Trump's $3 million taxpayer-funded "working" vacation turned out to be mostly work-free.
Signaling once again that his personal leisure takes precedent over the nation’s business, Donald Trump spent a total of nearly 24 hours playing golf last week. Indeed, there are probably some professional golfers who spent less time on the links over the holiday break than Trump did last week.
All of this, while Trump was supposed to be taking part in a so-called working vacation over the Thanksgiving break.
“We’re going to be working very hard during the recess in Florida,” Trump announced last Monday. “We’re going to Florida.”
Of course, the whole “working vacation” was a sham and became one nearly the moment Trump left Washington, D.C., even as Trump and his staff repeatedly insisted that he had a full schedule of meetings and phone calls.
Trump’s obsession with not working hard is also bad on the local economy in Florida. One business owner near Mar-a-Lago tells ABC News he loses $1,000 in business every day Trump’s in town vacationing.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump argued that Americans should vote for him because he would rarely leave Washington. He promised that he wouldn’t go golfing or take vacations because there was too much work to do.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” he once told a campaign crowd.
Trump spent years attacking President Barack Obama for golfing and taking vacations while in office, yet Trump has nearly tripled Obama’s golf pace this year. And obviously, no other president has traveled to resort destinations that he also owns and runs as for-profit businesses.
“It’s just another example of his consistent efforts to exploit public office for private gain,” ethics expert Steve Schooner told NBC News earlier this year.
Trump has spent nearly 120 days at Trump-owned properties this year, most of them golfing destinations.
Heading into Trump’s extended Florida sojourn, White House aides were reportedly nervous he would get bored when not golfing and cause trouble.
“If you talk to White House aides, they will tell you they worry when the president goes down to Mar-a-Lago because he has a lot of time on his hands and he tends to tweet and he tends to sort of rant about things,” New York Times reporter Michael Shear noted on CNN.
And rant Trump did.
When Trump wasn’t golfing most of last week, he was whining on Twitter about an NBA dad and about NFL players. He completely concocted the idea that TIME magazine had asked him to be Person of the Year, attacked the free press in the America, and told himself again that the sprawling Russia investigation is no big deal.
He also found time to endorse a man who’s been accused of child molestation to be the next senator from Alabama. So it turns out that obsessively golfing wasn’t the least presidential thing Trump did last week.