Retreating behind the White House walls, Donald Trump no longer ventures out in public for stateside events.
If Americans want to catch a glimpse of Donald Trump in person, the golf course is probably their only chance, as he has dramatically curtailed his stateside public appearances in recent weeks.
As the Russia scandal continues to entangle the White House and the GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare implodes, Trump is essentially refusing to leave the White House for any public events inside the United States. It’s the latest development in Trump’s emerging AWOL presidency.
Immediately following his return from the G20 summit in Europe this month, even his daily schedule went completely blank as he retreated behind the walls of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Trump has at least added some daily events to his schedule in recent days, but he’s not venturing outside.
It was Vice President Mike Pence — not Trump — who left the White House Tuesday and spoke publicly and at length about the Republicans’ health care bill in the wake of its Senate collapse, not Trump. Unlike Trump, Pence has been maintaining a very public profile in recent days.
Yes, Trump has appeared in front of television cameras lately inside the White House. Monday, it was so he could climb into a fire truck for a photo op and then read a brief statement off a teleprompter. After that, he promptly receded into the privacy of the West Wing.
Traditionally, presidents travel beyond the friendly confines of the White House in order to interact with Americans, or at least to deliver prepared remarks. And that’s when they’re not answering questions during lengthy press conferences.
Take a look at President Barack Obama’s public schedule from July 2019. Among the his many, many events were:
— July 22: Primetime news conference.
— July 23: Trip to the Cleveland Clinic.
— July 29: Town hall forum held in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Trump now shuns all of that. His last public stateside event beyond the Beltway was back on June 21 when he traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
But it wasn’t always like this for him. Early on, while Trump’s public schedule remained light compared to previous presidents, he did commit to occasional trips and events in the U.S. where he was forced to leave the White House compound:
— February 17: Trump visited a Boeing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
— March 20: Trump held a rally in Louisville, Kentucky.
— April 18: Trump visited the headquarters of Snap-on Inc in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
— May 17: Trump delivered commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
All of that has evaporated in recent weeks, with Trump’s June 21 visit being his last foray. And that Iowa trip was scheduled mostly for a straight-up political rally he attended. In terms of a stateside public event beyond the White House that reflected Trump’s presidential duties, you’d have to go all the way back to June 16, more than four weeks ago, for his public speech in Miami.
In the last month, when Trump wasn’t leaving the country, pretty much the only reason he left the White House was to go play golf or to watch golf, which he did on June 24, 25, and 30, as well as July 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 14, 15, and 16. Outside of playing golf or promoting his own business properties, however, Trump is clearly in hiding.