too busy to golf and would only play with people with whom he was looking to make deals.
On Twitter in August 2014, Trump said Obama’s motto was “If I don’t go on tax payer funded vacations & constantly fundraise then the terrorists win.”
When Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this month, the two played at two of Trump’s courses — Trump International and his course in Jupiter, Florida.
Obama was an avid golfer, though he did not play during his first few months in office, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who tracked his golf outings. He also took regular family trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii, but did not have private vacation homes where he routinely spent weekends.
Trump also conducted serious business over the weekend. He interviewed contenders for national security adviser, choosing Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, and attended a strategy session on how to repeal and replace Obama’s health care law.