Fake news? Trump aides push back on golf report

President Donald Trump and top aides meeting at one of Trump’s golf clubs in Sterling, Va., on Saturday. (Pool photo)

President Donald Trump, whose weekend golf outings are a staple of his Florida visits, is staying in Washington, D.C., this weekend and on Saturday dropped in on his golf club in nearby Sterling, Va.


“Trump makes his ninth golf course visit as president. He’s been in office seven weeks,” said a tweet from The Hill, which featured a picture of the president on the links.


But Saturday’s visit, which lasted a little over two hours in wintry temperatures, wasn’t to play golf. And the White House, always sensitive about Trump’s golf-playing, pushed back hard on Twitter to note the president was in fact participating in a working lunch with top aides and Cabinet secretaries.


White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino Jr. noted that The Hill’s tweet featured a picture from last month of Trump golfing in Jupiter with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Scavino said The Hill was “Giving followers wrong impression of @POTUS golfing right now. I took that pic last month in FL. He’s here, working.”


White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer weighed in later, calling the picture “misleading and wrong.”




Trump’s working lunch at the golf club included Spicer, strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and some of their spouses and significant others.


The Palm Beach Post estimates Trump has played golf eight times — all of them in Florida — since taking office. Seven of them are chronicled in this post. An apparent eighth golf outing came last Sunday, when Trump visited his Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach for nearly four hours.


President Donald Trump trails former President Barack Obama by more than 300 rounds of presidential golf, but Trump has been teeing off at a brisk pace. (Trump photo by Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post; Obama photo by Chris Carlson/AP)

The figure is less than certain because the White House — no doubt mindful of Trump’s frequent criticisms of former President Barack Obama‘s golf habits — seldom confirms when Trump is golfing or with whom he’s playing.


Obama hit the links for 333 rounds of golf in eight years, according to Mark Knoller of CBS.


Obama golfed an average of once every 8.8 days in office. With eight rounds in 51 days, Trump has golfed once every 6.3 days.







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