In the flood of stories about how people close to President Trump sought to leverage their relationships for personal gain earlier this year, one story didn’t attract as much attention as it might otherwise have.
That was the story about how Republican Party fundraiser Elliott Broidy, then already in the news for a more titillating reason, had allegedly tried to deliver a prized encounter for one of his clients. Broidy’s private defense company was seeking a contract with the government of Malaysia and its prime minister, Najib Razak. Apparently, to build a better relationship with Najib, Broidy attempted to set up a round of golf between Najib and Trump, appealing directly to the president in June of last year. Trump, Broidy said in an email to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly earlier this year, was happy to do it.
When Najib came to the United States in September, no round of golf was played, perhaps because the prime minister was under investigation by the Justice Department for corruption.
What’s remarkable, though, is that if Najib had joined Trump at Bedminster that weekend, we might not have known whether the two played golf. On 110 days of his presidency, Trump has traveled to a golf course and spent several hours there. On a handful of occasions, he or the White House or his golf partners have revealed/admitted that he was playing golf. On most occasions, they haven’t — and the question of who joined him for his hours-long foray around the course is a mystery.
On the chart below, all of Trump’s known or assumed rounds of golf are indicated. Those in red are ones for which we know or, in dark gray, believe we know who joined him as he did so.
On 81 of the 111 days, we think Trump has played golf as president, we have no idea who his partner might have been. Thanks to the White House pool, local news reports, social media posts and, most significantly, data compiled by TrumpGolfCount.com, we do know some of his partners.
Most are members of the clubs where he plays the most: Trump International, near Mar-a-Lago in Florida; his club in Sterling, Va.; and Bedminster, in New Jersey. He regularly plays with current or former professional golfers, including big names like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He’s played with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on at least three occasions, and with members of his administration or the Senate on a number of others.
Again, though, it’s mostly a mystery. In part this is because Trump chooses to play on courses where he can keep outside observers from seeing what’s going on. That also means that it’s often hard to learn about his partners and, further, to confirm that he was joined on the course.
What it means is that Trump holds three-hour-long meetings with unknown individuals multiple times a month. At the White House, at least, there is some chance that a visitor will be spotted or that records will be kept. When watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued to get a list of people who visited Mar-a-Lago in the first two months of Trump’s presidency, a court ruled that the records must be turned over.
The White House responded with a list of 22 names — all of which involved a visit by Abe.
Without further ado, we ask your help. The tool below indicates those days on which we think Trump has played golf and, when we know, his partners. In some cases, we’re trying to confirm people who we believe have played with Trump. For many other days, we have no idea. If you think you might have some insight, click the “Have a tip?” button for the appropriate day and tell us what you know. (It will open a blank email.)
In November, USA Today reported that at least five administration appointees were members of Trump Organization clubs. Trump might have spent last weekend playing a round of golf with the person who could soon end up as deputy attorney general. He might have spent three hours on Saturday chatting with the head of a firm that will soon learn that it is exempt from certain tariffs. We simply don’t know.
Perhaps you do.
David Fahrenthold contributed to this report.