Trump explained his frequent visits to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club to several members, according to the report, with this bad Yelp review: “That White House is a real dump.”
A White House official denied that this occurred, the website notes. And in a tweet after the report was published, Trump did the same, singing the White House’s praises. “I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” he wrote on Wednesday night. “But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE”
But the quality of the D.C. lodging immediately got a defender in someone with more experience in the White House lifestyle than Trump. “Thank you to all the White House ushers, butlers, maids, chefs, florists, gardeners, plumbers, engineers & curators for all you do every day,” Chelsea Clinton tweeted Tuesday evening, citing the highlighted quote disparaging the place she called home for eight years.
Trump has reportedly enjoyed the perks of living at the prestigious address since January (waiters cater to his preferences with a constant stream of Diet Cokes and two scoops of ice cream for dessert instead of the standard one), and he’s been known to proudly offer tours to VIP visitors.
But he has spent a good deal of time away from the White House, including 21 of his first 26 weekends, by CNN’s count, mostly at his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where the Versailles-like decor is closer to that of his own Manhattan penthouse in Trump Tower than the historic White House digs.
As in previous administrations, the Trumps hired a private decorator to transform their living quarters, and in accordance with tradition, it’s not usually shared with the public.
And he found a way to bring to Washington some of the comforts he’s used to: first lady Melania Trump hired Timothy Harleth, a senior manager at Washington’s Trump International Hotel, to serve as chief usher, overseeing the staff that runs the White House.
This post has been updated.